The Buccaneers quarterback situation is one many teams never wish to be in. But Tampa Bay has faced several challenges like this in the past. This offseason is no different.
Jameis Winston’s future is uncertain. There is no true indication that he is returning. There are also no indicators that Tampa Bay is 100-percent bringing him back. Sure, there have been reports of the team tagging him. There have also have been rumblings of Winston’s camp wanting north of $30-million which has gotten under the skin of many in and out of the organization.
It’s not that it’s a Winston thing. It’s a market thing. And that’s the problem.
Believe it or not, there are teams that can and are willing to pay Winston the price tag that his camp is looking for if Tampa Bay does not go to the table with said amount. All this could have been avoided, though. By not trying to come to a realization on a potential extension perhaps last offseason, the young quarterback’s reps essentially allowed for him to bet on himself and play this season on the option and earn more. With many variables factoring in to his interception crisis of 2019, there is a good chance Winston will get what he wants.
So the advantage goes to the signal caller.
By doing the above, the Bucs are in a position that may give them options. But options that put them in bad spots.
Drafting a quarterback is always a risk. This option is the go-to for many but with being such a complex offensive system, how quickly can a rookie really pick it up? How successful can they be?
Bringing in a veteran wouldn’t be bad. It would at least have a quarterback that already understands the NFL game. Perhaps a Teddy Bridgewater? Matt Stafford? Phillip Rivers? All have been talked about and linked to the Buccaneers, even Tom Brady on national radio for some reason. But if you bring in a veteran, how long will he be in pewter for? The good thing is if it’s an older vet, it can act as a bridge to a younger guy. However, that carries no guarantees for success.
Bringing back Winston carries many uncertainties and many questions. But with a year already under his belt in this offense and now a full offseason to study and reflect on this offensive scheme, Year 2 could prove to be better.
Former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer went through a similar situation under Bruce Arians in Arizona. His first year in the system was one he wants to erase. The years following, though, were much better. Palmer feels we can see the same scenario play out with Winston in Tampa Bay.
“You don’t have that experience in Year 1,” Palmer said on “The Rich Eisen Show” Thursday. “You need Year 1 to go back and watch the film and see yourself doing it wrong and the receivers seeing themselves doing it wrong and then Year 2, really things start to click.
“It takes years for the quarterback and it takes years for the guys outside because there’s multiple opportunities where receivers have the opportunity to run one of two routes and they don’t make that decision and make that cut until they get to the top of the route. And that’s just something, you need time, you need experience within that system and that’s something you don’t have.”
If you’re Jason Licht, what do you do? Do you fold and sign him to the extension he wants? If tagging is an option, you’d risk losing him if the wrong tag is used.
Would you let him walk and draft a guy with no NFL experience into a complex offensive system? Or maybe bring in a vet to either take over for a few years/one season while a young guy sits and waits?
The future success of the franchise is dependent on the quarterback. Again.
What should the Buccaneers do at quarterback?
This poll is closed
Bring Winston back.
Set high importance on drafting one.
Sign a veteran.
Rent a vet short-term to pave the way for a young quarterback.