“I’d Say It’s More Than Fair”

June 18th, 2019


Sometimes, you just can’t shake a guy.

Ask Gerald McCoy, who has been compared to Ndamukong Suh since they were collapsing pockets and raising their profile in college.

They were chosen one pick apart in the 2010 draft and now the cycle is complete — with Suh replacing McCoy on the Bucs.

The ties that bind

So it is with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, who went 1-2 atop the 2015 draft. They were both labeled franchise quarterbacks, but here we are four years later and neither is considered among the best at his position.

The Titans have had more success than the Bucs since 2015 and enter a new season coming off three consecutive 9-7 finishes. Mariota is 27-28 as a pro compared to Winston’s 21-33 record, but the only Pro Bowl berth belongs to Winston.

“I’m going to have to go with Jameis Winston because I’ve seen bigger and more consistent stretches in the passing game,” says former 11-year NFL receiver Nate Burleson.

But Burleson’s “Good Morning Football” colleague, Kyle Brandt, offers a different take.

“This is really simple for me,” Brandt says. “It’s so difficult to be a quarterback on the field. I need to be 100 percent sure that I can count on you off the field and I don’t have that right now with Jameis Winston. Until I do, it’s Marcus Mariota … and it’s easy.”

But there’s nothing easy about the decision both franchises have to make next offseason.

Mariota and Winston are each making $21 million in 2019 on their fifth-year options. Both likely want long-term extensions in the $25-30 million per year range. That’s a serious commitment with dramatic salary-cap ramifications.

“I’m going to say Mariota does not get a long-term deal,” says former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms, now a regular commentator on Pro Football Talk. “I think he’s an athlete who plays quarterback instead of a quarterback who’s a good athlete.”

Simms seems to favor Winston in this matchup, but not by much.

“Winston is an interesting one,” he says. “I do think he’s set up for success with the talent he has around him, but I’ve got to see it to believe it. I’d say neither of them gets a long-term deal.”

There’s always the option of a franchise tag, but that’s a Band-Aid.

Draw The Line

How many years should it take to make a firm decision?

He’s either the guy, or he’s not.

The Ws can’t wait any longer, says The Sage.

Mariota has had a better ground attack and a better defense around him, but he has missed eight games due to injury and his passing skills don’t keep defensive coordinators up at night.

To be fair, the Titans have struck out with wide receivers in the draft, so they threw a lot of money at free agent Adam Humphries. Arthur Smith will be Tennessee’s fourth offensive coordinator since drafting Mariota and head coach Mike Vrabel hopes Smith can provide stability.

“I pull for quarterbacks, so I hope Marcus stays healthy and I think having Mike there will establish some consistency and continuity. That’s what quarterbacks look for – continuity,” Peyton Manning told the Titans’ official website.

If Mariota falters, the Titans have a decent backup in Ryan Tannehill, who won 42 of 88 starts in Miami. The Bucs are stacking all their 2019 chips on Winston, with Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin and Nick Fitzgerald filling out the depth chart.

Is it fair to judge a quarterback by his team’s record? After five years, I’d say it’s more than fair.

No team wants to move on under center and admit a massive misfire at the top of the draft board, but Winston and Mariota simply haven’t inspired confidence to date.

They have to stay healthy. They have to improve. They have to stay focused.

Most of all, they have to win.


Thursday, June 20, at Ed Morse Cadillac Brandon, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, June 21, at Ed Morse Cadillac Tampa, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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22 Responses to ““I’d Say It’s More Than Fair””

  1. #1bucsfan Says:

    It seems like Winston finally has matured off the field the last thing was the Uber mess an that was 3 or 4 years ago now. BA should be able to take Winston to the next level. He has deff shown flashes an has the skill set. That decision making, mechanics an being more consistent which BA can def help get under control an if Winston can’t take the next step find someone who can. The weapons are there. Beef up the O-line an I know no one is impressed with our RBs but maybe with better coaching they will do better

  2. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Jameis needs to win, period.
    He has a National reputation of being an off the field problem, even though he has apparently put those issues in his past with his owning up to an alcohol problem.
    But until he wins, his past will continue to be in the limelight.
    Brandt has a little bias from his West Coast work period while Mariota was at Oregon. Jameis is clearly the better talent.
    He has to win Now.

  3. Magadude Says:

    Winston was more ready to integrate into an NFL offense than Mariota was, but his off field controversy up to then was the only question mark. I never wanted to draft Mariota because it seemed clear his durability would never suffice. Thus, neither team can really count on their QB to be there like they need it, and either QB has played well enough to make it worth overcoming those risks. At the time, both teams were struggling so with fans and being able to win that probably played more into drafting them was warranted. I think it’s fair not to expect either of them back next year for their respective teams. Winston’s pro-bowl was really only due to Brady opting out. While that’s more than Mariota can say, Mariota does have a better record and playoffs under his belt, if any of the three really matter.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    @Chris Simms … “I’d say neither of them gets a long-term deal.” Horsepuckey. No way that Simms can make that determination in JUNE with any level of confidence for EITHER Winston or Mariota.

