This offseason may have the craziest quarterback carousel we’ve ever seen. Jameis Winston was displaced as Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB1 by none other than Tom Brady.
As most of the dust has settled, Jameis and Cam Newton are the two biggest name quarterbacks on the market. The options for both are very murky. Newton is a recent MVP, but has had two straight seasons derailed by injury. Jameis Winston is talented, but a turnover machine the likes of which we’ve rarely seen.
Last season, he threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, but 30 interceptions. He also ended the season with a game-losing Pick Six, his seventh interception for a touchdown on the year. That was good enough to nab an unfortunate piece of NFL history.
In all likelihood, he’s going to have to sign somewhere as a backup, and hope for a chance to prove himself. Teddy Bridgewater pulled off that move, using a successful stint with the New Orleans Saints filling in for Drew Brees to get a lucrative deal from the Panthers. Now, he has Newton’s job. Bleacher Report‘s Mike Freeman has identified some options for Winston, the former No. 1 pick.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) April 1, 2020
Freeman spoke to an anonymous AFC assistant coach, who outlined five potential fits for Winston. Three are very much in the Bridgewater/New Orleans mold (including the Saints themselves), one strong franchise that could coach him up, and one wild card situation in which he believes Jameis might be able to push the starter.
• Steelers: “He fits into what they do pretty well, and you know Ben [Roethlisberger] will miss a few games [due to injury].”
• Packers: “Having him around Aaron Rodgers would only help him.”
• Saints: “Same situation except with Drew Brees, and a great coach in [Sean] Payton.”
• Ravens: “One of the best offensive staffs in football.”
• Rams: “He could energize that offense.”
The Rams situation is definitely the most interesting. Jared Goff was very good in 2018, and tailed off hard last fall, leading some to wonder if the league had figured him out.
Winston is only 26, and was the more vaunted player coming out of college than Goff, the No. 1 pick one year later in 2016. Sean McVay getting a chance to work with him would be very intriguing, as would the possibility of Winston vying as a successor to Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, or Drew Brees.