The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Twitter account. You can submit your question each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.

Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the PR Bucs Monday Mailbag.

Question: This question isn’t about what the Bucs “will” do with Jameis Winston or “should” do with Winston. Instead, here’s my question: Is there any way you could see that the Bucs can win consistently with Winston assuming he continues to struggle with turnovers?

Answer: Yes, the Bucs can win – that was proven in Sunday’s 38-35 win where Jameis Winston had three interceptions – but can they do it consistently? Can they overcome Winston’s turnovers enough to win a Super Bowl? That remains to be seen. Yesterday’s game proved something I have been saying for a while now, and that is, if Tampa Bay’s defense can help negate Winston’s turnovers with takeaways of its own, the Bucs have a chance to win.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

People want to argue when I bring up Brett Favre, given the fact that he played in a different era, but who just so happens to be the NFL’s all-time leader in interceptions thrown. Yet, Favre was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Favre threw 336 career interceptions – 336! Winston with 81, would have too throw 255 more in his career to match Favre’s total. In his 20-year career, Favre had a 3.3 interception rate. Guess what Winston’s INT rate is? You guessed it – 3.3, which is the exact same number as Favre.

On Sunday, Winston became the NFL’s all-time leader in yards passed before the age of 26. Think about that. Winston has thrown for more yards before age 26 than anyone in the last 100 years of NFL football. And with his 111th TD on Sunday, Winston has thrown the second-most touchdowns in NFL history before the age of 26. The one player ahead of him? Legendary Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who had 117. With three games left, Winston is likely to be No. 1 in that category before the season is over.

A player doesn’t do those things by accident.

Now can Winston win consistently with those type of turnover numbers? Even after the brilliant career Favre had, he still only won one Super Bowl in those 20 years he played. And an argument could be made that had Favre been more careful and less turnover prone, he could have won even more titles. In fact, Favre’s last pass of his NFL career was an interception that ended the Vikings chance of reaching the Super Bowl in 2010.

I don’t know if Winston can win a Super Bowl throwing interceptions at the rate he does. But in 2015 if someone had a crystal ball and said that after five seasons Winston would have the most touchdowns and passing yards in NFL history before turning 26, there isn’t an NFL executive or fan who wouldn’t say, “Draft him now!”

Question: What contract would you offer Bucs QB Jameis Winston after a game like he had on Sunday?

Answer: Sunday’s 38-35 win against the Colts was really a microcosm of Winston’s five-year career. Busch Gardens, Disney or Universal Studios should design a roller coaster and call it, “The Jameis Winston Experience.” Ups, downs, twists, turns, back-flips, sudden stops and breakneck speeds all wrapped into one. The problem is, how many people would want to ride a roller coaster with this many unpredictable turns? It would be scary yet exciting all at once. And they better have the warning sign that says, those with high blood pressure and anxiety should consider not entering this ride.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Do Jason Licht and Bruce Arians enjoy roller coasters like “The Jameis Winston Experience” enough to get back on it in September of 2020? Will the ride become more tame? Is it re-designed to make it less frightening? Or does it stay the same? The one thing I believe is, if Arians and Licht decline to jump back on, there are plenty of other thrill seekers in NFL front offices who will pay their admission and eagerly jump in line to take a spin.

Personally, I would offer up a one-year deal to Winston, whether it be a transition or franchise tag, and see if I can smooth out the ride, and make it more family-friendly. The Bucs won’t be in a draft position to get LSU’s Joe Burrow, the only quarterback that looks like safe bet star of the future. The other options are to find a free agent to run this offense like Arizona did with Carson Palmer. But does a player like Andy Dalton make you want to ride that particular ride? Is it thrilling enough?

Offer Winston a one-year, $20 million deal with incentives that could drive it up in the top-tier of salaries for quarterbacks if certain incentives are met – particularly wins (more), and interceptions (fewer).

Question: The players are talking a lot about the culture in the locker room changing. Is that the truth or just talking points? Can the culture change last through what will undoubtedly be another offseason of change?

Answer: The changing of the culture isn’t just talking points. We are seeing it first hand right before our eyes. And it can sustain through the offseason if the Bucs’ front office can keep some of the key pieces together moving forward.

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh
Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh – Photo by Getty Images

Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett must be back, along with outside linebackers Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib, who happens to be a captain. And don’t rule out defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh returning as well. Players and team sources I have talked to off the record have nothing but great things to say about what Suh brings to the table and what he has brought to the table this year.

Then there is Jameis Winston. Regardless of your opinion of Winston, even his harshest critics can’t argue his passion and will to win. Maybe he wants it too much. Winston doesn’t mind the money he earns playing football. I am certain he very much enjoys it. But Winston is a throwback type of player who plays football mainly because of his love for the game.

