Pray for Jameis Winston's self-esteem after seeing Tampa Bay's QB "wish list"
Even before signing Tom Brady to a two-year, $50 million contract, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had already made it quite clear how they really felt about Jameis Winston. By not signing him to a long-term deal a while ago, or even franchise-tagging him when the time came, the Bucs basically told their former No. 1 overall pick to take a hike. Quite it a hit to the self-esteem, some would say.
The hits keep on coming for Famous Jameis, who is coming off a season in which he threw for a career-high 5,109 yards and a career-high 33 touchdowns. The problem, of course, was that he also threw 30 interceptions, becoming the first quarterback to ever join the "30-30 club." His turnovers are a huge problem, but if corrected, he's obviously still a starting quarterback in the NFL, right?
Apparently, not many teams believe that. The Indianapolis Colts would rather have the 38-year-old corpse of Philip Rivers. The Chicago Bears would rather have 31-year-old Nick Foles, who, despite winning a Super Bowl MVP, has become a journeyman. And the Bucs would rather have Brady, who will turn 43 this August.
As if this wasn't enough of an indictment on Winston, NBC Sports' Peter King revealed in his Monday column that the former Seminole wasn't even the No. 2 quarterback on Tampa's wish list. Had they not gotten Brady, Teddy Bridgewater was their next-best option. From King's column:
By the end of February, the Bucs had prioritized their top three quarterbacks, in order:
This means Winston, a 26-year-old quarterback potentially entering his prime, was the last resort for the team that selected him with their first pick in 2015 and gave him the keys to the franchise. End-of-the-road Brady and just-better-than-most backups Bridgewater were their No. 1 and No. 2 priority. Good thing Tampa got their guy in Tom, because the Carolina Panthers locked up Bridgewater for three years and $63 million. As for Jameis, he remains teamless, putting him in the same boat as the likes of Joe Flacco, Drew Stanton, Blake Bortles and 41-year-old Josh McCown, who is apparently still alive after taking that beating against Seattle in the playoffs. Let's hope Winston is still keeping that glass-half full mentality through it all.