The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a weird spot at quarterback.
They have not committed to bringing back Jameis Winston, and that makes sense. But they also don’t know what other options they have.
Winston is perplexing. He threw for 5,000 yards last season, but also posted the NFL’s first 30-interception season since 1988. His good moments are very good and his bad plays are hideous. It’s hard to invest big money into that.
At the NFL scouting combine, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians explained that Tampa Bay might have an option it likes more than Winston, but that’s an uncertain path.
And the path could include Tom Brady, Arians said.
Buccaneers feel they ‘can win with’ Jameis Winston
There might be more options at quarterback than usual this offseason, and that changes the Buccaneers’ thought process.
“That’s the thing, you’ve never seen a quarterback market with like Tom Brady and Drew Brees and Philip Rivers and all these guys that are potentially going to be out there,” Arians said on NFL Network. “You don’t know what trades might happen. You don’t know who is behind door No. 2 yet, then you can make a decision.”
Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network said it seemed as if the Buccaneers will bring back Winston unless another preferred option is available.
“Pretty much it,” Arians said in response. “We can win with Jameis, there’s no doubt about that.”
That echoed what general manager Jason Licht said at the combine.
#Bucs GM Jason Licht: “We’re not saying we don’t want Jameis. We just want to see what’s behind door number two. We just want to gather all of our information.”— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) February 25, 2020
Could Bucs be interested in Tom Brady?
Does “door No. 2” mean Brady? Brady doesn’t really seem to fit Arians’ deep-passing offense, but it’s clear why the Buccaneers could be interested in the all-time great quarterback, even as he will turn 43 years old in August. There are some other options the Buccaneers could be looking at, but Arians mentioned Brady.
Asked for examples of NFL quarterbacks he'd pick up the phone for in free agency, Bruce Arians said "Tom Brady. Philip (Rivers) is another guy. We'll see."— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
There are deadlines, before free agency starts, for franchise and transition tags. The Buccaneers will have to make those choices with Winston before the free-agency picture is clear. Arians said Winston doesn’t know what the Buccaneers plan to do. They’re keeping it a secret.
“We have a plan, we’re just not telling anybody,” Arians said on the NFL Network set.
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