In 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a very tough decision. They had the top pick in the draft, and needed a franchise quarterback. The NFL Draft offered up two spectacular collegiate quarterbacks in Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. The Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston out of Florida State with the first pick.
Since Winston’s been in Tampa Bay, he has been extremely productive. The only thing missing from his first 3 years in the NFL is a playoff berth. Tampa Bay has surrounded Winston with weapons galore and Winston has not disappointed. In three years, Winston has passed for over 11,000 yards, 69 touchdowns, and has a passer rating of 87.2%. The only knock on this franchise quarterback are the number of turnovers. He had 44 interceptions in his first 3 seasons. After the 2018 season, Jameis Winston will be in his option year. Winston signed his rookie contract in 2015, which was 4 years at 25 million dollars. In 2018, Winston will have a base salary of $705,000 and his bonuses will add up to $7M. He will be a cap hit of $8M for the upcoming year.
I don’t believe there is any chance that Tampa Bay lets Winston test the market after the 2018-2019 season. He may demand a bigger contract than that of San Francisco’s new quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo (5 years/137.5M$). This may make the future tough on signing WR-Mike Evans or TE- Cameron Brate. Winston will eventually cut down on the turnovers because of the maturation process that comes with being an NFL quarterback. Winston is a gunslinger like another legendary quarterback, Brett Favre. An organization doesn’t see quarterbacks like Winston every draft so please, Tampa, pay the man. No one should second guess the decision of locking him up for the future. Who knows, maybe Winston will give the Buccaneers a discount like Brady does for the Patriots.
Edited by Morgan Adele