Anyone who has listened to coach Bruce Arians since the end of the 2019 season knows that the Buccaneers wouldn’t commit $27 million in 2020 to a guy who threw 30 interceptions in 2019 and who, most significantly from Arians’ perspective, regressed in the critical month of December.
The only real question is whether the Bucs would apply the transition tag to Winston, if the new CBA doesn’t get passed and teams have a franchise tag and a transition tag to use. But the Bucs have said or done nothing to suggest they want even a right of first refusal on Winston. Instead, it looks like they’re willing to let him hit the market, unless he accepts whatever the Bucs may choose to offer to keep him around.
The real question is whether and to what extent other teams will pursue Winston. Despite the interceptions, many of which comes from a lingering disconnect between what his brain thinks the rest of his body can do and what the rest of his body actually can do, Winston threw for 5,109 yards in 2019. That’s the eighth most of all time, with only four players ever generating more.
Will that be enough for other quarterback needy teams to pursue a player who has never fully lived up to the potential that made him the first overall pick in 2015? That remains to be seen. But as the Bucs prepare to make their final decision on Winston, there are scant rumors or reports about other teams planning to line up to make Jameis their next starter. Which makes the application of either tag on Winston even less likely.
Of course the Buccaneers won’t apply franchise tag to Jameis Winston originally appeared on Pro Football Talk