The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Is Jameis Winston’s time as a Buccaneer over?

Is Jameis Winston’s time as a Buccaneer over?

By James Bell


We are now past the halfway point in the 2017 NFL season, and expectations for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year have not been met by a long shot. There were some fans and analysts that felt that Tampa Bay would be able to contend for the NFC South title this year and make an appearance to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-2008 season. After nine games, the Bucs are 3-6 and with the other teams in the division all with records over .500 it would be very difficult for this team to catch up.

Of course there is a lot of blame to be pointed around within One Buc Place. The defense has been one of the worst in the league in yards allowed and third down conversion percentage. Their running game has also been ranked in the lower half of the NFL – actually only four teams have a worse running game than the Bucs – and the team as a whole scores under three touchdowns a game. However, the focus of the Bucs’ woes fall on the shoulders of their former #1 overall pick…quarterback Jameis Winston.

As a #1 pick, there is a lot of things to live up to especially when you have won a Heisman Trophy and a national championship in college. When Winston was selected by Tampa Bay he looked forward to proving himself in the National Football League. It has been getting close to three seasons with Jameis as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback, and it has not gone very well. Up to this point, he holds a record of 17-23 with no playoff appearances. His stats seem okay at first (over 10,000 passing yards and 60 touchdowns) but he has had a lot of turnovers and there have been times where he has made key mistakes that have cost the team games.

The first game of his career was marked with two interceptions with the first run back for a touchdown en route to a loss to the Tennessee Titans. He was part of a 5 turnover performance against the Carolina Panthers in his 4th game. This happened again in his 2nd pro season against the Arizona Cardinals. Tampa Bay did try to make a run for the playoffs last season, but a five game winning streak was snapped by the Dallas Cowboys due to 3 interceptions and one fumble lost by Winston. That put a halt to the playoff run.

This season, he has had good games and bad games. His performance against the Giants was impressive, but that was after a loss to the Vikings where he had three interceptions. As the Bucs were going through their five game losing streak before last week’s win against the Jets, there were times that Winston gave up the ball at key points of games.

For a #1 pick to have 15 turnovers in 2015, 24 turnovers in 2016, and now 8 turnovers so far this year is not good to say the least. Winston is currently suffering from an injury to his right shoulder which puts him out for multiple weeks this season. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the replacement, and the Bucs have won a game already with him under center. If they make a run in the 2nd half of this season without Winston, team management could make a decision on whether to keep him for one more year or let him go. His contract has him earning under 7 million dollars this season and he is due to make over 8 million dollars next season before his contract is up. With the way that he has performed so far in under three seasons, it would not be out of the question if he is released and Bucs management looks elsewhere for an answer at quarterback.

Photo by Joe Camporeale of USA TODAY Sports

Is Jameis Winston’s time as a Buccaneer over?
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Is Jameis Winston’s time as a Buccaneer over?

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