What Is Winston’s Future with the Bucs?




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Jameis Winston has been relegated to backup quarterback to make way for Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Everybody loves the backup quarterback.  The moment the starter starts to flounder, especially if that starter is not yet established as the franchise, fans are ready to kick the bum to the curb.  The leash for a franchise quarterback is usually a lot longer, but when you’re also dealing with character questions, that leash is shortened. With the regression Jameis has shown this year, there comes a point that the coach has to do what gives the team the best chance to win.  But when it comes to making decisions that will have implications for not only this game but future seasons, then we have to look at many factors and not just the poor play in recent weeks.

For many, the character questions surrounding Jameis coming into the NFL were already strike one.  There were multiple issues that had to be looked at before deciding if this kid was going to be the #1 overall NFL pick in the 2015 draft.  Back in the 70’s when a top-rated NFL player was paid with $30,000, three free suits, and a 12-pack, teams could take gambles on players based purely on football skill.  Now when you’re talking about contracts that run into nine digits and can saddle a team with cap stress for years, character issues have become quite important.

I understand the character question still lingers over Jameis, but I really believe that these issues are behind him and should not be the reason we decide not to move forward with the idea of this gunslinger leading our team. Regarding his regression this season: is it because he started the year watching Fitz set records and was pulling the trigger too tightly?  Is he really having that much trouble picking up coverage and making decisions about whom to throw to?  Will being relegated to second string as a healthy player be enough to make him realize he is a work in progress and work even harder?  We finished dead last in the NFL in 2014, and earned the right to draft #1 overall.  If Winston is going to have a successful career in the NFL, shouldn’t it be as a  Buccaneer?  Would the fifth year option payment to find out be worth the risk?  Are you a gambler?