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Until He Wins, Jameis Winston Will Never Get A Fair Shake From the National Media

Jameis Winston doesn’t care about any of this. He shouldn’t, either. He just made one of the biggest decisions of his life, putting a ring on the finger of longtime girlfriend Breion Allen. It’s a wonderful time for the young couple. They’re both young, beautiful people with the whole lives ahead of them.

While Mr. and future Mrs. Winston celebrate their engagement, Mike Florio, of Pro Football Talk took his shot at Winston over the weekend, preposterously proposing that no team would sign him if the Bucs released him today. It’s a ridiculous take, but one that isn’t really all that surprising.

What is the narrative? That Winston had a terrible season in 2017, right? Sure, if you call 3504 yds and career highs in completion pct, interception ratio, QB Rating and 300-yd games despite playing on an injured shoulder a terrible season.

As the Pewter Report’s Trevor Sikkema correctly pointed out, the thought that Winston would be on the market long is absolutely ludicrous. Of course, the Bucs won’t be that stupid. They know that a 24-yr old quarterback with 11,636 passing yards and 70 touchdowns to 44 interceptions is probably worth keeping around. Not to mention, have you seen the quarterbacks for these other teams?

Are you seriously telling me the Dolphins wouldn’t send Winston a gold plated plane to fly down to Miami and replace Tannehill?

Arizona wouldn’t kick Sam Bradford to the curb and auction off Josh Rosen to the highest bidder?

That Jacksonville wouldn’t drop Blake Bortles like a bad habit?

That Bill Belichick wouldn’t be on Line 5 with Brady approaching mid-40’s?

Or Sean Payton, with Brees doing the same?

And that’s just the start. Would Chicago think twice about keeping Mitch Trubisky? The Giants may think they can squeeze a couple more years out of Eli but what if they didn’t have to? You think John Elway’s All-In with Case Keenum?

We can go on and on. The bottom line is why did Florio go there?

It’s the narrative that Jameis is a bad guy who does weird things, turns the ball over too much and doesn’t win enough. Brett Favre could be Brett Favre because the Packers won, even if Favre was throwing nearly as many interceptions as touchdowns. No one cared because John Madden would go gaga for him on national television every week and the Pack competed for championships.

Have you heard a single National wag talk about nice-guy Marcus Mariota’s craptastic season? He barely threw for 200 yds a game (203.9), threw more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (13) and had a QB rating worse than Winston’s rookie season. Hell, Mariota makes Blake Bortles look like Joe Montana. But you know what else Mariota had? A 9-7 season that allowed the Titans to sneak into the playoffs. He also had a come-from-behind win against the annual choke artists, the Kansas City Chiefs. Suddenly, Mariota is great.

Winston? He was 4-12 in his last 16 starts and is embroiled in a sexual harassment controversy with a female Uber driver that’s being investigated by the NFL. He is the “eat a W” guy. The guy with the speeches nobody listens to (according to the haters).

No one sees the charity work he does, the leadership through tough times he’s shown and the warrior mentality he’s exhibited. Jameis has been everything Tampa Bay could hope for in a quarterback, except be a consistent winner. Is that really all on his shoulders though? The old cliche is the quarterback gets too much of the credit and too much of the blame.

Is it Jameis’ fault that the Bucs had a sieve of a defense? How many times had he given the Bucs a fourth quarter lead only to see the defense surrender like the French against the Axis powers?

Did Jameis put all his eggs in Doug Martin’s basket and not draft a running back until the 5th round (who failed to make the team)?

Did Jameis put his team in bubble wrap and pillows during training camp?

Jameis isn’t blameless. His turnovers cost the Bucs games this past season. Mostly, it cost Tampa Bay scoring opportunities and chances to take control of games. Still, Tampa Bay didn’t get to 5-11 on Winston’s mistakes alone.

There is definitely room to grow for Jameis and that’s the beauty of it. No matter what these blowhards in the national media say, Winston is still a young quarterback. He has a chance to get better, much better. With his pending nuptials, he’ll be maturing both on and off-the-field. Tampa Bay surely isn’t ready to give up on #3 and I guarantee you if they did, the phone would be ringing off the hook and Winston would make Kirk Cousins’ contract numbers look like peanuts.

J.C. De La Torre

J.C. De La Torre

Want to give JC a piece of your mind? E-mail him at JC@whatthebuc.net JC De La Torre is formerly a columnist/blogger for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog site BucsNation.com where in 2016, he was nominated as best sportswriter in Tampa Bay by Creative Loafing. Previously, he served as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report on Tampa Bay sports, an editor and featured columnist for SB Nation Tampa Bay covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Gators, wrote for NFL.com’s Blog Blitz and contributed to Pewter Report, one of the top magazines on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. JC is also a filmmaker, comic writer and rabid Whovian.

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