Jameis Winston’s fifth-year option creates a dilemma for Bucs

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It remains to be seen whether the looming suspension of Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston compels the team to release him. While that’s still an unlikely outcome (the NFL’s specific findings against Winston will become a major factor, along with the possibility of further unexpected developments), it’s safe to say that the suspension will become relevant to whether the Bucs make Winston the first quarterback ever drafted by the team to get a second contract.

Which means that the Bucs could decide to move on from Winston after the 2018 season, especially if the Bucs move on from G.M. Jason Licht and/or coach Dirk Koetter. Indeed, a new regime would be untethered to Winston, and it would be much easier for someone with no ties to him to make a detached, unbiased decision about Winston’s future than Licht and Koetter.

But here’s the risk for the Bucs, if they choose to kick the can until after the 2018 season and to decide on whether to keep Winston before his $20.9 million base salary for 2019 becomes fully guaranteed in March. Because the money is guaranteed for injury in 2018, and because the guarantees applicable to the fifth-year option don’t evaporate due to a suspension, the Bucs will be on the hook for the full $20.9 million if Winston suffers an injury during the 2018 season that keeps him from passing a physical before the amount becomes fully guaranteed in March.

The Jaguars welcomed that risk in 2017 with Blake Bortles. Washington refused to do so in 2015 with Robert Griffin III, putting him on ice for the entire season. While the risk of owing Winston $20.9 million next year likely won’t be a deciding factor on the question of whether to cut him, it could become relevant to the analysis if the specific findings the NFL makes against Winston create enough of an outcry to make it a close question.

In other words, if the NFL paints an ugly picture about Winston’s interactions with the Uber driver and/or if other unsavory witnesses have unflattering things to say about Winston, the ability to sidestep a $20.9 million gamble could be enough to get the Bucs to make a decision driven by principle, not by winning.

60 responses to “Jameis Winston’s fifth-year option creates a dilemma for Bucs

  1. Do they have a choice? If you draft a malcontent, you pay the consequences (especially at QB)..,hopefully you can talk sense into him and he matures…otherwise you turn into a bottom feeding franchise year after year…like the Browns

  2. Jameis Winston was just having a little fun. Most women would have been flattered by what he did to that uber driver, especially from a famous QB. I think the whole incident has just got blown completely out of proportion.

  3. He hasn’t shown enough to warrant the franchise label. I would let him walk and I understand how hard it is to find a top QB. Maybe he wakes up but he has done enough off the field for me to trade now or let walk at the end of year.

  4. Trade for Foles, then recoup some of those losses by moving Winston to recoup some of the assets lost in the trade for Foles and move on. Winston is a loser on and off the field

  5. They should cut him, they aren’t going to win anything with him, tank it this year, cobble together a few wins with Fitzmagic, and hit that reset button and try again.

  6. Forget the money question for a moment, focus on whether you think he is a franchise QB? I don’t think so but the Bucs need to answer that question themselves. It isn’t even close when you start to factor in the behavioral issues and the off-field distractions. Just because you sunk a first-round draft choice into him doesn’t mean you owe him any extra time. Look at the Vikings, they drafted Ponder and move up quickly.

  7. Yeah the fact that we are even talking about him being cut is just telling of the times.
    Hypersenstivity to every little thing and with the ability to share things online to the world it spreads like an infectious disease.
    I have been groped (sexually assaulted?) more than I can even remember at bars/clubs. You just say no and move on with your life. I didn’t go and press charges. Maybe I should since we are all equal right? So if we are so equal lets just get rid of female sports and do co-ed.
    Boxing? Co-ed. Basketball? Co-ed. Volleyball, soccer, olympics? Co-ed. I mean we are all equal right?

  8. I’m a father with a wife and three girls. No way would I had accepted this when it happened 2 years ago. Winston was what, 21-22. That’s not an excuse either but since then, I have seen him involved in numerous charitable events not only in Tampa but in his hometown and Tallahassee. With his fiancé about to give birth and a looming marriage, we have seen some growth in him, and I repeat, over the last two years. I’m not perfect and I had to grow up, like many of you readers had to do. It took time, but eventually we got there. I don’t see Pittsburgh throwing in the towel on Big Ben or the Cowboys getting rid of Zeke Elliott. I am, like most of you, getting tired of the shenanigans and have given him one last hope over the past two years since this incident occurred. He’s 24 now. Let’s see what happens in the next year or so to see if he has grown up. If not, kick him to the curb!

