NFL rumors: Jameis Winston could be headed to the Cincinnati Bengals

By Vincent Frank
Sep 27, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) prior to kickoff against the Green Bay Packers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

NFL rumors this past offseason painted an unflattering picture of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers No. 1 pick Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay moved off of him after bringing in Tom Brady. This came following a 2019 season in which Winston threw 33 touchdowns against 30 interceptions.

The quarterback’s decision to sign a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints was made under the guise that he could learn from head coach Sean Payton and future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. Logically, this made sense for Winston given that no team had interest in him as a starting quarterback.

Fast forward several months, and Winston remains on the bench despite Brees’ current injury. New Orleans shockingly went with Taysom Hill over the former Florida State standout. We now have some more NFL rumors regarding Winston’s potential next landing spot. To say it’s interesting would be an understatement.

Related: Top Saints QB options for 2021

NFL rumors: Jameis Winston could be headed to the Cincinnati Bengals

As ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted, this has everything to do with the status of rookie No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, the stud young quarterback suffered tears to his ACL and MCL back in Week 11 after being on pace for a record-breaking rookie campaign.

Given the severity of said injury, Burrow’s status to open up the 2021 NFL season on the Bengals’ active roster is clearly up in the air. As of right now, Cincinnati only has former mid-round pick Ryan Finley under contract behind Burrow at the quarterback position next season. Current starter Brandon Allen is slated to become a free agent and has struggled big time since taking over under center.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Bengals, check out #SeizeTheDEY rumors, rankings, and news here.

From a Bengals perspective, adding Jameis Winston to the mix as a stopgap option would make sense. There’s absolutely no reason to rush Burrow back from injury. His importance to the Bengals’ rebuild extends to far beyond the 2021 season. As for Winston, we’re not 100% sure he’d be interested.

Recent reports suggest that the Saints view Jameis Winston as Brees’ potential heir-apparent despite having just recently extended Hill and starting the unproven signal caller over his counterpart. Perhaps, Winston will stick it out with the Saints.

Related: Top 40 remaining NFL free agents of 2021

NFL rumors: Jameis Winston in free agency

NFL rumors: Jameis Winston, Bengals
Nov 15, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws during warm ups prior to kickoff against the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With all of that said, Winston’s market will dictate what happens with him. He’s been unable to prove himself with the Saints this season, which leads to speculation that a backup job is in the cards until Winston can actually see the field on a consistent basis.

However, there’s going to be about a dozen teams looking for new starting quarterbacks once March comes calling. NFL rumors will more than likely link Jameis Winston to one of those openings.

At the very least, it’s going to be a fluid situation once the 2020 NFL season comes to a conclusion.