Buccaneers absolutely do not regret biggest roster change
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers don’t regret anything with their quarterback change.
We all knew this was coming. The online presence talking about the Buccaneers was already a strange place, but the departure of Jameis Winston brought out a new side of the fanbase that makes it hard to open your phone at times.
When a big-name player leaves a team, most fans leave them in the past. You don’t throw shots at them when they leave, but you also don’t buy their jersey when they go to a division rival. It’s not like many Bucs fans went and bought a Gerald McCoy jersey when he went to Carolina, and he was here twice as long as Winston and found much more individual success.
Winston has been a different story entirely. Every time his name is mentioned, Bucs Twitter erupts into a frenzy. Some Bucs fans own Winston Saints jerseys. Others dedicate entire Twitter accounts to every interception that he ever threw.
Winston is the most polarizing player in franchise history by a healthy margin, which will make him and his relationship with the Bucs the topic of discussion for this fanbase and media for a long time to come. We all knew the question was going to come after the preseason, but even seeing it makes it impossible to prepare for how outrageous it actually is.
“Will the Buccaneers regret replacing Jameis Winston with Tom Brady?”
Just search “Jameis Winston Buccaneers” anywhere. These takes exist, and some people whole-heartedly back them up. Selective memory sure is special, isn’t it?
The Bucs let Winston walk to add the best player in the league’s history, and they won a Super Bowl in year one. It took Tom Brady less than 365 days to take this team from being outside of the playoffs to beating Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on the biggest stage in North American sports.
Yes, there were other factors at play with Brady joining, but again, we are only looking at results. This has nothing to do with Brady or Winston, but more how wrong the above take is. We can say with absolute certainty that the Bucs don’t regret winning a Super Bowl.
Winston had a good performance in his debut with the Saints, but perhaps the stats aren’t the only way to look at this game. It may be easy to focus on just the touchdowns and say that Brady is not as good as Winston, which is a real way some people will try to justify this, but that doesn’t consider numerous other factors.
Brady still had the better 2021 debut between the two quarterbacks, and it isn’t particularly close.
Brady had more passing yards, played a more significant role on the offense, didn’t have the same run game as Winston, and the Buccaneer defense did worse against the Cowboys than the Saints’ D did against the Packers. Winston does have the touchdowns in his favor and did look good in Week 1, but an unbiased assessment still has Brady over Winston.
Winston looks good in the Saints’ system, but which QB hasn’t in the past?
Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill, and a nearly one-armed one-legged Drew Brees shined under Sean Payton. How many other quarterbacks looked great in year one under Bruce Arians other than Tom Brady?
So, Brady is still playing at an extremely high level, won a Super Bowl with the Bucs in year one, and is showing no signs of slowing down. This is the player the Bucs “regret” taking over Winston?
Tampa had no choice.
At this point, Brady could retire at the same time as Winston. There is certainly some humor there, but it is tough to say when his career will end. At this rate, there has been no drop-off from the GOAT, so his time in Tampa could be longer than most fans expect.
Even if Winston and the Saints make a deep run in the playoffs and the Bucs don’t, there is absolutely no regret. Tampa won the Super Bowl, and that was the entire goal of making that decision.
Winston can and likely will go on to have a good season with a great Saints team, but it is laughable to persist that the Bucs regret signing Tom Brady to win a Super Bowl one iota.
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