Dirk Koetter told the media that he has made his choice as to who will be under center in Chicago on Sunday when the Bucs kick off against the Bears.
All signs are pointing to Ryan Fitzpatrick getting the nod as I believe he gives the Bucs the best chance of winning this game. Fitz has been one of the top QB’s in the league these first three week of the season passing for over 400 yards in each game with 11 TD’s and 4 picks.
Fitzpatrick has also developed a chemistry with DeSean Jackson as DJ has almost as many TD’s this season after three games as he had all of last season. This chemistry with DJ was sorely lacking last season with Winston under center.
After the game in Chicago, The Bucs will have their bye week as they are one of the first teams to get the bye this season. Depending on how Fitz performs against the Bears, we could see Winston back under center when the Bucs take on the Atlanta Falcons following the bye.
Winston has been the starting QB for the Bucs since being drafted out of FSU in 2015. This is year four of his rookie contract and at some point this season the Bucs are going to have to decide if they want to bring back Winston back for the last year of his rookie contract at a price tag of close to 21 million dollars.
If the Bucs elect not to pay Winston his money, they will again be starting over at the QB position. As well as Fitzpatrick has played this season, he is 35 years old and is not the answer long term, nor he is the QB of the future here in Tampa.
If I would have asked anyone at the beginning of the season if you would be happy with a 2-1 record against three playoff teams from last year New Orleans, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, you would have taken that in a heartbeat with Fitzpatrick under center while Winston served his suspension.
At some point Fitzpatrick will cool off. It is unprecedented that Fitz would maintain this high level of play for 16 games. The Bucs will need Winston at some point this season, and will have to determine if he is indeed the QB of the future.
I am betting on Winston getting his job back at some point this season. Don’t forget that Koetter and Licht are also under pressure after last years debacle to get this team turned around and headed in a positive direction. To say the Bucs need to make the playoffs for Koetter and Licht to keep their jobs is not out of the question.
Is Winston the the QB that can lead to the Bucs to the playoffs? Win a Super Bowl? The Bigger question is can he and will he conduct himself in a manner as to not embarrass himself and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization.
The Bucs are going to have to pay someone to come in and take over the QB position if they decide Winston is not the answer. Someone will get paid. 20 million dollars may seem like a bargain for a franchise QB after the dust settles this off-season. Look at the big money paid out to QB’s this off-season. Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins are just a few names that come to mind.
I am putting my money on Winston for at least the 2019 season. I think the Bucs will pay Winston the 20 million dollars for the 2019 season and then take their time as they decide if Winston does indeed have a future in Tampa Bay.