Winston would have fit in well in past generations of NFL players – guys who didn’t earn a ton of money, but did it because they loved it. I imagine even at holiday family reunions, Winston is the one getting a backyard game of football together – even as a professional. If the Bucs don’t bring Winston back in 2020, then they must find someone with the same love and passion for the game that Winston has.

The Bucs are figuring things out and continuity will be the catalyst for success moving forward. It won’t necessarily be easy give the salary cap situation, but as Scott Reynolds point out last week, it isn’t impossible.

Question: Hey, Mark. My question is do you have any insight on whether Bruce Arians “wants” to be back to coach next season. He’s already retired once and this season hasn’t gone exactly the way he thought. Also, any other coaching changes can we expect in 2020?

Answer: Good question, and one that I began asking myself when the Buccaneers were sitting at 2-6 just a few weeks ago. I also began asking around some of the sources in the building and the answer I got was a resounding, yes. The only thing that will stop Bruce Arians from returning in 2020 is a serious health issue, or him getting fired. And according to those around him, the health is just fine, and ownership loves what they are seeing from the team as of late.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Arians has pride. The last thing he would have wanted on his coaching resumé was a one-and-done disappointing failure of a season in Tampa Bay. Even had the Buccaneers continued to lose and had finished at 3-13 or 4-12, that would have actually been even more of a reason he would want to return according to those I spoke with last month. In fact, had the Bucs won a Super Bowl this year by some miracle, that would have prompted another retirement from Arians even more so than an 0-16 season.

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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martinii

I think the key is winning these next 3 games. Will take a lot of pressure off “Need,” players and allow us to focus on “Best player available.” I agree that Oline and RB are priorities, but if this team can put together 7 Wins, especially 4 in December we will have made huge strides going forward. Winning trumps draft picks, FA’s, and coaching. I see DB’s improving, a solid Dline, and a top 5 receiving corp in 2020. I would re-sign as many Dline as possible, give Jameis an incentive loaded 2 yr contract and if he walks so… Read more »

MizzouBucs24

I’m sure your right, there won’t be a line of QB needy teams wanting a 5year veteran QB with more yards and (probably) more TDs than any other QB in the history of the league before he turns 26 years old. That would be silly. Especially since there are all those Brad Johnson type QBs out there ready. Boy oh boy Andy Dalton sure would be nice or maybe Griffin can come in and throw check downs for 60 mins every Sunday. Lol

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bucballer

Book it! Winston will be the Buc’s starting QB next year. Done deal. The only question is will it be a one year Franchise top 5 salary or will the Buc’s and Jameis work out a multi year contract at some kind of lesser amount than the Franchise tag and loaded with incentives.

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buddah

If the Buccaneers give up on Winston, he will have a myriad of suitors. Trust me. Don’t worry, BA will be back and I would put the odds at 10-1 that Jamies will too. Do you hear how his teammates talk about him? With new coaches likely in both Carolina and Atlanta and New Orleans slipping a notch, the sun is starting to shine on the Buccaneers future. We may not have turned the corner, but we can at least see it,

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mjmoody

Mark, I will respectfully continue to disagree. Brett Favre, sir just nope. I watched Saints v 49’ers and KC v Patriots after my Bucs’ played on Sunday. You want to bring up Favre. Fine. The Colts were a .500 team at best. My guys struggled. You put this team, in its current state, in the Playoffs…the Shark Tank of the Playoffs. Embarrassing. I like what this team is doing. Vea, White are playing pretty good. 2ndary is showing effort. IDK what to do with Jamies. He finally hits #12 in stride and it pops his Hammstring. And yet, we all… Read more »

Buc-in-Philly Fan

I don’t really even know what you said. I am more confused now than when you posted your comment…

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I am not sure how we can afford Shaq, JPP, Nassib and Winston. But if there is a way please lets do it. The draft should be all in the trenches with the first 3 rounds. The best tackle at 1 and best available guard/tackle at 2. We have a mediocre line WITHOUT an injury. 3rd pick D line or best available. A four game win streak sounds really good!

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SenileSenior

This old guy has a problem with the roller coaster ride. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t just sit and watch. I have to find a new way to deal with it. It is not easy to change lifelong habits.

Maybe I will have to just stop watching the Buccaneers games.

Not on your life! ;D
_______________
Go Bucs!!!

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BigSombrero

Damn. Those were some great questions and even better answers. This has been the most exciting season of Buccaneers football I can remember for a long time. This offense is explosive and that has more to do with Winston than any coach, scheme or player. As Mark Cook pointed out, Winston is on pace for some incredible numbers and he’s in elite QB company. Also, he’s done it in 3 different systems under 3 different coaching staffs. Yes, its frustrating to watch Winston throw INT’s on the “let’s-warm-him-up” short passes to start games. I would rather they start games off… Read more »

mbrown758

I say Winston is our best bet. I didn’t agree at first, but Winston has convinced me. He infuriating at some times, but he’s resilient. He got ARM talent. I also say we keep the entire defense front line.

