Now that Tampa has moved on from Jameis Winston and signed six-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady, there is one question Bucs fans may need to ask themselves: “Is Jameis Winston the most memorable Buccaneer that fans will forget?”
The former Heisman Trophy winner posted on Instagram Saturday sharing his love and respect for Tampa. Winston also foreshadowed his return to Tampa in February, insinuating his future appearance in Super Bowl LIV. The gunslinger’s confidence proves he’s on a mission to keep his name on the minds of Tampa Bay fans.
Tampa Moving On
The Buccaneers didn’t bat an eye when it came to moving on from Winston to bring in Brady, and to a degree, rightfully so. Similarly, the Bucs handed All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy’s jersey to Ndamukong Suh last year, saying “see you later” to the Sooner. But if Brady comes in and does what Winston couldn’t by securing a playoff appearance and run at the Super Bowl, will fans bat an eye at forgetting Winston as quickly as the front office did?
For some fans, Winston was an introduction to a quarterback the Buccaneers never had before. For other fans, Jameis was an introduction to Jameson. But if you take a look at what Winston did the last five seasons, and you really might have to squint to truly see it, you will find that the former number one overall pick gave Tampa Bay fans a reason to watch every game.
Winston’s Time in Tampa
Winston was predictably unpredictable. The Buccaneer faithful went into every Sunday knowing that they had no earthly idea as to which Winston was going to take the field. And honestly, the coaching staff most likely felt the same way. No matter the matchup, Winston gave the Bucs a chance to beat the best and lose to the worst. Whether starting a game down 21 due to turnovers and blown coverage, or up 21 due to long drives and bullseyes, fans knew that the game wasn’t over with Winston under center.
Winston led the NFL in passing last year throwing for 5,109 yards to go along with 33 touchdowns and a league-high 30 interceptions. These stats played a large role in securing Tampa Bay’s seven wins, but fans will not forget how they led to the team’s nine losses.
What Will the Fans Remember?
Will people remember that the 48 Buccaneer losses in five seasons were due in part to Winston’s 88 total interceptions, or forget that the Bucs had three different head coaches during that span?
Could they remember that the Bucs only won 32 games in five seasons, or forget that a third of those wins (11 to be exact) came off a Winston game-winning drive?
Will fans remember his first and last throw as a Buccaneer resulted in a pick-six, or forget that Winston is the all-time leading passer in Buccaneers franchise history? I think we all were quick to forget that the second all-time leading passer for Tampa, Vinny Testaverde, threw 112 interceptions in six seasons…
The good, the bad, and the asinine… In five seasons, Winston threw it all out there. However, it took four losing seasons, three head coaches, three offensive coordinators, and arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time hitting free agency for the Buccaneers front office to forget about it all. Will fans remember that?