Where Will Jameis Winston Land?
The new NFL league year started nearly two weeks ago, and as free agency slows to a crawl with April approaching, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is still on the market.
At just 26 years old, Winston leaves the Bucs after five seasons, which is all he needed to become the team's all-time leader in every major passing category.
But while Winston has put up huge numbers throughout his NFL career so far, it's likely one big stat that's keeping him from getting the interest he was hoping in free agency.
Winston has turned the ball over more than any other quarterback in the NFL since he entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Last year, despite leading the NFL with 5,109 passing yards, becoming just the eighth player in league history to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a season, his performance was marred by a whopping 30 interceptions.
Winston already had turnover problems throughout his career, but 30 interceptions in a season was shocking, even for him. To make matters worse, seven of them were returned for a touchdowns, a new single-season NFL record.
So, despite all the good Winston has accomplished in his NFL career thus far, it seems that teams are still wary of handing him a starting job because of his propensity to give the ball to the other team.
The Indianapolis Colts opted for Philip Rivers to replace Jacoby Brissett, the Carolina Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to a 3-year deal, and the Las Vegas Raiders signed Marcus Mariota to be Derek Carr's backup. Ryan Tannehill re-signed with the Tennesse Titans, and the Chicago Bears traded for Nick Foles.
There are still a handful of intriguing situations across the league, which Winston and his camp are surely keeping their eye on. The Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and even the New Orleans Saints could be potential landing spots for Winston, but none of them are looking for an immediate starter. The New England Patriots appear to even be willing to roll with Jarrett Stidham as their starter rather than bringing in Winston.
Winston's best bet will be to find a situation similar to what Tannehill found with the Titans last year, hoping to turn a backup job into a hero situation if the starter ahead of him fails to live up to expectations.
In the meantime, as the Bucs move forward with Tom Brady as their new starting quarterback, Winston is the latest in a long line of Tampa Bay quarterbacks who haven't stayed in town for the long haul. The team has never given a second contract to a quarterback they've drafted, and Winston won't be the first.