Yesterday, we heard from Jenna Laine of ESPN.com that Buccaneers brass is undecided on what to do with quarterback Jameis Winston, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Laine reported that members of Tampa’s front office have gone back and forth on the enigmatic signal-caller, unsure if he is the right person to key a return to competitiveness.
And as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, there have been no contract discussions of any kind between the Bucs and Winston. Given his uncertain standing within the organization, that makes some sense, but it’s somewhat curious that Tampa hasn’t at least reached out to Winston’s camp to see what kind of deal he’s looking for.
However, Florio says the fact that no conversations have taken place does not mean that the team necessarily plans to move on from Winston. All options remains on the table, including a long-term deal, a bridge contract, or even a franchise or transition tag. The Bucs and their former No. 1 overall pick will engage in talks after the season to determine if there is a mutually agreeable arrangement to be reached. While recent reports suggested that the team planned to retain Winston, it doesn’t sound as if that is set in stone.
Seemingly every game he plays, Winston shows flashes of brilliance emblematic of his draft status, but he struggles to avoid head-scratching and crippling turnovers. He is all but certain to crack 5,000 yards passing for the first time in his career in the Bucs’ season finale against Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, and he has thrown for a career-high 31 TDs. But he also leads the league in interceptions (28), and if he throws two interceptions versus the Falcons, he will become the first player in history to throw 30 touchdowns and 30 picks in the same season.
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