  9. Outside of what happens off the field – I don’t think he’s done enough ON the field to warrant any sort of 5th year option and large contract.

  10. We have male-chauvinistics & we have Golddigga,
    We also have feminist-extremists
    This speaks if opportunistic people
    NOT feminist movements,etc or typical males etc

    Only the uber driver & Winston actually knows the absolute truth

    I won’t comment on either ones integrity & warn all else to do as they wish for themselves
    ,,,,,Give then both the benefit of the doubt

    HUGE QUESTION
    How & why did it take 2yrs for this “new” info to surface?
    &
    Why the suspension now? What took so long?

    GOD help the NFL

  11. camsbiggestfan says:
    June 24, 2018 at 1:49 pm
    Jameis Winston was just having a little fun. Most women would have been flattered by what he did to that uber driver, especially from a famous QB. I think the whole incident has just got blown completely out of proportion.
    000000000000000000000000000000000OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO000000000000000000000000

    And you wonder why you’re still single!

  12. Seriously, cut this guy and trade for Bridgewater.

    The entire Tampa Fan base would approve dumping him for Teddy Bridgewater

  13. dway096
    Jun 24, 2018, 2:45 PM EDT
    Yeah the fact that we are even talking about him being cut is just telling of the times.
    Hypersenstivity to every little thing and with the ability to share things online to the world it spreads like an infectious disease.
    I have been groped (sexually assaulted?) more than I can even remember at bars/clubs. You just say no and move on with your life. I didn’t go and press charges. Maybe I should since we are all equal right? So if we are so equal lets just get rid of female sports and do co-ed.
    Boxing? Co-ed. Basketball? Co-ed. Volleyball, soccer, olympics? Co-ed. I mean we are all equal right?

    Talk about setting women back a few hundred years. Great comment. So basically you’re telling men that it’s ok for them to grope other women because it doesn’t bother you?! I hope the next time a man sexually assaults a woman they refer to your comment and simply say “well I read a comment online by woman that said it’s ok to do it because she doesn’t mind and says that no other women should mind either”. And yes I’m being overly dramatic for effect. What a real great thought process you have

  14. I don’t know why anyone is surprised by this, since the Ray Rice video was released way after the fact, this will always be Goodell’s knee jerk reaction. Right or wrong, he simply is a PR man for the league after they continue to draft guys of questionable character. The owners care about only one thing.

  15. Here’s my take; golden boys Peyton Manning and Brett favre has sex scandals, along with Ben Roethlisberger, and all were forgiven and allowed to play hall of fame careers. The one difference between them and Jameis; Super Bowl rings baby. When you win, people look past the bad things you might have done, which is sad, but true. Jameis will not be cut, he will serve his time and I do believe he will mature and turn into a lifetime buccaneer. He will get his second contract, although it will not be as much as everyone thinks it will be, he will not be a top 10 paid qb in this league. He is not a “franchise qb”, but to the buccaneers we have not had anyone as good as he is, so really he’s all we got, which I know speaks a lot about our franchise here in Tampa. The most important part I have to note; he’s about to be a father. I myself changed a hell of a lot the day my daughter was born. Is Jameis, as a person, going to be able to look at his little boy, and say son daddy no longer plays football because I sexually assaulted women and I hope you can learn from my mistakes??? Because if he does get “cut” nobody is going to touch him. Meanwhile Kaepernick will be telling his kids (if he ever has any), that he wasn’t allowed to play because he spoke up for what he believed in? Crazy world we live in

  16. Ignoring the off-field stuff, you guys saying he hasn’t done enough ON the field are out of your minds. Yes, he still makes stupid mistakes due to over-agressiveness, but he can flat-out light up the scoreboard. When his shoulder finally fully healed up at the end of last year, he went on a serious tear.

    He may need to be cut or whatever, but it won’t be due to on-field reasons.

  17. I find it sad he was suspended literally for the same thing the president was recorded bragging about. I’m sure the people that support him but find what Winston was accused of being terrible will come up with an explanation that the two are somehow different. Oh, it should be no surprise Winston follows him on Twitter.


