It ended with an interception being returned for a touchdown. Not the way you want an era to end, but it sums up the Jameis Winston era in Tampa.
Winston came to Tampa as a fan favorite. The Heisman Trophy winner from Florida State. A number one pick in the 2015 draft. Winston was drafted to change the fortunes of Buccaneer football.
The quarterback position was to be solidified for years. The playoff drought would end and the Bucs would be perennial playoff contenders every year.
A Super Bowl was on the horizon.
Sometimes football is just like life. It never turns out the way you hoped or planned it would.
With the news that Jameis Winston had signed a one year contract with the division rival New Orleans Saints, the Winston era officially ended in Tampa.
It has never happened in the history of the NFL, that a quarterback has led the league in passing yards one season and had his contract not renewed the next season.
Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019.
Winston took a $19 million dollar pay cut to sign with the Saints and is number three on the depth chart behind Drew Brees and Taysom Hill.
Winston will be paid 1.1 Million dollars for the 2020 season plus incentives.
While in Tampa leading the Bucs, Winston compiled a 28-42 record in the games he started and had just one winning season. That was in 2016 when the Bucs went 9-7.
There was some good and a lot of bad in Winston’s five years in Tampa. But the most important part of a quarterbacks resume is wins and losses I know that wins and losses are not officially a quarterbacks stat, but that is the measuring stick.
Winston failed big time in that category.
Winston did set a bunch of franchise records in his five years and also set a few NFL records along the way.
Winston is the only quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 450 yards in two consecutive games. He also is the only NFL quarterback in the 30-30 club.
In 2019, Winston threw 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
Winston owns the Buccaneer records for most touchdowns Passes with 121, most passing yards 19,737, and most fumbles in franchise history with 50 losing 33.
Winston is second in franchise history with 88 career picks behind Vinny Testaverde’s 112.
The biggest factor in Winston no longer being on the Bucs roster is his turnovers. Winston had 121 turnovers in his Buccaneer career which averages just over 24 per season.
Winston also had a propensity for turning the ball over at the most critical point in aa game.
It doesn’t matter if you have a great offensive line, or the best receiving group in the league. When you turn the ball over an average of 24 times a season it is impossible to win.
Winston said he opportunities elsewhere for more money, but in the end felt the situation in New Orleans was the best for him personally.
Winston took a parting shot at current Bucs management and coaches on the way out saying, “.Being a part of the New Orleans Saints, being with Drew Brees, Taysom Hill, Sean Payton, coach Joe Lombardi, coach Pete Carmichael Jr., when you think about that room, that’s like a Harvard education in quarterback school. So I wanted to put my ego aside, put the money to the side, to think about my family, think about my career.”
It’s not like Bruce Arians, Byron Leftwich, and Clyde Christensen are chopped liver. And let’s not forget Tom Moore the special assistant.
Arians has forgotten more about an NFL offense than some guys will ever know. The Bucs coaches gave Winston every opportunity they could to succeed, and Winston could not take advantage of the opportunity.
He fumbled it away, just like we saw him do it on the field.