It’s one of these things today, where it is absolutely crazy, how a former No. 1 overall pick, who is an unrestricted free agent, cannot somehow find a new team, but this is the case of Jameis Winston.
The same Winston, who led the league in yards passing last season, breaking the 5,000 yard mark for the first time in his career. The same Winston who threw a career high 33-touchdown passes. And yes, the same Winston who also threw a career and league high, 30 interceptions, including seven returned for touchdowns, an all-time NFL record.
So there’s both good and bad to work with in Winston, but you would think, given his skill set, his youth, and his ceiling, that some team by now, would have jumped at a chance to sign the 25-year old quarterback. Instead, now heading into the seventh day of free agency, there appears to be no team in sight ready to pickup Winston.
Among the teams that are quarterback needy, most seem intent on their current situation, or appear ready to pick up their next QB in the upcoming April draft.
Teams like the Chargers, Bengals, and Dolphins all seem to be headed that route. Teams like the Colts and Bucs chose a 38-year old Philip Rivers, and a 42-year old Tom Brady, respectively, over Winston. And their former teams, the Chargers and Patriots, seem okay with their current situation right now. The Chargers are running with Tyrod Taylor, who has “bridge quarterback” written all over him right now, making it very likely the Bolts take a passer in the first round in April. The Patriots and Bill Belichick don’t appear to be a team ready to pickup Winston, knowing the cost and the turnovers, so you probably count them out too.
So where does that leave Winston?
I like Miami, but that isn’t happening and the Chargers make a ton of sense, but that’s a big nope. Washington would be an interesting team, but signing Winston all but assures the fans that they busted on Dwayne Haskins, last year’s 1st round pick. Other than that, looking at the big picture, it’s really starting to look like Winston will end up being a backup quarterback in 2020, and honestly, that’s a big shocker.
In any other season, Winston would have already signed on with a team like the Chargers, meaning they could invest their top 10 pick on other needs, but instead, they’ll likely use it on a quarterback, leaving Winston to wallow in free agency. And in any other season, a team like Pittsburgh, would already be searching for a replacement to Ben Roethlisberger, who lost the 2019 season to an arm injury.
And maybe that’s the best case scenario for Winston- sign on to backup one of the older quarterbacked teams in the league, like the Saints, Steelers, or maybe the Packers, and try to take a step back, learn from a veteran, and then get his shot in a year or two.
It’s a very odd situation for Winston, I don’t really understand how a quarterback with his talent, can’t find a new team, but I also get some of the logic from NFL teams around the league.
Despite the 30 interceptions last season, Winston has a ton of upside, and is easily at this point, better than a good chunk of the starting quarterbacks in the league. He’s a gamer; you will always be competitive with Winston under center, the only question is, which team will give him a chance to compete in 2020. The list of starting opportunities is short, the list of backup spots however, is endless. It’s quite a unique situation that Jameis Winston, and the rest of the football world find themselves in, how a man of such talent cannot somehow find a starting job in today’s NFL.