Jameis Winston was must-see TV while quarterbacking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ high-octane offense a season ago. However, the reason why many of us were glued to our televisions at times had less to do with the “good Jameis” and more to do with the “bad Jameis”, something the Bucs organization and fans are likely not so keen on, and why many question Winston returning under center for the team next season.
If recent reports reign true, Tampa Bay has already set their sights on their next quarterback, arguably the top signal-caller primed to hit the open market this coming offseason.
Buccaneers Reportedly Interested in Teddy Bridgewater
An NFL general manager recently spoke to The Athletic’s Mike Sando, in which he proclaimed to be hearing some interesting rumblings in NFL circles, which could potentially shift the landscape of the NFC as we know it.
“I am hearing Tampa Bay is hot on Bridgewater,” the GM told Sando.
Bridgewater proved in his limited five-game run as the New Orleans Saints starting quarterback in 2019 that not only is he fully back from his devastating knee injury sustained in 2016, but he’s ready to man a starting gig over a 16-game season.
Winston, on the other hand, appears to be on his way out of Tampa Bay, as Peter King of NBC Sports reported that it’s “likely” the former Heisman Trophy winner will not return to the Bucs in 2020.
Bridgewater is the Polar Opposite of Winston
We recently put together a column detailing our top-five landing spots for Bridgewater this offseason, in which the Buccaneers landed at number three on our list.
Connecting the dots between a potential Bridgewater, Bucs marriage is quite easy. While Bridgewater may lack some of the elite passing traits that Winston possesses, his lack of attributes would likely work in the Buccaneers favor.
Bridgewater does not have the arm strength that Winston does, meaning he doesn’t trust his arm to a fault, potentially leading to unnecessary turnovers. Bridgewater’s game is based more on dissecting a defense with precision.
Winston may have led the league in passing yards in 2019, but it was his league-leading 30 interceptions that handicapped the eventual 7-9 Buccaneers from being a potential playoff team. In fact, Winston tossed more interceptions a season ago than Bridgewater has thrown over his five-year NFL career, something we pointed out in our reasoning for naming the Bucs as a prime landing spot for the quarterback this offseason.
This is may very well be the most exciting fit on the list. Not many quarterbacks would pass up the opportunity to throw to the likes of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, maybe even OJ Howard to a lesser degree. Many would also jump at the opportunity to work alongside QB-guru Bruce Arians.
The Buccaneers are a quarterback away from being a legitimate threat in the NFC. Jameis Winston led them to seven wins a season ago, however, he also led them to nine losses a season ago, emphasis on led.
Over Bridgewater’s five-year playing career, his 25 interceptions are five less than Winston recorded in 2019 alone.
The Bucs, like the majority of the teams on our list, are rich in spending money, owning nearly $80M of cap space heading into the offseason.
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