    IF the Bucs and/or Titans do well this year AND their respective QBs play well, there’s a fairly decent chance that they’ll either get the franchise tag or be re-signed to some sort of longer deal (may only be 3-5 yrs though). Besides, even though 2020 is supposed to have several very promising QBs, IF the Bucs and/or Titans do well this year, the team(s) doing well wouldn’t be drafting high enough to grab one of the top prospects.

    If either team doesn’t do well this year AND the QB(s) play poorly, then ya, Simms is probably right. But predicting that in JUNE is premature IMO.

  5. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    After year 1, I thought both teams won the draft and got the right qb for their respective teams. Boy was I wrong…

    After 4 years neither qb has earned the franchise qb label or the trust of the fans as Jameis is inconsistent on the field and Mariota can’t stay healthy. If after 5 years neither qb can prove they are a quality consistent nfl starter each team has to move on

    With the insane salaries of qbs you can’t keep hoping the light turns on for them in year 6, 7 or 8. 5 years is plenty of time to prove yourself as a player

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Winston is going to get a really big contract from some team. I’m hoping it’s the Bucs.

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    My hope is that we turn the corner this year putting together a run-game, defense, special teams, and less turnovers. It really is what’s best for this franchise.
    If we can’t, we need to move on. It’s that simple.

  8. Dapostman Says:

    Aaron Rodgers is 10-12-1 the last two seasons. Obviously even a great QB like Rodgers can not overcome a bad roster. Why is it different for Jameis Winston?

    The facts are Jameis Winston coming out of FSU was a talented but immature 21 year old. He was handed the job on a 2-14 team without a mentor. I don’t believe Mike Glennon was mentor material. He’s had one voice trying to teach him how to play QB in the NFL, Dirk Koetter who after getting fired by Tampa got ZERO calls to come in and be a HC for another team. Not even an interview. Winston’s Uber situation was 3 years ago and there hasn’t been any off field issues since then.

    What we saw the last 6 1/2 games was a player at the crossroads and Winston took the right path. He will have a big year under Arians, the defense will be better and the Bucs will have a better record than the last two 5-11 seasons. I believe 8-8 is the floor because well I’m an optimistic person in general.

  9. tickrdr Says:


    From the good folks at profootballreference.com:

    This list is all of the QBs drafted in the first round since 2015.
    All of the column headings are sortable by clicking on them.
    You will notice that there are four seasons listed for both Mariota and Winston, then three seasons for the 2016 draftees and so on, since they were drafted first, and the others later.

    First, while I have been a critic of Winston’s game, I agree with those who say he can NOT win games all by himself.
    BUT, I do feel as the #1 pick of the entire draft, his INDIVIDUAL play should equal that of the QBs who make the playoffs.
    At a MINIMUM, that should include a TD/INT ratio of 2 to 1, i.e. throw twice as many TD passes as INT’s.
    Now click on the column headed TD%, and see how many seasons the other first rounders have already compiled with greater than 5% TD passes for the season.
    That is my second criteria for playoff-caliber QB play.
    Now, look at the INT%, and subtract this number from the TD%. For most playoff-caliber QBs, that number is greater than 3.0! JW3 has only had one season with that number as great as 1.8!
    Lastly just click on the headings of the columns, and see just how many of Winston’s seasons surpass the newer QBs drafted since he was, or just maybe vice versa?


  10. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:


    Based on what?

  11. BrianBucs Says:

    I said back before that draft that Winston or Mariotta were neither one a franchise QB and didn’t want the Bucs to draft either one. Here 5 years later I’m sticking by that as both have proven me right.

  12. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Is it possible to retroactively trade down in that draft? Like a post-birth abortion.

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    neither has lived up to the hype….simple as that….MM does have a playoff win….thats all that counts….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    For now Mariota is the better QB. He plays within himself And he
    knows his limits. His stats are better because he does not gamble
    nor grope young ladies in the back of taxi cabs. Sorry fellow Buc
    fans,, I calls’em likes I see’s’em

  15. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Giving Mariota credit for a playoff win is like giving Shaun King credit for the Bucs 1999 season success

  16. Buczilla Says:

    With the 6th pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Tua Tagovailoa quarterback Alabama. That’s my meaningless “bored with no football”, June prediction. I hope that I am wrong, but Winston has been erratic going back to FSU so it may just be who he is.

    I don’t feel like Koetter was ever 100‰ behind Winston and was in way over his head. Good coach, but terrible at player management and getting whatever message he had accross. Arians is proven, so if Jameis continues to be a “poor man’s Jeff George”, it won’t be Arian’s fault.

  17. gilhealy Says:

    Mike Johnson, I thought you were better than that. Guess not. You’re just one of the sheep now. Disappointing.

  18. Jeff Says:

    He quit alcohol and has a child. This is a completely different dude. He’ll be a much better player due to the significant changes in his personal life.

  19. Buccfan37 Says:

    It was what it was but not that great of a draft class for QB’s. The Bucs could have stunk just as bad with what they had previously at the position.

  20. #1bucsfan Says:

    Mike Johnson gotta get your facts straight 1st it wasn’t a taxi an 2nd she was the driver an they are always in the front seat. Move on it’s bin 4 years sense his last off field issue people do change some just take longer

  21. Pryda...sec147 Says:

    Bet you they both land massive extensions come next year!!!

  22. BucFan727 Says:

    Both will get paid and start next year. But we all know there play on the field will determine if its for another team.