The Buccaneers parted ways with Jameis Winston this offseason, but was it deservedly so? We look at why Winston should still be a Buccaneer here.
Jameis Winston will undoubtedly be one of the most talked-about “what if” players for the Buccaneers franchise for years to come.
This offseason, the Bucs parted ways with former 2015 number one overall pick and signed Tom Brady to lead the Bucs for the next two seasons.
It’s hard to tell what is more peculiar, the Buccaneers landing Tom Brady or the fact that Bruce Arians came out of retirement and didn’t want a second season with Jameis Winston.
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Arians has a reputation for being a “quarterback whisperer” and helping uber-talented players that just haven’t been able to piece everything together.
But after one year, Arians called it quits with Winston and moved on to a known entity, and the question that needs to be asked is why?
Winston has been under the microscope his entire career, including college, after having off-field troubles at Florida State University.
While in college, Jameis was a Heisman Trophy winner and an NCAA national champion, transcending as one of the college football greats.
Jameis Winston was thrown into the NFL with the highest of expectations, and his rookie season was extremely promising, passing for 4,042 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions.
After his rookie season, the Buccaneers left him out to dry, and throughout five seasons, Jameis had three different head coaches as well as three various offenses to learn.
Although Winston had a great second year, passing for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns, the Buccaneers and Jameis dramatically regressed in his 3rd year.
The Buccaneers had a lot more to fix than just the offense, but still, the blame of losing was cast upon Winston in his third year, and on top of that, he missed three games to injury.
At the start of Winston’s fourth year, he found himself suspended for the first three games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Then Fitzmagic happened, where Ryan Fitzpatrick got the fans of Tampa Bay excited as well as Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter because they were winning football games.
But there was no reason Jameis had to fight for the starting role from a 35-year-old journeyman, and the 2018 season became a wash, with neither QB knowing what their role was with the team.
Finally, during the 2019 season, Jameis Winston was one of the most exciting players to watch because there was no telling what was going to happen, but after 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions, Winston was no longer a Buccaneer.
Many times throughout the season, Arians made it clear that a lot of the issues came from Jameis Winston knowing the offense and running it correctly, while the rest of the team didn’t know the system as well as Winston.
If Jameis Winston was willing to take a pay cut and be Drew Brees‘ backup, why didn’t he stay in Tampa Bay and do the exact same thing and learn from Tom Brady?
Did Bruce Arians and Jason Licht even make an offer? The answer remains unseen, but the Buccaneers never gave Jameis the full roster and time to settle in to be the best possible quarterback.
The mistake was that the Buccaneers simply didn’t bring Jameis Winston back.