Jameis Winston Undergoes Lasik Eye Surgery After Throwing 30 INT in 2019

Blake SchusterContributor IIIFebruary 12, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) heads to the sideline during a break in the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Jameis Winston should be squinting a bit less on the sidelines next season. 

The impending free-agent quarterback, who became as exciting to watch for his touchdowns as his errant passes last season, underwent Lasik surgery to repair his nearsightedness, according to the Tampa Bay Times. It's unknown if Winston chose to have the surgery on his own or if it was ordered by the Buccaneers

Winston led the NFL in passing last season with 5,109 yards to go with 33 touchdowns. He also led the league with 30 interceptions—Cleveland's Baker Mayfield was second with 21. 

If this is about eliminating mistakes on the field, it certainly can't hurt Winston's performance. His eyesight issues have been well known dating back to his days at Florida State, per the report. Even in 2019, rarely would NFL broadcasts miss Winston squinting as he looked over to his coaches on the sideline. 

Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians even joked about the quarterback's vision during his year-end press conference. 

"He can’t read the scoreboard but he can see the guys in front of him," Arians said. "So he's alright."

As entertaining as those comments are, it may be something else that Arians said during that meeting with the media that prompted the quarterback to get the procedure. 

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"[If] we can win with this [quarterback]," Arians quipped. "We can definitely win with another one, too."

Tampa Bay went 7-9 last year, finishing third in a weak NFC South. 

As rumors circulate about the Bucs trying to engage Tom Brady in free agency this offseason—to say nothing of the newly available Philip Rivers—Winston doesn't just have to worry about his standing in Tampa. He has to worry about getting a job period. 

Spotrac.com's Market Value tool projects Winston could sign for four-years, $107.1 million or $26.7 million per year. Maybe improved eyesight bumps that number up a bit. Maybe not. In any case, Winston made himself into a No. 1 overall draft pick and spent five years in the NFL as a quarterback without proper vision.

That alone is an incredible achievement.