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DonkeyHunter

It’s lazy to compare players from completely different eras.

But, but, but…he has the same INT% as Favre…yet the league-wide INT% is continuing to decline every year, and has been doing so for decades.

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AlbJack65

Lazy to compare players from different eras? Does that mean if Barrett breaks Sapp’s team record for sacks in a season it’s meaningless?

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DonkeyHunter

If you think this league, offensively, is the same as it was in the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s…then I don’t know what to tell you.

You know, because Wilt would drop a 100 point game in today’s NBA too…right?

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Brian

But you said nothing of the other half of the argument that was proposed by Mark in the article. So, let’s say the league has evolved offensively and there are fewer and fewer INT’s making the Favre comparison less relevant. Granted. What about total yards and TD’s that were mentioned? He currently sits #1 ALL TIME pre-age 26 in yards and #2 ALL TIME pre-age 26 in TD’s thrown and might move past Manning this season? That seems pretty relevant to the evolved passing game of the NFL to me. Are you arguing his production too? You can’t pick one… Read more »

DonkeyHunter

How many QB’s in the last 30 years came into the league at his age? It’s not as if you’re comparing him to a large sample size.

The age thing is silly.

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AlbJack65

Yes, DonkeyHunter, I’ve seen the SLOW evolution of the game since I started watching the NFL in the early 70’s. The passing game has grown over the decades. But the 90’s and 00’s were by no means “3 yards and a cloud of dust”. We’re talking about comparative stats to Brett Farve, who only stopped playing 9 years ago. Good Lord, man. We aren’t talking about Y.A. Tittle or Sammy Baugh.

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DonkeyHunter

During Favre and Manning’s first 5 years, how many QB’s threw for 4K yards or more?

During Winston’s first 5 years, how many QB’s threw for 4K yards or more?

It’s a different game.

Hell, from 1990 until the mid-00’s…how many seasons had more than 5 guys producing more than 4K passing yards?

Now, same question regarding this decade?

Again, it’s a different game.

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EastEndBoy

It’s possible to bring back loads of this team…the question is, is it wise to do so? Big picture: Winston, Barrett and Nassib are due sizable raises – perhaps as much as $40m extra (over 2019) cap is needed for that. We are a little under this year’s cap, and get to roll some toward next year’s. But by and large, big picture, just think that if we’re giving those 3 guys big raises, (all else equal) then that has to come from getting rid of (or renegotiating) some other guys (LaVonte?, Suh?, Gholston?, Brate?, Perriman?, Jensen?, JPP?), and then… Read more »

BigSombrero

SR’s Fab 5 addressed some of your concerns. I also took a stab at a possible way to move forward. Check it out and let me know what you thought!

https://www.pewterreport.com/srs-fab-5-lichts-challenge-of-keeping-bucs-pass-rushers/

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EastEndBoy

I think it’s definitely a possibility, and we’re going to have to compromise somewhere, so there probably isn’t a fool-proof solution. I guess my concerns with your proposal are: 1) it relies on Dean/Davis/SMB having arrived as starting-caliber CBs….have they? 2) it relies on one of those three being able to perform as a CB1 consistently – I haven’t seen that yet – not that it can’t happen, it just must happen if we bring in no new CBs. 3) it requires some very good drafting by Licht – that worries me. 4) it means the right side of our… Read more »

BigSombrero

Trade OJ and 3rd to Arizona for Pat Peterson who has one year remaining at $13m. Draft RT, RB, OL in round 1, 2, 3. Upgrades at all key areas.

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EastEndBoy

I bet a good GM could get Peterson for less than that…AZ won’t re-sign him (they’re rebuilding).

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surferdudes

I’m not sure what the market for Winston would be if he became a FA. The off field controversy we all argued about when he was drafted, and still do, would be brought up all over again wherever else he signs. He might be a hard sell for a new fan base. He’s all time leader in turnovers since entering the league, had some questionable off field incidents, been suspended, has a losing record, never been to the playoffs. I think most teams won’t break the bank to bring all that to their town. The best option for Winston might… Read more »

bucballer

Barrett, Nassib, JPP and Suh. If Jameis gets Franchised 2 of the 4 wont be back. This is very important, which do u choose? I think most fans agree Shaq should be resigned. Out of the remaining 3… I just don’t know. JPP and Suh r the most important in my opinion. Although Suh doesn’t always show up on stat sheet his impact is important! Him and Vea r a pick ur poison dilemma for any team. But, JPP is a beast coming off the edge. Ideally, u would like to keep Shaq, JPP, and Suh! Nassib would be the… Read more »

seat26

I think if Bucs win the next three games with Winston at the helm, they end up keeping him for at least one more year. But they have so many other priorities, it will be tough with the cap and still be able to keep Barrett, JPP and Suh. It took 10 games for the Bucs to get to the point where the defense looked like it is jelling. And the secondary still looks like it needs help. Assuming that Licht is still here next year, this next draft will need to be a great one. And think of the… Read more »

