It appears the New Orleans Saints are moving on from Jameis Winston, which means the first step for a reunion in Tampa Bay has been taken.
As Michael Scott once said, oh how the turntables have turned.
Three years is a long time for wounds to heal, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans are wondering if it’s long enough for any hatchets to be buried with Jameis Winston in order for a reunion to be possible this offseason.
Fans have already been asking about Jameis returning given the Bucs quarterback situation. Kyle Trask is the only guy under contract and Tampa Bay will need to add at least one more guy to the quarterback room this offseason. With barely any wiggle room with the salary cap — a situation so dire that Devin White appears to be on his way out as a result — Winston made sense in theory.
The only problem was he was still under contract with the New Orleans Saints. That might be changing in the near future, however.
According to Adam Schefter, with news that the Saints are adding Carr the team is expected to cut Winston to save money and make room in the quarterback room.
“With Derek Carr headed to New Orleans, Jameis Winston now becomes a likely salary-cap casualty,” Schefter reported. “New Orleans could move on and save $4.4M against the salary cap, but it would take on $11.2M in dead money. A post-June 1 cut would save $12.8M, but no savings until then.”
It’s a move that makes sense after the Saints added Carr, but it marks yet another time in Winston’s career where he’s been the odd-man-out after his team finds a new quarterback to lead the way.
Buccaneers News: Will Jameis Winston return to Tampa Bay in 2023?
Winston landed in New Orleans as a result of the Bucs replacing him with Tom Brady back in 2020. A number of other things went into the decision, as it appeared as though the Bucs were going to move on from Winston before Brady became a possibility, but once that option was on the table it ended all chances of Winston coming back.
Could the tide have turned?
Tampa Bay needs a quarterback and Winston needs a job. There wasn’t too much bad blood when the sides parted ways three years ago, with Jacob Licht championing Winston and Bruce Arians going out of his way to support his former quarterback. While Winston no doubt wanted to bury the Bucs when they played in New Orleans, the immediate concern over his injury on the Tampa Bay sideline showed just how much he’s still loved by his former coaches and teammates and was the first indication that a reunion might be possible.
Lest we forget the deleted Instagram post where Chris Godwin stuck up for Winston after members of the defense trolled him following Tampa Bay’s win over the Saints last season.
All of this is to say it seems the door remains partially open for a potential reunion. Whether or not it happens or makes complete sense is yet to be seen.
Tampa Bay needs a quarterback, but it seems like Kyle Trask will get a shot to start in 2023 so the team can see if he has what it takes to be the franchise’s future. Would Winston return to the team that already discarded him just to potentially be back in the same position again? Would Winston want the Bucs to pay a premium for him to return given how they got rid of him once already? Will another team offer him a better opportunity and a fresher start?
There are a lot of variables, including the Saints holding onto Winston instead of making him a cap causality.