Although much of the talk regarding free-agent quarterbacks heading into the 2020 NFL offseason has centered on Tom Brady and Philip Rivers, reigning passing yardage champion Jameis Winston could also emerge as a prime target for quarterback-needy teams in free agency. He does, however, come with one key caveat for interested teams — despite passing for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns, he also got picked a league-leading 30 times last season. Still, a recent report suggested the 26-year-old could have his fair share of suitors if he ends up a free agent later this month, including the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts.
In a list of top five potential landing spots for Winston, Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon named the Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins as two teams where the erstwhile Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-stringer could play a similar role, also suggesting that staying with the Bucs would still be the “best-case scenario” for him. He did, however, explain why the Titans and the Colts could make some sense, even if there’s a chance Winston will have to come off the bench for those teams.
Talking about the Titans as a possible fit for Winston, Gagnon wrote that Tennessee would be an “especially enticing” landing spot for the former No. 1 overall pick if incumbent starter Ryan Tannehill leaves via free agency or regresses after his breakout 2019 campaign. On the other hand, the Bleacher Report writer predicted that Winston could end up in a “prime backup spot” and benefit from a strong supporting cast in the event Tannehill returns to Tennessee and gets the franchise tag.
“Jameis would jump into an offense featuring one of the most talented lines in football, a promising young receiving corps and — assuming they don’t let him walk — the reigning rushing champion in Derrick Henry,” Gagnon wrote.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 25, 2020
Regarding the Colts, it was pointed out that the team doesn’t have any plans to part ways with last year’s starting quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Gagnon speculated that Winston could also find himself playing a second-string role, but due to Brissett’s inability to “stretch the field” and consistently make “difference-making” plays, he suggested that the erstwhile Tampa Bay starter has a fair chance of eventually claiming the No. 1 spot on the depth chart if he ends up in Indianapolis.
Although Winston could also enjoy the protection of a strong offensive line on the Colts, he isn’t the only free-agent quarterback who has been linked to the organization in recent weeks. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the team is “vetting” the 38-year-old Rivers — who has played his entire 16-year career with the Chargers — as a possible offseason acquisition.
Aside from the aforementioned teams, Winston has also been listed in previous reports as an option for a few other organizations, including the Chicago Bears. He is, however, considered a long shot to join the team behind players such as oft-rumored trade target Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals and Marcus Mariota, the No. 2 pick behind Winston in the 2015 NFL Draft who last played for the Titans.