Jameis Winston Rumors: Latest on Patriots, Steelers, More Teams' Interest in QB

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston speaks a news conference after an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the free-agent race for quarterback Tom Brady, which means Jameis Winston's tenure with the team has come to an end. The timing of the decision did no favors for the 26-year-old signal-caller, either. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Brady would sign with the Buccaneers March 17—the second day of the legal tampering period. By that time, Teddy Bridgewater agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers, and Philip Rivers came to terms on a contract with the Indianapolis Colts, taking two potential destinations off the market. 

With most teams settled at quarterback, Winston still needs a job. More than likely, he ranks behind 2015 league MVP Cam Newton on the free-agent hierarchy. 

According to ESPN's Jeff Darlington, one general manager said Winston's market felt "ice cold." 

We'll take a look at teams that need a quarterback or clubs and could sign the 26-year-old as a backup behind an aging or inexperienced starter.

             

New England Patriots An 'Unlikely' Landing Spot for Jameis Winston

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The New England Patriots lost Brady to the Buccaneers, so they're in need of a replacement under center. 

Jarrett Stidham, a 2019 fourth-rounder, has only thrown four passes during the regular season. Cody Kessler didn't play a regular-season snap in 2019. Brian Hoyer is a 34-year-old journeyman quarterback.

Still, New England doesn't seem interested in Winston, per NFL Network's Michael Giardi:

The Patriots may pick up a quarterback with their 23rd overall pick. If not, don't rule out a trade for a veteran like Andy Dalton or Jacoby Brissett whom the team selected in the third round of the 2016 draft.

             

No Room for Winston in Pittsburgh? 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 22:  Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers attempts a pass against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 22, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

In Pittsburgh, Winston would have an opportunity to sit behind Ben Roethlisberger for two years and then take over the reins under center once the 38-year-old's contract expires during the 2022 offseason. Apparently, the Steelers don't have the same vision. 

Despite the logical fit for Winston in western Pennsylvania, the Steelers will move forward with their current group of quarterbacks, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler

"Many outlets have pegged Jameis Winston to Pittsburgh, and though perhaps it's possible, the people I've spoken to just don't see it," he wrote. "The team appears set on Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph and Paxton Lynch in the quarterback room..."

Last season, Winston threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Rudolph lost the starting job to Devlin Hodges, an undrafted rookie out of Samford. Lynch hasn't thrown a regular-season pass since 2017.

Winston would be a clear upgrade over Rudolph, Lynch, Hodges and J.T. Barrett in the No. 2 spot, but the Steelers will iron out the wrinkles with the backups in place.

        

Nothing More Than Buzz in Washington 

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 22: Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Washington Redskins warms up before the game against the New York Giants at FedExField on December 22, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

With the No. 2 overall pick, the Washington Redskins have come up in discussions as a potential landing spot for Alabama product Tua Tagovailoa.

However, Washington may be testing their young quarterback's mental psyche. According to Fowler, the Redskins may entertain buzz that connects them to a veteran signal-caller, but behind closed doors, the club supports Dwayne Haskins.

"The idea of Jameis Winston or Cam Newton here got redirected fairly quickly when speaking to a team source," Fowler wrote. "The Redskins are being careful with second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins: They are encouraged enough not to replace him outright, but they want him on edge as if competition is coming."

We could cross another team off Winston Watch 2020.

Winston has his flaws, throwing the most interceptions (88) since his 2015 rookie campaign, but he's also an aggressive passer who moves the ball downfield. Yet, as Darlington relayed from a general manager, the former No. 1 overall pick doesn't have a market at the moment. We've heard and read about the "unlikely" and "no" answers without much chatter about interest in him.

Wherever Winston lands, he's going to hold the clipboard as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart. However, as Ryan Tannehill showed last year, a new opportunity could arise at any moment.

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