NFL Rumors: Jameis Winston Reportedly Unlikely To Start In 2020 Even If He Leaves Buccaneers In Free Agency

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston scrambles with the ball during a game against the Atlanta Falcons.
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Following reports that Tom Brady has agreed in principle to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it now appears that Jameis Winston — who is also a free agent — may have to find a new home in the NFL. However, it also seems that the chances of the former Heisman Trophy winner getting a chance to start in the 2020 season aren’t too good, even if he ends up with another team.

As noted by Bleacher Report, the above rumors were first hinted by NFL reporter Dov Kleiman, who told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network that the “chances aren’t likely” Winston will sign with a team that will give him a shot as a first-string quarterback. He then posted a tweet citing ESPN’s Adam Schefter, similarly suggesting that it indeed “isn’t expected” that the former Florida State star will start in the coming season.

During his fifth professional season in 2019, Winston offered a mixed bag to Buccaneers fans, throwing for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns but also getting picked 30 times as Tampa Bay finished with a 7-9 record. While Bleacher Report pointed out that the 26-year-old also has three seasons of over 4,000 passing yards under his belt, the outlet stressed that NFL coaches are “rarely patient” when it comes to quarterbacks who are so prone to turnovers.

Although Kleiman wasn’t optimistic about Winston’s odds of starting for another team in 2020, he suggested in his tweet that the quarterback could follow the example of Tennessee Titans first-stringer Ryan Tannehill. Originally brought in by the Titans in 2019 as a backup to Marcus Mariota, the 31-year-old former Miami Dolphins starter took over the starting job midway through last year’s campaign, leading the team to the AFC Championship Game and posting the best numbers of his career. This late-career breakthrough reportedly led to Tennessee re-signing him to a four-year, $118 million contract.

“That would be a fortuitous turn of events for Winston, who is now staring at a backup role not long after he was the No. 1 pick of the [2015] draft,” Bleacher Report predicted.

At the moment, Winston may still have his share of suitors outside of Tampa Bay, and it still might be too early to conclude that he won’t be getting an opportunity to start elsewhere. Brady’s pending move to the Bucs, for one, now leaves the New England Patriots without a clear-cut starter, with publications as Fansided’s NFL Spin Zone suggesting that Winston could be among the top candidates to replace the likely future Hall of Famer behind center.