If someone had told you that a season after throwing for the most passing yards in the league, a former No. 1 overall pick that is perfectly healthy would play under 50 snaps through the season’s first three months, would you believe them?
That’s the reality for Jameis Winston right now.
Winston showed off his absolute cannon with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. He threw for 5,109 yards that season on 626 attempts, both the highest in the league. Sadly, he had another league-high which was 30 interceptions.
Given his turnover issues, Winston opted to sign a deal with the New Orleans Saints this past offseason. Led by former first-ballot Hall of Famer Drew Brees, Winston had seemingly hoped New Orleans could help him become a more accurate and knowledgeable passer.
After Brees went down in Week 10, eventually being placed on the injured reserve, Taysom Hill came in.
The 30-year-old Hill had under 20 pass attempts to his name at that point. Unless it seems differently, the Saints lack of respect for Winston could force him elsewhere this coming offseason.
NFL insider Adam Schefter, who was on ESPN’s Get Up on Thursday, said that the Bengals could be a potential landing spot for Winston.
“I’ll give you a place that makes a lot of sense right now— Cincinnati, which will have Joe Burrow coming back, you don’t know if he’ll be ready for the start of the season. Jameis needs to play and impress people, he needs an opportunity, but he needs an opportunity where he might be free after that year...”
It makes sense to Schefter but not to many others as the Bengals drafted Joe Burrow with their top-overall pick in 2020. Burrow tore his ACL about a month ago, and that’s where Winston may come in. Burrow could easily miss the start of the 2021 season.
The Bengals won’t pay the amount Winston is looking for, although the veteran did take a massive pay cut last season. Winston would obviously be a backup with Burrow healthy, and he could be a starter elsewhere
For Winston, it doesn’t make sense to come to the Queen City, and for Cincinnati, using a lot of salary cap space to bring in a top-tier backup in case Burrow can’t make his return in Week 1 also sounds unrealistic.