ESPN detailed the decision the Buccaneers would have to make with Jameis Winston and said sources believe Philip Rivers is a real possibility.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be making a decision in the next month on QB Jameis Winston as the franchise tag deadline looms large.
The Buccaneers can elect to use the tag on Winston, sign him to a long-term deal or sign him to a short-term deal. Right now, conventional wisdom says the Bucs will use the tag option as a way to further evaluate Winston without committing to him as the long-term option.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine detailed the decision process for the Buccaneers, including pros and cons for the organization.
According Laine, ‘league sources’ have said that the Philip Rivers to Tampa Bay discussions are more than just rumors. The Buccaneers have reportedly expressed interest in Rivers, as well as several other QBs including Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater and Ryan Tannehill.
Though the Bucs have shown interest in pursuing those avenues, Laine noted that Brady and Breese seem unrealistic and it would likely be a long shot for Tampa Bay to land Bridgewater or Tannehill, either.
That leaves Rivers.
The organization will likely do its due diligence in free agency and evaluate options of both Rivers and Winston.
If the Buccaneers aren’t sold on Winston- and these sources would indicate that they aren’t- and Rivers would agree to terms on a cheaper contract, we could very well see the former Chargers QB playing in Raymond James Stadium next season.
Though the chatter will continue through this month and into the deadline to designate the franchise tag (March 10), one thing is becoming clear: Philip Rivers is a real possibility.
Is he the most likely possibility at this point? I wouldn’t think so, but it’s certainly something for Buccaneers fans to keep their eyes on as we progress into free agency.