The Buccaneers are expected to use their franchise tag on Shaquil Barrett if the two sides can’t come to a contract agreement meaning that it’s more likely than not that Jameis Winston will hit the market. Tampa Bay could offer Winston a new contract, but without a lot of leverage on his side, it’s starting to sound like it’s more likely than not that Winston will be looking for a new home very soon.
Based on the latest report from NBC Sports’ Peter King, that’s indeed the ‘likely’ scenario.
“Where will everyone land? I kept asking people here about the fate of Jameis Winston, and I couldn’t find a landing spot for him. I doubt sincerely he’d be a starter on opening day 2020 if he leaves Tampa (which is likely), but where would/could he be a backup?”
Tom Brady is set to become a free agent as well and if he decides to sign elsewhere then the Patriots will, of course, be looking for a new signal-caller. King suggests that Winston, among other quarterbacks, could garner interest from New England for at the very least a starting quarterback battle.
“After the draft, there will be four or five vets looking for a landing spot. Will one—Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Case Keenum, someone else—still unsigned by May 1 be interested in a one-year, low-money deal to recharge a career and have the chance to play for the six-time Super Bowl champs?”
It should go without saying that this ‘report’ is based on King’s own beliefs as well as other people he’s talked to about the situation, but he is a guy that is very much so plugged into the NFL.
Winston playing for a different team next season wouldn’t necessarily be a shock, but maybe he opts to sign a ‘prove it’ type deal to remain in Tampa Bay.