With the season over after a 7-9 record, the number one question surrounding the Tampa Bay Bucs is what will they do with quarterback Jameis Winston, who is set to become a free agent. The Bucs can choose to re-sign him, place the franchise tag on him, or let Winston walk in free agency.
For fans looking for quick answers to this question, you will have to wait a little longer. Bruce Arians cut right to the chase at his press conference with the media on Monday, saying that it’s going to take some time before a decision is made.
“I’ll save your breath about asking me about Jameis,” Arians said. “There’s not going to be a decision made for a while. So that’s a moot point right now.”
Arians cited that there is a lot to evaluate when it comes to Winston, and even when a decision is made, it won’t be made public.
“I would think in a few weeks we’ll have a decision in which way we want to head.” Arians said. “We will let it out? Probably not because you lose your leverage on that one, too. Stay tuned.”
Winston had one of the more interesting seasons for a quarterback this year. Winston became just the eighth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season, and was second in the league with 33 touchdowns. But Winston also led the league with 30 interceptions while becoming the first quarterback in league history to join the 30-30 club for throwing at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season.
“The mechanics improved dramatically,” Arians said. “Everybody talked last year that he can’t hit a deep ball, he might be the best in the league. I think that and repetitive mistakes, how many of there were those, and all those things go into it. It’s frustrating to see the growth was great, but to see the regression in some areas was very frustrating.”
The decision on Winston isn’t exactly black and white. For all the positive statistics that Winston has put up to help the Bucs win, his turnovers have also contributed to some losses this year, including the last two games against the Texans and Falcons. The turnovers have been an issue for him for his entire career. In other words, there’s been a lot of good and a lot of bad over the year with the Bucs quarterback.
“I think that’s where you sit down with him and talk it all over,” Arians said. “All of us, Clyde [Christensen], Byron [Leftwich], myself, Jameis, look at it and evaluate it. Is 5,031 [yards] good enough to win a championship, or is the 31 and whatever many fumbles losing the championship? So that’s where you go with it.”
As far what exactly Arians has to evaluate with Winston, there’s a lot of factors involved in it.
“Everything,” Arians said. “Every snap. Run game, passing game, interceptions, completions, the whole thing. There’s still a lot of evaluation to go into it. We’ll sit down as a group and talk about each guy individually here Thursday and evaluate where we want to head.”