More free agency winner lists that feature the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! Not in the way you expect, though: Pro Football Focus produced a list of the ten players who benefited the most from free agency, and one of them is apparently Jameis Winston, Bucs QB.
You see, he got DeSean Jackson. And DeSean Jackson is awesome.
Insert DeSean Jackson — one of the best deep threats in the league since being drafted in 2008. Jackson was targeted on deep balls 32 times in 2016, resulting in 16 receptions, 579 yards and three touchdowns. 36.0 percent of his targets all season long were on deep throws, third most in the league. Getting Winston a strong second weapon should be a boon to his development.
This is accurate. Jackson should be able to adjust to Winston’s often somewhat errant deep balls, given Jackson’s speed, and should force defenses to give more underneath space — or regularly concede the potential of a deep ball to Jackson. Either outcome would help Winston.
But this offseason also helps Winston in another way: contract talks. The Bucs can extend him starting next year, and he’s likely to become one of the league’s most expensive players when he signs his new deal — whenever that is. And this offseason will help make sure that it’ll be a very, very expensive contract indeed — because Mike Glennon, who could not get on the field with Winston ahead of him, got $14.5 million per year.
So Winston? He’s probably going to get north of $25 million per year. He may get to $30 million per year, even, if the salary cap keeps rising. That’s a lot of money, but that’s how the modern quarterback market works.