Former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston will once again start for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they take on the San Francisco 49ers this coming Sunday.
Winston was brought into last week’s loss to the New York Giants after Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled with turnovers. This came mere weeks after Winston himself was benched following 12 turnovers in just four games (three starts).
At issue here is Winston’s future with Tampa Bay. His 2019 salary of $20.9 million is guaranteed for injury only, meaning the Buccaneers can get out from under it should Winston remain healthy. Given his regression, it’s not a guarantee Winston will in fact be back with the team in 2019.
In talking about that possibility for the first time, the embattled signal caller didn’t necessarily seem committed to the Buccaneers long term.
“Yeah, I just know that I’m committed to this team, and committed to doing my best to provide an opportunity for me later,” Winston said, via ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Notice how Winston is focusing more on himself as an individual and his future rather than taking a team-centric approach? It’s an interesting quote from the struggling quarterback.
Outside of his struggles on the field, Winston was suspended to open the 2018 season after an off-field issue in Arizona years back. Obviously, his maturity has come into question in recent years.
What we do know is that Winston’s future in Tampa Bay could be tied closely to a head coach in Dirk Koetter who is firmly on the hot seat right now. Koetter’s decision to start Winston and risk long-term cap issues for the Buccaneers magnify this even further.