It appears that Bucs QB Jameis Winston’s days as their starter are numbered. After his latest meltdown in Cincinnati with four interceptions sent him to the bench, veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick heroically led them back from 18 points down in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 34.
Alas, Cincy kicker Randy Bullock won the game with a field goal on the final play 37-34. The Bucs dropped to 3-4, but Fitzpatrick looked like he did in his torrid start, when they went 2-0 in September.
Now, with the NFL trading deadline looming on Tuesday afternoon, would the Buccaneers entertain moving on from Winston, who’s in the final year of his rookie deal? More importantly, off of nine turnovers in three starts, would anyone really want him?
Don’t laugh and keep reading, there are possible landing spots for the former #1 overall pick:
New York Giants
The G-men are obviously going nowhere after their latest loss Sunday at home against the Redskins. And that also holds true for 36 year old quarterback Eli Manning: the “going nowhere” part. He continues to flounder and looks over the hill, as exemplified by throwing two more picks, being sacked seven more times and the Giants scored 13 points in the defeat. And, the latest loss dropped them to 1 and 7 on the season.
New York chose to draft running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick last April and not go for one of the young star quarterbacks in the top 10. And, they don’t really have a viable option waiting to replace Manning later this year or in 2019?
Yes, New York is one of the toughest places to play in the world, and you could argue that Winston has a fragile psyche at this point with all the turnovers he’s accumulated and New York would eat him up.
Still, this seems to be a prime spot for him to land.
Even the late Ray Charles can see the undoing of Blake Bortles eventually coming in Jacksonville and it has happened rapidly in 2018. The Jaguars are plummeting having lost four straight and five of their last six and Bortles is unable to get them in the end zone at all.
The latest defeat coming Sunday in London to the Eagles 24-18 and sent the Jags to the bye week at 3-5.
Off of their playoff run a year ago, the Jaguars were not inclined to draft a quarterback of the future in April and their trade for young backup Cody Kessler isn’t the answer long-term either.
Could Winston be that guy in Jacksonville? Yes it is a huge “Gator Town” and so, that on the surface would appear to be a turn-off.
Then again, Jalen Ramsey and Telvin Smith both are from Florida State also, and are popular players who lead the defense.
Jacksonville is just like the Giants, they need a spark and someone else will likely be their starting quarterback in 2019. Might Winston fit?
Finally, Oakland Raiders
Yes, the Raiders have made a long-term financial commitment to Derek Carr, but with their latest loss on Sunday at home to the Colts, this appears to be a totally lost season in year one of the return of Jon Gruden.
And Gruden has already shipped out all world linebacker Khalil Mack and former number one pick receiver Amari Cooper. So, don’t put it past him to want to start over with another quarterback.
Gruden who’s lived in Tampa for over 20 years including the last nine years while broadcasting on ESPN, knows all about Winston and the Bucs.
Would Oakland want to bring him in as an alternative that allows them to get something for Carr, but not have to start completely over with an unproven rookie next year?
Probably not likely, but still juicy none the less.
Ultimately, the Bucs and GM Jason Licht will likely hang on to Winston, especially in the event that Fitzpatrick were to get injured in the near or short term.
However, he may may be inclined to try to get something for Winston, if the Bucs have decided that Winston is not the future.
We will soon find out.
Fantasy Football “Start/Sit” for Florida players Week 14
Everyone’s favorite time of year has arrived, that is if you had a good season. The fantasy playoffs are here, and if you made it, chances are some Florida players helped get there.
This week the Buccaneers will host the reeling Colts. The Jaguars will host the under-performing Chargers, and the Dolphins travel to play the ever-disappointing Jets.
The Buccaneers will entertain the Colts, who have the 13th overall defense. The Colts are 1-4 in their last five games and desperately need a win. Last week, they were torched on the ground by Titans RB Derick Henry. However, this was the first 100-yard rusher against the Colts this season.
The Bucs again surprised fantasy players last week, when Ronald Jones was benched in the first half for not picking up a blitz. This led to Peyton Barber scoring two touchdowns, while Jones had zero points. The Colts have surrendered two passing touchdowns in each of their last three games. Last week the Tampa Bay offense didn’t have to do nearly as much as usual.
This week, expect the Bucs vertical passing to be back throwing the ball at least 35 times. With a stout run defense, Jameis Winston will need to be at the top of his game in a big test for this Bucs team.
The Jaguars offense has been rough through the air with Nick Foles back. Now, Foles is back on the bench in favor of rookie, Gardner Minshew. The Chargers come into town with the 4th ranked pass defense, but let Drew Lock and Cortland Sutton connect for 74 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers own the 18th ranked rush defense, and that is music to the ears of Leonard Fournette.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the running back facing some stout run defenses. This weekend look for Fournette to get back on track. With the return of Minshew means the D.J. Chark becomes even more attractive. Chark was still the top guy with Foles in, but he and Minshew have a good connection.
The Dolphins are coming off one of the stunners of the year beating the Eagles in a 37-31 shootout. This week they set their sights on the Jets, who just gave the Bengals their first win. The Jets have the leagues’ best-run defense, which is usually significant. However, the Dolphins can’t run the ball effectively at all.
That means Ryan Fitzpatrick will be throwing a lot against the 19th ranked pass defense.
Last week Fitzpatrick and Devante Parker destroyed the Eagles secondary. This week they will have all the opportunities to do the same thing to the Jets. With the tight end position a mess, Mike Gesicki is an option again, who has scored in two straight games.
Colts Kicker Adam Vinateri out for Bucs game
The Colts are traveling to Tampa Bay but will likely take on the Bucs without their future Hall of Fame Kicker, Adam Vinatieri.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 5, 2019
Before the matchup last week against the Titans, Vinatieri had began to experience a bit of pain in his left knee, the leg he plants to kick with his right leg. He told reporters that the pain began to increase through the week which led him to be placed on the Colt’s injury report for the first time this season.
Later Friday afternoon, Indy made Vinatieri’s “out” status official:
Per Coach Reich, RB Marlon Mack and WR Parris Campbell are expected to play Sunday.
More on who's in and who's out for #INDvsTB:
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 6, 2019
Vinatieri who is currently the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, has struggled to be consistent this season and has made a career-low 68% of his field goal attempts. He’s cost the Colt’s a couple of games in his missed eight field goals and six extra points.
Colts head coach Frank Reich said Wednesday that Vinatieri saw some doctors and got scans to figure out the severity of the problem. From there, they’ll consult with doctors and make a decision, which could potentially end his career. He’s currently sitting at 599 made FGs in his 24 seasons, just one shy of the 600 mark.
Earlier this week, Indianapolis secured rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers and the 45 year old Pro Bowler had said on Thursday that if he got the go ahead from everyone, he’d take the field on Sunday.
“Docs and trainers and everybody will put their two cents in and we’ll see if we can go,” Vinatieri said. “If I can go, I’ll go.”
Obviously, he did not get good news, and that means the rookie McLaughlin is in to kick at Raymond James Stadium.
The Colts are looking to stay in the race for the AFC wild card spot, in a similar situation as the Bucs, so this Sunday (and really every Sunday from here on out) is a do or die for both teams.