There was some question about the future of quarterback James Winston in Tampa Bay. Having struggled with consistency and turnovers on the field, Winston was benched for backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick multiple times during the 2018 campaign.
This came after the former No. 1 overall pick was suspended to start the season due to off-field issues.
With the Buccaneers now looking for a new head coach following the firing of Dirk Koetter, some openly wondered whether Winston would return to the team next season. General manager Jason Licht pretty much ended that speculation a day after his Buccaneers finished up a 5-11 season.
Licht on Winston: “Jameis Winston will be here…he has done some amazing things…accomplished more than some of the elite quarterbacks at his age. There’s a lot to like about Jamies and he’ll be here next year.”
— Ryan Bass (@Ry_Bass) December 31, 2018
Tampa Bay picked up the $20.9 million option on Winston’s contract for the 2019 season back in April. Though, that cash is guaranteed for injury only. Given that Winston finished the season healthy, the Buccaneers can get out from said contract without paying a penny of the $20.9 million.
Obviously, Licht and Co. like what they saw from Winston to conclude the 2018 season. The former Florida State star threw 11 touchdowns compared to three interceptions over the final six games.