Contract Year: Jameis Winston
You could say every year is big for Jameis Winston. In the NFL, every season is critical for a player’s career.
However, the contract year is when you really see players thrive. This is especially true if they are looking to sign that lucrative 2nd or 3rd NFL contract. That year has arrived for our very own starting Quarterback, Jameis Winston.
The Buccaneers will have the ability of picking up a 5th year option on Winston’s contract (due to his draft position as a first round pick), but in a quarterback starved league, Jason Licht will want to secure Winston to a long term deal before he even sniffs the open market.
In three years, Winston has shown flashes of brilliance at the quarterback position. He has also had some “WTF moments” and the F does not stand for fantastic.
Gunslinger, reckless, and over-confident are all adjectives we can use to describe our beloved Winston. Let’s take a look at some of his numbers from the past three seasons:
Jameis Winston Statistics
The data shows that Winston has improved his game each season and was on pace to eclipse his touchdown passing totals from 2015 and 2016 campaign. His completion percentage and quarterback ratings also improved with each season.
Unfortunately, those pesky interceptions increased as well. For Winston, this coming season is critical for his position as the face of the franchise and his career.
A failed season could have the organization looking else where at the quarterback position. On the other hand, a great season and he will sign a contract making him the highest paid quarterback in the league.
What can we look forward to in 2018 from Jameis Winston? First is staying healthy all 16 games. Jameis never had an injury problem until last season where he suffered an AC Joint sprain.
This derailed his development and the flow of the offense last season. After the team shut him down for a few games, he returned to action in week 13 against the Green Bay Packers. In those last five games, Jameis completed 65% of his passes in four out of five games, while passing for nine touchdowns and five interceptions.
Focusing back to my first point of emphasis, the offense must establish the run.
Winston has proved he can be deadly with just the threat of the run. Image if the Bucs upgrade from a threat to a physically imposing rushing attack. The kind of running game that forces opposing teams to stack the box on early downs.
Tampa Bay will need to improve from having the 27th ranked rushing attack overall. I do not expect the rushing attack to go from 27th to 1st, but we can all expect with an early selection in the NFL draft at the running back position and free agent acquisition of Ryan Jenson, the Buccaneers should see that number jump to around the middle of the pack, at the very least, in 2018.
In my opinion, and I am extremely optimistic, Jamies will have that prolific season that Bucs fans everywhere have been waiting for since he was drafted as the number one overall pick in 2015.
Jameis will finally, in his 4th season, put it all together and secure his position as the true franchise quarterback the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been waiting for!