As of mid-February the Bucs have made no decision on the status of quarterback Jameis Winston.
Bruce Arians was quoted as saying “Really nothing has changed,” What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
Arians added that the Bucs will probably not make any decision until the legal free agent tampering period begins March 16-18th.
For more analysis on the pros and cons of the Bucs signing Winston, you can check out these three articles.
One quarterback the Bucs should take a pass on is former Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
The Chargers and Rivers officially cut ties last week and Rivers moved his family to Destin Florida in January.
The move to Florida had all the experts wagging their tongues proclaiming that this would prove it. The Bucs were moving on from Winston and Philip Rivers was going to be the new man at quarterback for the Bucs.
The experts were basing their reasoning on the moving of his family to Destin Fl which they assumed was really close to Tampa, and the Bucs would be signing Rivers shortly.
Any knowledgeable Floridian knows that Destin is in the Florida panhandle and not even remotely close to Tampa. Tampa is 435 miles south of Destin and the NFL cities of New Orleans, Nashville, and Atlanta are all closer to Destin than Tampa.
The Bucs need to say no to Rivers for a couple of reasons.
Rivers is 38 years old and had one of his worst seasons in recent memory as he threw 23 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions which was a career high for Rivers.
Quarterbacks who have played in a Bruce Arians offense always seem to make a big improvement from year one to year two. Year one always seems to be a struggle as they learn the offense.
Rivers is a statue in the pocket. The man cannot move very well at all. Playing behind the porous Bucs offensive line, Rivers would be lucky to make it through one half of a pre-season game unscathed.
The Bucs have a mediocre running game. There is no Melvin Gordon that Rivers can hand off to, that will get those tough yards.
A Bruce Arians offense requires a lot more out of the quarterback than many other offensive schemes.
Rivers will be required to throw the ball a lot more and he will not be able to beat the defense with his legs and get out of trouble like Winston does on occasion.
According to Spotrac, Rivers estimated average annual salary in 2020 will be 24.3 million dollars.
Why would the Bucs pay a 38 year old quarterback who is on the backend of his career that amount of money?
You can pay Winston a 25 year old who is entering the prime of his career a salary of approximately $26.7 million a year.
There will be a lot of free agent quarterbacks available that would make sense economically for the Bucs.
Teddy Bridgewater may be available depending on what happens with Drew Brees. Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, and Ryan Tannehill will also be available.
Dalton is under contract, but the bengals are expected to cut him.
Nick Foles of the Jaguars could also be available for the right price.
The Bucs can do better than Phillip Rivers. There is no question that if the Bucs move on from Winston they are sending a message to fans that they are again re-tooling, not rebuilding at the quarterback position.
And there is a difference.