02/25/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/25/2020 16:02
Good, bad and ugly, Jameis Winston's play has certainly been entertaining.
Whether coach Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers decide to take another ride on the roller coaster with Winston seemingly remains in flux.
General manager Jason Licht, who also spoke Tuesday, indicated all options were open, as he did not rule out using the franchise tag on Winston, but also said they would explore free-agency options due to the collection of QB talent on the market. Drafting a quarterback is also a possibility, though Licht noted it would not be in the first round.
Winston's representatives and the Buccaneers are set to meet this week, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Rapoport added the expectation is still that Winston is coming back even though Tampa Bay will carry out its due diligence.
Another prospective issue is the aforementioned franchise tag and the possibility that the Bucs would have to decide between using it on Winston or free-agent pass rusher Shaq Barrett.
Winston is coming off a truly astounding season that was somehow, someway equal parts excellent and cringe-worthy. For the first time in NFL history, a quarterback threw for 30 or more touchdowns and interceptions in a season as Winston collected 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He also became just the eighth quarterback to hit 5,000 yards in a season as he tallied a franchise-standard 5,109 yards, but also set an NFL record with seven pick-sixes.
'I thought he progressed -- [but] I would have hoped to have seen more,' Arians said. 'Some of those mistakes in the last three or four games -- I would have liked to have seen erased. And hopefully they will be.'
So as it stands with the NFL Scouting Combine getting underway and February playing out its final days, the Buccaneers and Winston going forward seems somewhat like the QB's 2019 season in that anything can happen.
Said Arians: 'We should know a lot next week.'