Quarterback Jameis Winston, a former No. 1 overall pick, is now an unrestricted free agent, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to decide if they want to ink him to a long, lucrative extension. Winston put up career numbers in 2019 with 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns, but he also threw a career-high 30 interceptions.
While the talent is evident, Winston's decision-making is questionable, and because of that, it's not a given that the Buccaneers will extend the 26-year-old. It's impressive to lead the league in passing yards, but a "30-and-30" season is not exactly ideal.
During media availability on Tuesday ahead of the NFL Combine, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians was asked if he would let Winston reach free agency without a franchise tag. He responded that he hasn't made that decision yet, and will once he knows who else is available. Arians also said that they should know a lot more next week.
Shortly after his press conference, Arians joined NFL Network for another interview. He indicated to Andrew Siciliano that the Buccaneers know exactly what they are doing at the quarterback position, but that Winston does not know their plan. Per Ian Rapoport, Arians said that the team is doing their due diligence on "Door No. 2" to make sure they enter 2020 with the quarterback they are 100 percent confident in under center.
Arians pointed out the robust quarterback market this year in free agency. For the first time in his career, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is entertaining the idea of leaving Foxborough, the Los Angeles Chargers they will let Philip Rivers hit free agency and other prospects such as Teddy Bridgewater will be available to sign with new teams. There are also some talented signal callers available in the draft, so the Buccaneers definitely do have options.
It sounds like the Buccaneers just want to examine all their options before they re-sign Winston to a multi-year extension, because they certainly have not ruled that out.
"We can win with Jameis, I know that," Arians said.
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