Last season, Jameis Winston committed the cardinal sin of guys still playing on a rookie deal. It was his ‘prove it’ year where he was supposed to drive up his asking price by having a great season. When you look at his yardage total (5109) and touchdowns (33), he did.
But his 30 interceptions drastically impact the perception people have of his talent and ability. So, when the Buccaneers had a chance to acquire Tom Brady, they did, leaving Winston without a job.
It’s a rare position for a former No. 1 pick to be in, not getting a second contract with the team that drafted him. Yet, that seems to be a reality for Winston. However, he is bound to land somewhere and get a second chance. But where?
DraftKings as odds on where they think Winston may land in 2020:
- Jacksonville Jaguars +250
- LA Chargers +500
- Pittsburgh Steelers +800
- Denver Broncos +1000
- New England Patriots +1200
- Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans +1400
- New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins +2000
- Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles +2500
- Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers +3300
- Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers +5000
- Dallas Cowboys +6600
- Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Giants +8000
- Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, LA Rams, Minnesota Vikings +10000
- Cleveland Browns +25000
So– where is he going to go?
We can eliminate the teams with odds of +5000 or longer since they will not need him. Detroit and Chicago could be considered maybes, but the Bears just acquired Nick Foles. As for the Lions, they have shown no interest in preparing for life after Matthew Stafford, yet.
With Winston, it is important to keep in mind that is chances of getting signed to start this coming season are slim to none. The only teams really in the market still are the Bengals, Dolphins, Patriots, Chargers, and maybe the Jaguars. The Bengals and Dolphins are expected to draft quarterbacks. Jacksonville is going to stick with Gardner Minshew.
That would leave the Patriots and Chargers.
Anthony Lynn appears set to use Tyrod Taylor as a bridge QB this season knocking the Chargers out. Belichick may need a QB, but he is not going to have the patience for a guy that threw 30 interceptions last season.
No, Winston’s best chance of being on a roster is going to be as a backup, which opens up a few possibilities.
There has been a lot of chatter about the Steelers bringing him in as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup. With Foles no longer in Jacksonville, Winston could be a good backup for Minshew. But adding Winston could be viewed as preparing for Minshew to fail (which would not be good).
Due to his 30-interception-season last year, there may not be a market for Winston where he gets paid more than league minimum. He has shown flashes of talent, athleticism, and ability over the last few years, and Bruce Arians seems to think highly of him.
But if he works as hard as Arians says, how come his skill set still appears to be so raw?
So—who should you bet on?
Like Cam Newton, his future will probably not develop until after someone gets hurt. If he is willing to take whatever someone offers, then the Chargers, Jaguars, and Patriots are possible. It would not be shocking if he held out for a higher payday and ended up getting left behind and waiting on the injury bug to bite.