Reports have rolled in that Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston is seeking $30 to 35m on a long term contract. This is a steep price for a quart back who’s hit 2 historical markers for good and bad achievements. Among many of Jameis Winston’s accolades, he will be the first to have his Buccaneers career start and end with a pick 6 if GM Licht and HC Bruce Arians decide to move on within the next few months. To say it’s been an emotional roller coaster would be like saying the Gulf of Mexico is wet. Ignoring the multitude of off-field red flags that would hiccup or outright kill the average man’s career in the past 5 years has been interesting.
I’ll note here that it hasn’t been all bad, but when you’re on the topic of $30m, you’re investments have to have proper yield, and turnovers hurt that.
Winston’s lowest number of interceptions is 11, and that’s in a year where he didn’t play all 16 games. The following season he threw 14 interceptions. He was suspended the first 3 games and eventually benched after throwing 4 interceptions against Cincinnati during a controversy that doesn’t need a backstory. He said he was humbled and took it as a learning experience, but then this season threw for 30 and marked himself in the history books again. The turnovers are emotionally taxing for fans, the team, and for Winston himself. Despite knowing this, they’ve gotten worse; almost consistently. He’s now at 88, and realistically, he’s not even halfway through his career.
So the glaring question: Is he worth $30m? I’ll answer the question with a question: Do the Buccaneers front office, Jason Licht, and Bruce Arians have the time and patience to hold their breath on a maybe? The short answer is: Yes, they do. The long answer is: After bringing in Bruce Arians on a 5-year contract, the Glazers extended GM Jason Licht for 5 years as well. So this brings them another 4 years of righting the ship. While Winston passed Blake Bortles on INTs in 5 years with 88 INTs, he also holds a QBR average of 86.9 and throws for no fewer than 19 TDs in a season. You don’t let a 5,000 yard QB walk. Much to the dismay of many fans, the reality is at the bare minimum; he will be tagged. The development will be key for everyone, but we’ve heard that story before.