Jameis Winston thanks Buccaneers for 'great' five years, vows to return to Tampa Bay for Super Bowl LV

Yahoo Sports

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston appreciates everything the organization has done for him over the past five seasons. Winston thanked the Bucs on Saturday, sending all love and respect to the organization and the city.

Winston, 26, then vowed he would return to the city soon ... for Super Bowl LV.

One assumes Winston meant he would be playing in Super Bowl LV — which will be played in Tampa Bay. That’s a bold claim considering Winston doesn’t have a team yet. He either feels confident in his abilities, or is planning to sign with an elite team. Either that, or Winston is planning to attend Super Bowl LV as a fan.

Jokes aside, Winston’s message to Bucs fans was sincere, and we shouldn’t be too mean. Over five seasons with the team, Winston — who was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2015 — threw for 19,737 yards and 121 touchdowns.

His time with the team, however, was plagued by inconsistency. Winston threw 88 interceptions and fumbled 50 times over that period. In 2018, Winston was temporarily benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

While Winston led the NFL in passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns in 2019, he also tossed a league-high 30 interceptions. It’s telling that head coach Bruce Arians did not want Winston back in 2020, instead opting for 42-year-old Tom Brady.

Jameis Winston should draw interest on the free-agent market

Given Winston’s age and potential, he should draw a fair amount of interest on the free-agent market. It’s unclear whether teams will view him as a sure-fire starter, though. While Winston can put up numbers, his propensity for turnovers can severely damage a team.

Getting Winston to cut down on those mistakes would go a long way toward unlocking his full potential as a quarterback. There’s probably a coach out there who believes they can do just that, but Winston’s history suggests that won’t be easy.

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