Jameis Winston’s time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has come to an end, as the team made the biggest splash of the offseason by signing Tom Brady. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t make a good impression with head coach Bruce Arians, who took over the team last season.
Arians’ downfield aerial attack looked like it might be a good fit for Winston’s talents. In a sense, that was true. He threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 8.2 yards per attempt. All were career highs for the former Heisman winner and No. 1 pick.
Unfortunately, Winston’s mistakes outweighed his successes. He became the first quarterback to throw for 30 interceptions and 30 touchdowns, and set an NFL record with seven pick sixes, including on what ended up being his final play with the team, a throw that sealed an overtime loss. He threw interceptions on an eye-popping 4.8-percent of his pass attempts. Even so, Arians had some kind things to say about his former quarterback on the Rich Eisen Show today, and said that he called two teams to sing his praises.
“You’re going to get one of the hardest workers you’ve ever had,” Arians said that he told a couple of teams. “Great young man. It didn’t work out for us only because Tom Brady was available.”
Some good stuff here — Arians said he called two NFL teams to endorse Winston. Sounds like neither was for a starting job, just a spot on the roster. https://t.co/0b3U9zo02G
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 24, 2020
Arians also admitted that the Buccaneers were also interesting in Teddy Bridgewater. The New Orleans Saints QB2, who played well filling in for Drew Brees this year, wound up signing to replace Cam Newton as the starter with yet another NFC South team, the Carolina Panthers.
If not for those two situations, Arians says that the team would have been “full steam ahead” with Jameis Winston for 2020.
According to Arians, both situations were likely backup situations. He said one team wasn’t interested, but it is unclear whether the other stands. In any event, he will almost definitely land with a team soon. The opportunity that Teddy Bridgewater had, to learn and develop under guys like Sean Payton and Drew Brees, could serve as a model for Jameis as he looks to get his career back on solid footing here.