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Bortles comments/taking less money has impact on Jameis Winston negotiation

Florida Football Insiders



Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston’s agents had to cringe.

As the Jaguars and QB Blake Bortles announced their agreement Saturday night on his new contract extension, it was something that the signal caller said about his mentality in the negotiations that had to raise an eyebrow.

More on that in a moment.

First, the facts: the Jaguars had already picked up Bortles’ option for the fifth year of his rookie contract, and that option was $19.1 million for 2018. The next important fact, as we wrote about here, is that once Bortles had wrist surgery after the AFC Championship Game, by salary cap rules in the CBA, that money essentially, became guaranteed.

This is because, the Jaguars couldn’t rescind the offer to a player that was injured during the season and then, couldn’t pass a March physical, which after wrist surgery he likely wouldn’t have.

So, while we don’t yet have all the contract specifics, it appears that the truth behind the new three year deal is the Jags were on the hook for $19 million this year. And, they have only guaranteed approximately $7.5 million beyond that for 2019-2020.

Very team friendly.

Then, Bortles, a former #3 overall pick in 2014, made this statement Saturday night:

That’s where Winston’s people had to shutter.

You see, it’s about to be his turn to try to get more money from the Glazers and the Buccaneers.

Like Bortles in 2017, Winston is a former #1 overall pick, who’s entering the final year of his rookie deal. Will the Bucs pick up the same fifth year option, like Jacksonville did?

Even if they don’t and are looking for the long term agreement, Bortles essentially just told the Jags, and anyone paying attention, that it wasn’t about chasing the most money.

Instead, his mentality was being loyal to the team that drafted you, the fans, staying in the area, etc. meant more.

And Winston was a far more decorated (Heisman winning National Champion) quarterback out of much more popular FSU. He is clearly a fan favorite and the Bucs have made him a “face of the franchise” on ticket ads, billboards, etc.

So, there will be some pressure for him to give Tampa Bay a “hometown discount” or at least have that mentality in negotiating a new deal.

And now, the Bucs and their fans can point to a QB that helped his team win the division, and win playoff games (Winston has done neither, yet). And, point to a QB who was willing to give take less, because he wanted to get the deal done and have security for the next three years.

Now, you can make the strong argument that Winston is a much better/valuable passer and asset.

Not even Bortles’ family could argue that comparison. Maybe, they would try.

Still, it’s all about precedence and what others in a similar position have gotten before you.

Yes, there are massive QB deals for others already in place, but now you have what appears to be, Blake Bortles taking less than $8 million guaranteed in year two and beyond of his new extension.

Rest assured, Jameis Winston won’t agree to that for the Bucs or anywhere else.




  1. Brandon Williams

    February 25, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I commend Blake for doing that cause hes putting his team first Winston shouldn’t get a big deal cause we have too many team problems everybody knows Def wins championships so if Winston ask for a small deal to help our team build a def we can look forward to being a monster in the toughest div in football

    • Brandon Williams

      February 25, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      Also let me say he’s young so he has plenty of time to make money I make nowhere near millions of dollars but I’ve lived life gloriously so he doesn’t need 100mill he should want to have a dominant team and win Superbowls hard to do that when your team can’t even win your div. I ready for my bucs to be great again

  2. Carlos Chambers

    February 26, 2018 at 1:12 am

    If the BUCS could put together the type of defense that has given Bortles the luxury of his subpar play over the last three years then division titles and a SUPERBOWLappearance wouldn’t be out of the question

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers cornerstone player in 2018?

Florida Football Insiders



Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

(This is the first look at all three state NFL teams’ roster and identifying a player that we at F.F.I. believe is the foundation starter for their potential success in 2018)

It’s still a couple of weeks before the Buccaneers gather for training camp at One Buc Place and there’s already uncertainty everywhere. Off a disappointing showing down the stretch with a 5-11 finish in 2017, both head coach Dirk Koetter and GM Jason Licht were already feeling warmth under their seats.

Now, the perceived team leader, QB Jameis Winston, is suspended for the first three games of the season for violation of the NFL personal conduct policy. And, this has called into question whether he Winston is going to be on borrowed time himself, once he comes back.

So, who is the player that the Bucs will look to for leadership, stability and to help them get through tough times this year? Well, it’s not clear cut in Tampa Bay, but we have a strong guess.

If we are talking cornerstone player for 2018, we are talking yearly Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy.

The reasons are apparent.

McCoy has tenure in the Bucs locker room and has played at the high level for the past six seasons (under three different head coaches) and made the Pro Bowl in each one.

Most importantly, he provides a veteran presence to what is an uncertain situation.

And with the additions of former Eagles DE Vinny Curry in free agency, a trade for Giants Pro Bowler and Superbowl champion Jason Pierre Paul and the drafting of Washington All American DT Vita Vea in the first round, McCoy has more help than at any point in his career.

This means the former #1 pick out of Oklahoma will have a chance to excel, especially right away, this season.

Sure, the Bucs have a “franchise receiver” in Mike Evans, and gave him a huge extension in March. And they have one of the top star defenders in the NFL that few on the national level talk much about in LB LaVonte David.

However, with Winston’s future with the Buccaneers uncertain, Gerald McCoy is the guy to count on for this and the next few seasons.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hall of Fame WR Randy mentoring Bucs QB Jameis Winston in Tampa

Florida Football Insiders



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Controversy has followed Jameis Winston throughout his college and NFL careers and now, former controversial NFL star receiver turned ESPN analyst Randy Moss, is trying to help.

As you probably know by now, the Bucs QB is suspended for the first three games this season by the NFL for violation of the personal conduct policy after he inappropriately touched a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016. It’s the latest in a long line of personal missteps and problems that have dogged Winston off the field, since his days at Florida State.

