Buccaneers entertaining keeping Jameis Winston on possible two-year deal, per report

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, like a number of clubs this offseason, have a decision to make under center. Former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston is set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year begins on March 18, and the Bucs will need to decide if they want to maintain the status quo at quarterback or reboot.

While there has been some speculation that veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, who recently parted ways with the Chargers and even moved his family to Florida, could be an option for Tampa Bay, the Bucs aren’t ruling out a Winston return, it appears. According to Jenna Laine of ESPN, the team has entertained the idea of a two-year deal for Winston that includes a team option for 2021. 

The first year of that discussed deal, Laine reports, would be fully guaranteed and be roughly around $27 million, which is close to the franchise tag. 

This deal would be advantageous for the Bucs as it’d allow them to get another look at Winston for the 2020 season to see if he can improve from his inefficient 2019 campaign where he threw a league-high 30 interceptions to go along with his 33 touchdowns and a league-leading 5,109 yards through the air. If he cannot, the team would then have the flexibility to move on this time next year and search for a new signal caller. 

The real question, however, is whether or not Winston would sign such a contract. The only way that would seem likely is if he’s the last man standing in this looming game of quarterback musical chairs this offseason. 

Currently, the Chargers, Raiders, Colts, Titans, Bears, Panthers, Dolphins and Patriots are all teams that could be looking for a quarterback this offseason. Meanwhile, Tom Brady, Rivers, Ryan Tannehill and Teddy Bridgewater are just some of the other free agent quarterbacks that are going to be on the market. 

If both Winston and the Bucs both strike out in free agency, it’d then make sense for the two sides to reunite on a deal similar to the one that is reportedly being discussed, give it another year, and re-evaluate next offseason. 

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