With the news this weekend that Bucs general manager Jason Licht signed a five-year extension was one of the most surprising developments of the summer, the fan reaction was about 50/50. But this could undoubtedly speak volumes for the future of Jameis Winston who was the 2015 1st overall pick. Though Licht has gone 27-52 since he took the reigns in 2014, the hiring of Bruce Arians seems to be one of the main reasons Licht was locked up for another 5 years.
Gregg Rosenthal of the NFL Network seems to believe this could mean big things if the Arians and Leftwich can indeed turn Winston around. Rosenthal writes
“With Licht, now having secured a new long-term deal, it’s easier to imagine the Bucs committing to Winston, too, if this final season of Winston’s rookie contract goes smoothly. As Licht should know well after four years with Winston, who has a 21-33 record as a starter and is tied (with Blake Bortles) for the second-most interceptions thrown in the NFL since he entered the league, that’s a big if.”
And that “if”, will indeed be the difference for Jameis in a season the league is seeing QB’s looking for big contracts (ie Prescott seeking $40M/yr). If Winston is going to lock up a 2nd contract with the Bucs, which no other QB has been able to do in the past, he’s going to have to make sure that he not only steps his game up, but shows Arians and Licht that he is worth that big-money contract.