AlbJack65

Hmmmm……3 wins in a row and suddenly the parade of idiots calling for losing on purpose to gain a better draft position seems to have dried up. Could it be that the “nattering naybobs of negativism” are enjoying the Bucs winning instead of constantly seeing the glass as half empty? It’s a fact in life that the vast majority of pessimists claim to be “realists”, mostly because they are embarrassed to admit that they are pessimists. I’m not a real psychologist, but I play one on TV. TCraz on the WDAE morning show comes to mind. Love the show though.… Read more »

Buc off

Winston has had an extra year on Peyton Manning for the TD before 26.

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AlbJack65

So Manning had 1 more year of college football than Winston to hone his skills before he turned pro. Pretty easy to make that decision to stay an extra year in college when you are already financially set for life. Manning also had an old man who was a former NFL QB from which to glean knowledge and training starting at a very early age. I have nothing against Manning, love the guy, very talented and competitive, one of the greatest. But Winston is much more athletic and is still somewhat raw. Let’s see what the next 5 years brings.… Read more »

plopes808

I’m sure Winston will take a “Brady” type deal in order to keep the band together. Resign Shaq, JPP, and Nassib (Suh depending on cap space.) Sign a FA DB for some leadership in the secondary then draft Oline, RB, BPA. If the cap is too tight I’d suggest renegotiating with Gholston who has a sizable contract and doesn’t jump out performance wise. If not, we could probably find a run stopping DE in the draft or FA for cheaper. I can’t think of any other big priced guys unless Lavonte is willing to take a “Brady” deal as well.… Read more »

AlbJack65

I agree with you. I think Winston wants to stay and win here and takes a reasonable deal. If he stays and wins and we make playoffs regularly, he WILL want to be paid. I’m fine with that. He can make you pull your hair out at times, but he is exciting as hell most of the time. I for one LOVE that gunslinger mentality. The D will eventually gel into a consistent force to be reckoned with. It takes time.

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AlbJack65

I think Brate can be added to the list who would renegotiate to stay here. Same with Jensen. Possibly Marpet and D Smith as well. Mike Evans has renegotiated before to help the team, time for some other cats to step up as well. Trim $1million at a time in a few spots and suddenly the cap opens up. Licht and Greenburg need to get creative to hold the front 7 of the D together. Draft best available OL 1st, 2nd and 3rd round, sacrifice 4-6 spots to move up in each round. Reducing Rookie contract dollars leaves more available… Read more »

plopes808

True, I forgot about Brate and his $7 million contract. He has great chemistry with Jameis but we aren’t using our TEs much so definitely too much money

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bucballer

Plopes… I agree! Gholston is a prime candidate to deal away. Production often trails salary. Also, u must look at Brate. In this case it has nothing to do with production because he is money for us. It’s strictly salary and the fact that OJ has so much potential and is beginning to flash. Lastly, Jensen. Makes a lot of money. We don’t always get value with this contract. I think he could be replaced for half his salary. I’d make these moves all day long if it means keeping D-Line together for one more year or so. Suh is… Read more »

scubog

It’s still too early to start the salary cap ciphering trying to determine who will stay, who will go or who might perhaps take a reduction or demand a raise. I’ll leave that up to the folks who do the real player evaluations and add up their corresponding salaries. Clearly there are both over-compensated and under-compensated players on this team. It is encouraging that the roster actually has a lot of players we should want to retain. It also is made up of a group of players who are “just a guy” and could easily be replaced with an equal,… Read more »

surferdudes

A lot will depend on our draft status, and who will be available when we pick. Also who will be available in FA that has a lot to do with who stays, and who goes next year. Kwon was up for a big pay day, and we had the option to draft White, and Kwons gone. Same will happen this year, to early to tell who that might be.

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BigSombrero

And Kwon is on IR again this year in SF since week 7. Turns out it was a good call to move on from Kwon, regardless of draft prospects. The Bucs will draft 3 players in the top 100. All 100 come with risk, upside, and NFL inexperience. Constantly drafting in the top 10 is a hollow prize that rarely turns franchises around. Good organizations develop a culture of comraderie, accoutability, and trust and are able to develop players more effectively, regardless of when they are drafted or signed. BA is spearheading this culture. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00… Read more »