  18. boyso3 says:
    June 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    dway096
    Jun 24, 2018, 2:45 PM EDT
    Yeah the fact that we are even talking about him being cut is just telling of the times.
    Hypersenstivity to every little thing and with the ability to share things online to the world it spreads like an infectious disease.
    I have been groped (sexually assaulted?) more than I can even remember at bars/clubs. You just say no and move on with your life. I didn’t go and press charges. Maybe I should since we are all equal right? So if we are so equal lets just get rid of female sports and do co-ed.
    Boxing? Co-ed. Basketball? Co-ed. Volleyball, soccer, olympics? Co-ed. I mean we are all equal right?

    Talk about setting women back a few hundred years. Great comment. So basically you’re telling men that it’s ok for them to grope other women because it doesn’t bother you?! I hope the next time a man sexually assaults a woman they refer to your comment and simply say “well I read a comment online by woman that said it’s ok to do it because she doesn’t mind
    —————————–

    dway096 is a dude ….

  19. royalitalianarmy says:
    June 24, 2018 at 1:58 pm
    Kneelers And Rapists should be DEPORTED.

    ——

    Deported to WHERE numbnuts? Are you even vaguely aware of how stupid this is?

  20. Yes I’m a dude. Thank you.

    My point is females want to be seen as equal and strong until something like this happens and they want you to see them as fragile helpless victims being attacked by a strong monstrous man. Just say no to the advance…and that’s that. If he wasn’t a football player it doesn’t make a headline. Period.

    How many guys every day around the world get rejected trying to kiss a girl or move to first/second base? How is this any different? How do we know he even did this? If he did, how do we know she wasn’t flirting with a NFL QB? Is that out of the realm of possibilities?

    As for on the field, Winston is the most accomplished QB in the HISTORY of the NFL for his age. No QB has thrown more TDs or YDs before 24 y/o. He is still maturing and his best is yet to come.

    Leave it to the Yucs to get rid of another franchise QB before his prime.

  21. Dilemma? The Bucs should use the “incident” as a way to get out of the contract and cut him loose.

  22. He is going nowhere. Its hard to find an average qb. Sexual assault? No big deal to the Bucs. He has been alleged to have done it before and will do it again. This and his other psychotic behavior, the Bucs are still glad to have him. Why? I have no idea.

  23. I’m surprised the nfl had any room left under their rug
    to sweep this jameis winston story.

  24. The guy is to stupid to be a QB in the NFL….just another version of EJ Manuel
    or Cardele Jones or Jamarcus Russell…..Big Arms but dumb as a stump

  25. Like most every NFL team, his tenure with the Bucs will be based 80% on the quality of play and 20% on off-field issues. To date, he hasn’t exactly excelled at either. Let’s hope he gets his act together on both fronts.

  26. He should never play the game again. He is now a serial rapist and the Bucs/NFL will be pining for him to survive it, following a minor suspension. Meanwhile, Zeke Elliott commits no crime besides pissing off the league office (?) and he is destroyed by clearly & known to be false allegations.

    What is the “secret sauce” behind the scenes? Who gets brutally destroyed over nothing, and who gets protected following a disgusting, awful crime? How does the NFL league office decide who gets targeted?

  27. Situations like the one the Bucs currently find themselves in is exactly why I would have drafted Mariota over Jameis.
    _______________

    As a Bucs fan it wouldn’t bother me if they cut Winston loose tomorrow. He’s obviously a piece of trash of a human being. After that 3rd person gave his account I have no reason to doubt that Uber driver.

    That said Mariota wouldn’t be successful here so I’m not going to cry over that draft. It’s starting to look like neither one is going to live up to the hype.

  28. “… just another version of EJ Manuel or Cardele Jones or Jamarcus Russell…
    … big Arms but dumb as a stump”
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    TO BE FAIR AND ACCURATE: Cardale Jones NEVER got into any trouble at OHIO STATE,
    scored 25 on the Wonderlic , and went back to OHIO STATE after being drafted
    where he graduated and received his degree.

  29. TO BE FAIR AND ACCURATE – PART II: E.J. Manuel was half way done with his masters degree
    in international relations in 2013 (I don’t know if he finished).

