From the Cheap Seats: Is Winston that Crazy Ex?


Upon further review, was drafting Jameis Winston a mistake? The answer is not as clear as you may think. If there is one thing that is certain, it was one crazy ride.

The Crazy Ex

Dating a crazy girl or guy is a lot of fun…until…inevitably, the police end up in the driveway. There is excitement and adventure and the good times are absolutely epic. Eventually, it all goes wrong.

This was the wonderful world with Winston at the helm of the Buccaneers. He provided epic and unforgettable great times. So much fun! Also, from time to time, it all imploded into an absolute disaster.

Just like with your crazy ex, all the signs were there before you got into the relationship. The history was there. He was reckless with the ball in college, but he won and won BIG. The red flags were all over the place and not the kind with a skull and crossed swords. You dove headlong into the adventure. You reaped the rewards and paid the price.

Two Clear Options

It was 2014 and the Buccaneers were struggling mightily. There were two quarterbacks coming out of college that had captured every team’s attention. The only debate was “do you pick Mariota or Winston first?” Would the Bucs get the first selection or would it be one of the other teams that were struggling? Losing the final six games answered that question. The Buccaneers were awful, but there is a reward for that, the first pick in the draft. Now the decision had to be made; Mariota or Winston?

Winston/Mariota/USA Today
Winston/Mariota/USA Today

Winston was a college football Champion. He was a Heisman winner. Mariota was also a Heisman winner but had fallen short in his bid to take home the college football crown. Winston played in a pro-style offense while Mariota didn’t.

No Clear Answers

Five years later, Winston is no longer a Buccaneer, but it sure was one crazy ride. He has all of the markings of a “crazy ex”. Man, was it fun at times. He shattered pretty much every single Buccaneers passing record during his time in Tampa. Most touchdown passes (121), most touchdowns in a single game (5), and the most in a season (33). He holds the record for the most passing yards in a Bucs season, game and career and the most completions in a season, game and career. It sounds fantastic, right? He also holds game, season, and career records for interceptions and pick sixes. He threw seven pick sixes last season alone. Winston’s statistics are outrageous and phenomenal in pretty much every good and bad category. 

Wait. Who?

The ultimate question that many are wondering is, did the Buccaneers make the right pick? He is gone so initially the thought may be “no way”, but the only other real choice at the time according to the experts was Mariota. He lost his starting job earlier than Winston did. Does this mean that the experts were wrong?

If you look at the 2015 NFL Draft, there were no other quarterbacks taken in the first round. As a matter of fact, the next quarterback taken was Garrett Grayson in the third round. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints. He is not even in the league at this point and Winston has a spot on the Saints.

Just because Winston is no longer a Buccaneer does not mean that he was a bad selection in the draft. Sometimes there simply are no great options. The 2015 Draft is not highly regarded in review. The Buccaneers desperately needed a franchise quarterback, but it appears that there might not have been one in the 2015 draft class. It can also be easily argued that Winston was what the Buccaneers needed at the time. The team is far better than it was before he was drafted, but when the opportunity to sign the quarterback widely accepted as the best in the history of the NFL, it is very difficult to pass up.

But I Wonder…

It’s normal to look back on occasion. No one wants to admit it, but everyone looks back at the crazy ex and remembers the good times, especially when you are dating the safe option. OK, maybe they weren’t good for you, but boy were they ever fun. “I wonder if someday we could ever get back together?” Sometimes it’s best to just move on…but maybe…

That’s how I see it, From the Cheap Seats.