The list of quarterbacks making more money than Jameis Winston next season is stunning
In a league where teams are so reliant on competent starting quarterback play, it was a bit shocking to see how Jameis Winston's offseason played out. His former team, the Tampa Bay Bucs, didn't even place the franchise tag on him, instead making the biggest free agency splash by signing Tom Brady, sixteen years Winston's senior, to a two-year deal. The Pittsburgh Steelers, a rumored landing spot for Winston, where he'd eventually take over for franchise legend Ben Roethlisberger, didn't even make an offer. The Indianapolis Colts went with veteran Philip Rivers, the Oakland Raiders appear to be sticking with Derek Carr and the Chicago Bears traded for Nick Foles to battle it out with Mitch Trubisky. The L.A. Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars didn't appear to show much interest.
The left Winston in limbo, a terrible spot to be for a quarterback searching for a lucrative, multi-year contract. Winston had no choice but to settle on a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, a stunningly low number for a former No. 1 overall pick. The only thing more stunning is the list of quarterbacks who will be making more than Winston in 2020, compiled by NFL analytics guru Warren Sharp:
Peterman, Henne, Kizer, oh my! Be honest, did anyone reading this know Matt Schaub was still in the NFL? I consider myself a diehard NFL fan and had no idea he threw 67 passes in the league last year. Fifty-two of them came in his only start against Seattle, a game he threw for 460 yards and a touchdown in. Schaub!
What this list shows is is exactly what NFL teams thought of Winston's turnover-laden 2019 season. The 30 interception number is one that cannot be tolerated, especially in a league where possessions are so valuable and teams are passing more than ever. That said, Winston did throw for a career-high 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns last year. For context, Sharp's list of QBs making more than Winston combined to produce this stat line in 2019:
-Combined record: 3-19
-Passing yards: 5,559
-Passing touchdowns: 26
Again, not making excuses for Winston's picks, but there's no way Cooper Rush, CJ Beathard, DeShone Kizer, Chad Henne and Nate Sudfeld, all of whom did not take a snap in 2019, should be making more than Winston. But it doesn't sound like Winston is all that broken up about it, calling his opportunity with the Saints "like a Harvard education in quarterback school." He's not wrong. Count us among those rooting for him to learn to cut down on the turnovers, eventually get another starting job and maybe someday make (checks notes) Teddy Bridgewater-type money.