  30. “golden boys Peyton Manning and Brett Favre had sex scandals, along with Ben Roethlisberger, and all were forgiven and allowed to play hall of fame careers. The one difference between them and Jameis; [Winston is African-American].

    Fixed that for you.

  31. Trying to steal crab legs and being in a car where someone -“oh not me” grabbed a ladies crotch is not conducive to good decision making at whatever level. Repeated poor decisions indicates a behavioral dysfunction and someones are going to have to deal with it.

  32. The problem for Tampa is that they have been hoping Winston will be great. So far his play is nothing special and his off field behavior is an embarrassment. There is more upside to getting rid of him sooner rather than later.

  33. cardinealsfan20 says:
    June 24, 2018 at 6:20 pm
    “golden boys Peyton Manning and Brett Favre had sex scandals, along with Ben Roethlisberger, and all were forgiven and allowed to play hall of fame careers. The one difference between them and Jameis; [Winston is African-American].

    Fixed that for you.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    The reason Manning, Favre and Roethlisberger were “forgiven” is because they were under some pretty lucrative contracts that would have put their teams in cap hell if they had been cut. Winston is still under his rookie deal and it would be the perfect time to send him packing with little or no affect on their cap. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pass on his 5th year option and let him walk.

  34. It will be fun to see when the uber cam surveilance is released. Reports are that the nfl already has it. Sorry Buc fanboys, but a picture is worth a thousand words. And so is a history of very bad behavior.

  35. People say he needs to mature, but this incident was over 2 years ago during his rookie year. He now has a wife and kid on the way. I’m confident he will redeem himself off the field. This season, on the field, will tell a lot about his future. If he doesn’t take a huge step forward then he might be expendable to the bucs. But if he does all the right things and the Bucs can win 10 games under him. I think you give him that incentive laden contract and don’t look back. He has a ton of potential. If he can reach it then it will be a huge win for the bucs. If they give up on him too early, some other team will reap the rewards. All the while the bucs are still without a franchise QB and scraping the bottom of the barrel for the next decade. Morally I get the outrage and the fans wanting him gone (without any actual evidence against him yet) but if Zeke can beat his girlfriend and sexually assault other women and stick around the NFL, then Winston should get a second chance as well. I don’t mean to put a value on these crimes, but winston’s Incident isn’t nearly as bad as what Zeke or Big Ben were accused of.

  36. “It remains to be seen whether the looming suspension of Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston compels the team to release him.”

    Uhhh, you gotta be kidding me. Unlikely? Try 0%.

  37. draftrobot says:
    June 24, 2018 at 8:15 pm
    FYI Chris Simms was drafted by the Bucs and got a second contract.

    What? He was drafted in 2003 and had his spleen explode in 2006. He backed up Jeff Garcia in 2007, then moved on to Tennessee. If he got a second contract somewhere in there, I sure don’t remember it, and it must have been for the league minimum.

  38. Winston has always seemed fake to me. When I watched hard knocks the way he used to go to each person and say his little chant. Was an obvious ploy and I would of not bought it as a teammate. Stealing crab legs and now assault on a woman cause he thinks he is someone important. Personally I wouldn’t want him on my team.

  39. I never knew that any QBs drafted by the Bucs has ever gotten a second contract. That is an amazing little nugget. Doug Williams for sure would have been the first if it wasn’t for the cheap ways of Hugh Culverhouse and some other sinister stuff that came out later. Trent Dilfer and Vinny just didn’t quite work out in TB. They traded Steve Young. Released Josh Freeman. Shaun King flamed out. TB is a haven for broken QB dreams.

  40. “Jameis Winston was just having a little fun. Most women would have been flattered by what he did to that uber driver, especially from a famous QB”

    So you’re saying YOUR mother/wife/daughter would be flattered? Really?

  41. Drop him.
    He is as dumb as a box of rocks.
    His behavior shows just how immature and stupid he really is.

    Being born in Tampa and a fan since the clubs inception, I was very disappointed when he was drafted.
    We need a SMART, mature young QB for Fitz to mentor and set the Bucs on a good path.
    I wish we could have grabbed Mayfiled.

  42. It’s mind boggling that the Bucs have held on to Winston for this long. Is it not obvious that the guy is psycho,especially when it comes to women (and crab legs)? They aren’t going anywhere with him,because his decision-making on the field is as bad as it is off the field.

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