Meanwhile, Moss, who will be enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, later this month, has been in Tampa recently working with and apparently trying to help mentor Winston.

Tampa TV station, Fox 13 and reporter Kevin O’Donnell, got exclusive comments from Moss on helping Winston on Tuesday:

“He’s doing things right,” Moss told the station.  “It’s a bump in the road…Man, just continue to fight. It happens…. What he did was wrong. You know. I’m not saying right or wrong. There was a woman involved. So, I’m not going to get into all of that. What he did was wrong. He know (sic) it was wrong. So, I think it’s up to him as a man to understand what he did wrong….to live and learn from it and let it go.”

Moss had early controversies and arrests in his own college career, as he was denied entry at Notre Dame and later kicked off the FSU football team while red-shirting for arrests and probation violations that led him to being back behind bars.

He later thrived at Marshall University, was a Heisman Trophy Finalist, a first round pick by the Vikings and had a 14 year career as one of the most explosive NFL receivers of all time. Moss, who caught for 1,000 or more yards in 10 NFL seasons and is second all time with 156 TD receptions, was voted into the Hall of Fame (above) in his first time on the ballot back in January.

Winston was shown by the station running sprints and making throws to some other prospective NFL receivers at the workout Tuesday, but refused to talk on camera. He has not spoken publicly, since the NFL suspended him two weeks ago. He told the station he will talk at Bucs training camp later in July.

As for Moss, he further said Tuesday that he’s trying to give Winston and other young players advice from his own experiences and failures off the field.

“One of the things that I always told my people: ‘Don’t be scared or shy to tell me no, because I check my pride in at the door….I’ll thank you later, you know, when I’m not behind bars, or when I’m still on a football team.” Moss continued, “A lot of these guys don’t realize that they’re being watched under a microscope and they don’t realize it until it happens to them and they’re out of  job.”

At this point, the fourth year Bucs QB Winston, has to realize that he is on the verge of being out of a job in Tampa. That’s if he doesn’t respond well from the suspension by staying out of trouble and performing well on the field.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Bucs DE Jason Pierre Paul still great reminder of July 4th safety

Florida Football Insiders



Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers are excited to see what former USF and New York Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul can do on the field in Tampa Bay this fall. After being acquired in a trade with the G-men in March, Pierre Paul hopes to energize an almost non-existent Bucs pass rush from last year.

One thing is for sure, as much as he’s known for being a star on the field, Pierre Paul has become a reminder of “what not to do” and specifically fireworks safety on July 4th.

It was three years ago Wednesday night that Pierre Paul’s decision to celebrate and ignite amateur hand-held fireworks in South Florida led to a horrific and potentially, career threatening right hand injury.

But, out of what could have been football tragedy involving his  hand, Pierre-Paul has made a comeback and is now a national PSA symbol for firework safety.

The beginning of Pierre Paul’s football story is the Deerfield Beach, as a native of Hatian immigrant parents playing  as a Juco star in both California and Kansas. Then, he was brought back to Florida, by coach Jim Leavitt and staff, as USF’s dominant pass rusher in 2009. That year he attained All Big East honors with 6.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss for the Bulls.

This fast tracked Pierre Paul to the NFL after only one season in Tampa and he was drafted 15th overall by the Giants in the 2010 NFL Draft.

After a rookie year with 4.5 sacks, he burst on the pro scene in season two with 16.5 sacks for the G-men leading to a Pro Bowl selection and was part of the New York Superbowl victory over the Patriots that February.

Pierre-Paul continued to be regarded as the Giants most consistent pass rushing threat and had another double digit sack season with 12.5 in 2014.

Then came the off season of 2015, where he chose not to sign his one year Franchise Player free agent tender (the Giants still had his exclusive rights) seeking a longer term deal. And, he remained unsigned as of July 4th that year.

That night in 2015 he loaded up a van with handheld amateur fireworks and with friends and neighbors began shooting them off until one obviously malfunctioned and mangled his right hand. Pierre-Paul was hospitalized and eventually had multiple surgeries on the hand and his right index finger amputated.

The Giants stood by him, when they could have dumped him for non-football injury, and he eventually made his way back onto the field in November of 2015. Signing a “pro rated” week to week one year deal, his debut came as New York traveled to Raymond James Stadium (Pierre-Paul’s USF home for a season) and he played with a padded “club” protecting his right hand against the Bucs.

He would play in eight total games that season with one sack and then, as further proof of the Giants being in his corner, they re-signed him on a one year $10 million deal for 2016. Pierre-Paul then worked a year ago with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on a July 4th fireworks safety video:

The gnarly image and video of Pierre-Pauls right hand is obviously the deterrent the agency is looking for with the PSA campaign about safety. He played 2016 with a special padded glove to protect the hand/fingers registering another seven sacks before being placed on I.R. with a sports hernia.

Finally, and happiest of all financial endings after the fireworks disaster, Pierre-Paul inked a four year $62 million deal with $40 million guaranteed in March of last year to stay, so he thought, in New York.

Alas, the Giants had a nightmare of a 2017 season that finished at 3-13. Pierre-Paul had a solid season with 8.5 sacks and 68 total tackles despite the dismal team finish.
Then, Bucs GM Jason Licht swung the deal for Pierre-Paul and Tampa Bay agreed to assume his $12.1 million dollar salary for 2018.

So, while it all worked out in the end, obviously, the Jason Pierre-Paul July 4th fireworks mess could have had a much different ending all the way around for he, the Giants and now, the Bucs.

It’s a reminder to stay safe Wednesday night. Leave the handheld fireworks to someone else.

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