Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s rookie deal expires at the end of the season, and it still isn’t clear if he’ll remain the team’s starter beyond 2019. While Jameis Winston is atop a lot of quarterback categories, he also sits atop the interception category for all QBs.
Bruce Arians has staunchly defended Winston’s play. However, when asked whether he’d unequivocally support retaining the former No. 1 pick if Bucs ownership requested an evaluation this week, the head coach wouldn’t say.
“I’m gonna pass on that one,” said Arians, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “I’m gonna wait until the end of December.”
2019 QB Leaders in…
1. Jameis Winston (20)
2. Philip Rivers (15)
1. Daniel Jones (15)
2. Jameis Winston (12)
1. Kyler Murray (41)
2. Jameis Winston (40)
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) December 3, 2019
"If we do our job and if I do my job, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”
??: QB Jameis Winston pic.twitter.com/P94jE4OcmL
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 4, 2019
The quarterback’s turnover issues haven’t been fixed by the arrival of Arians, who has a long history of mentoring top-level passers. Winston leads the league in interceptions with 20, a career high, but his head coach has consistently said that they aren’t all the quarterback’s fault.
The 25-year-old’s game-to-game performance has been boom or bust for the 5-7 Buccaneers, who have been all but eliminated from playoff contention. Winston has six games with a passer rating of over 100, but five games with a rating below 75. Only once has the signal-caller finished a contest between those two marks (89.0 in last week’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars).
“There’s been really, really, really good and there’s been some really, really bad,” Arians said. “I’m gonna pass until it’s over and then we’ll make a decision.” Tampa Bay currently sits 14th in the 2020 NFL Draft order, likely too far back to land one of the top quarterbacks in the class without engineering a move up.