Should the Buccaneers keep Jameis Winston or start fresh?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look ahead to next season, a big question looms: should they stick with quarterback Jameis Winston?

Jameis Winston’s chaotic season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was capped in the most appropriate way possible on Sunday afternoon. With the game tied at 22 and the Bucs driving in overtime, Winston threw a pick-six to Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones. It was the final play of the game and the year for Tampa Bay.

“I can’t think of anything worse,” head coach Bruce Arians said after the game.

With that pick, Winston became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season. He also threw for over 5,000 yards, the most in the league, and the team was the No. 3 total offense in the NFL. But his interceptions were a big liability that lost the team critical close games.

Winston’s rookie contract expires after this season, which leaves Arians and the Buccaneers with a difficult question: should they stick with Winston or start off fresh?

Arians didn’t shy away in his comments. When asked if he thought the team could win with another quarterback, the head coach said, “With another quarterback? Oh yeah. If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one, too.”

The consensus seems to be that Winston might be a good quarterback, but he’s not a great one. The goal of any team is to win a Super Bowl. Winston’s performance doesn’t suggest that he could do that. Even at his peak, his mistakes cost the team too much.

Others have suggested that maybe Arians hasn’t had enough time. The right coach might be able to help Winston get the interceptions under control. People should consider Winston’s picks not only his failure, but the failure of those around him to help mold the young quarterback.

It seems clear at this point that whether you blame Arians or you blame Winston, things aren’t working out in Tampa. And since the Buccaneers have given no indication that they are considering firing Arians, the natural conclusion is that Winston is on his way out.

Tampa Bay might be good with Winston, but it’ll never be great.

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