Quarterbacks are expensive. Really expensive. So expensive that most NFL teams see their roster crippled by their quarterbacks. Adam Stites over at SB Nation has the details of the absurd lack of success of expensive quarterbacks over the past two decades.
In the last 20 seasons, only four teams won the Super Bowl with a quarterback eating up more than 10 percent of the team's salary cap. Steve Young owns the record for biggest percentage of a team's cap space for a Super Bowl winner when he received 13.1 of the pay for the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.
Yet, when the 2015 season begins there are 13 teams scheduled to pay their starter more than 10 percent of the $143.28 million salary cap set in March. That number could go up soon, too, if Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks receives the big payday that he's hoping for.
This, thankfully, is not a thing the Buccaneers are going to have to worry about for the next four seasons. Winston's on a perfectly manageable, $25 million contract over four years. To keep him in Tampa beyond that, though, they'll have to life his fifth-year option which is equivalent to a transition tag -- Cam Newton's was worth nearly $15 million and Winston's will likely be significantly more expensive. And after that, the franchise tag steps in. Long-term extension or no, keeping him around after 2018 is going to be expensive.
There's a solid argument to be made that the Bucs' chances of winning a Super Bowl with Jameis Winston as their quarterback won't be higher than they will be over the next couple of years. Not only does his relatively low cap , the Bucs still have a number of superstars in their prime: Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson represent a pretty good core group of players, and they have depth at most positions.
If the Bucs are going to win a Super Bowl soon, they have to make sure they build around those superstars, and they have to do it soon, while they're all still in their prime and they have the cap space to do so, before they have to spend $25 million per year on Jameis WInston, hamstringing the rest of the team. Of course, if Winston's worth the $25 million per year that won't really be a problem.