Michael Clayton: Sign A Veteran Or Franchise Jameis

February 6th, 2020

The Buccaneers’ mysterious quarterback situation was tackled by former Bucs wide receiver Michael Clayton this week.

The blocking icon had firm words for fans and the powers at One Buc Palace.

This Bucs team is too good to be put in the hands of a rookie, Clayton explained on WDAE radio.

“They don’t have a lot of options. Or maybe they don’t have a lot of options because we have a lot of hope that some veteran quarterbacks will be a available,” Clayton said of the Bucs. “But I don’t think that’s going to be the reality of the situation. The business of football puts [the Bucs] in a situation where they have the opportunity to lock down Jameis Winston. If you don’t lock down a veteran quarterback, the message that you’re sending to your team is, ‘We really don’t care about this season.’

“And from how our defense turned around this year, played very strong against the run, came together at the end, our young guys started to play well, we’re right on the cusp, I do believe, of turning this thing around. And with Bruce Arians in his second year, if you don’t sign a veteran quarterback it sends a bad message. I say that you have to franchise Jameis Winston …. In my opinion it’s not a long term deal because you still want to keep your options open. He has to play himself into a long term deal, and you can give him one more year with a franchise tag.”

Clayton went on to repeat that it’s either Jameis or another veteran QB in 2020 — or the Bucs have made a mistake.

Are the Bucs really on the cusp? When you’re 7-9, can’t win at home and you don’t know who you’re QB is, and you have a lot of key players looking for a fortune, that’s not exactly the formula for sitting on the cusp of greatness.

But the Bucs should be on the cusp of improving on the backs of young talent. So that’s something good.

33 Responses to “Michael Clayton: Sign A Veteran Or Franchise Jameis”

  1. LaMarcus Says:

    Man this defense is at No Cusp of anything. Yes we have a strong front 7 but that backside is still bad including the kicker

    Same folks bashing JW for carving up weak teams are same ones praising the defense for beating David Blough and Nick Foles Let’s beat a back up qb first than we talk about how the defense improved

  2. Bee Says:

    Looking at what’s going on with Dak in Dallas it would be so clutch if the Bucs could somehow trade Jameis for Dak. Or at least get Dak. The can throw and makes good decisions. If we keep Jameis, I wouldn’t be too upset but looking at how the QBs played in the playoffs…he has to do way better. No a lot of turnovers from playoff QBs. I know it’s not all on Jameis, the defense needs to start the season playing good, the kicking situation needs help and the run game needs major improvement.

    But we need a consistent low turnover QB and a consistent defense.

  3. BrianBucs Says:

    Bringing back Winston is a very risky move for the Bucs.
    The rest of your team is improving, so you want to play a QB who could possibly pick up where he left off, giving the ball away like it’s last week’s crab legs and costing your team games again.
    Very risky and possibly another lost season.
    I don’t know about you guys, but as a Bucs fan I’m getting tired of always talking about the draft in October

  4. Buczilla Says:

    One year deal for Jameis, get a vet with a pulse, and draft a rookie qb or try like hell to trade for Matthew Stafford. Brady isn’t coming here and every other potential free agent either isn’t better than Jameis or doesn’t fit the offense.

  5. John Sinclear Says:

    Re-sign all the good defensive free agents, set aside $10 million for the new draft class, then see what’s available to either sign Winston to a one year extension, or take a QB in the draft. There are good QBs out there to be had, and they would come in to very friendly receivers.

  6. Marine Buc Says:

    Defense will improve as long as our QB isn’t constantly giving the other team excellent field position due to 30 interceptions and 5 fumbles. Poor QB play makes playing defense more difficult. I hope if Winston comes back he can cut his turnovers in half.

  7. thisisouryear!! Says:

    It’s kind of interesting looking at career QB ratings of different free agents.
    Brees 98.4
    Brady 97
    Dak Prescott 97
    Rivers 95.1
    Mariota 89.6
    Bridgewater 88.3
    Dalton 87.5
    Winston 86.9

    I know Rivers had an off year last year, but the year before his rating was 105.5. If we stay with Winston, I think it’s the bottom of the barrel for what’s available. Put any of the above QB’s with Arians and our receivers and I would expect big things. Go Bucs!!!

  8. idiaznet Says:

    I don’t know why we can’t franchise Jameis and draft a QB to develop. It always worked for Ron Wolf in Green Bay. you draft a young QB, if Jameis doesn’t get better then you have more options next year. If Jameis takes the next step which personally I think he will then you can always trade the young QB down the road.

  9. Mr. Reality Says:

    Clayton is fun but he doesn’t get some things. There are enough options at QB and the Bucs have the cap space to get a veteran. And none of that involves franchise tag. The Bucs are overpaying if they use a tag on Winston. Period. That said, if the Bucs keep Winston as their starter because they flub a deal with Rivers, Carr, etc…then they are also sending a bad message…probably worse than launching Winston and playing a 1st round rookie. They WILL have a veteran (not Winston) AND draft a QB 2nd round or higher. Bank it.

  10. Jonny Says:

    Clayton is onto something. I’m no Jameis fan, but come free agency should the Bucs decide to look elsewhere in hopes of signing a Brady, Brees or Rivers while drafting a QB, they HAVE to succeed in signing that vet. Bucs don’t have a good reputation as a well run team. Despite the weapons, these QBs may feel embarrassed to finish their careers with us. The playoff window is open with competent QB play and the 2016 version of Winston for example would be good enough to get us to 10 wins. He is also used to having good games without a run game all of his career. He is good enough to get a franchise tag.

  11. Pewter Power Says:

    What is he talking about, when was the last time there was no veteran quarterback on the roster?

    If your a smart fan then you know we cant do what we did last year at the quarterback spot, if we do that then we will be drafting a quarterback fairly high. Winston makes bad decisions and has his entire career even though he was in the same system so what are the odds that will change? Last thing I want is for winston to throw high picks again, have a bad record and go into next year again needing a quarterback or having him long term. They will draft a guy just not 1st round.

  12. NPRSageBoy. Says:

    I clearly remember the chatter about JayMiss before the 2015 draft when a then we’ll respected Steve Mariucci was glowing about JayMiss’ recognition of defenses in a chalkboard session. Real or BS?

    Fast forward to more recent times when Dirk Koetter gushed about JayMiss’ work ethic.. First one in the building at 5AM, last to leave. Endless film study. Real or BS?

    Fast forward again to the 2019 season, JayMiss’ 5th season in a Buc uniform. He still locks on receivers, he still struggles reading defenses. He’s still careless with the football. Now, that’s real.

    I gotta ask: is JayMiss really a franchise QB or were we still being feed a line of BS on his ability?

    In the real world, where people work hard for every dime they earn, he wouldn’t have lasted 18 months in today’s workforce.

    He’s got to go. Period.

    Peace, out.

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    if we tag JW just to keep our options open, that means the staff doesnt trust JW and wont commit to him long term…..

    that means we’ll be in this position again next year…..

    imo, it has to be a multi year deal or let him walk…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    the way teddy carved us up along with 4 other teams when brees went down, he would be my top choice….carr 2nd….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  15. Show me the TDs Says:

    I agree. Lock down a veteran QB…not named Jameis Winston. Do that says, “We do care about this season.”

  16. Troy Says:

    You can’t win with a young QB in this league. Just ask Baltimore and KC…Oh wait.

  17. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Clayton dropped the ball with this statement just like he did throughout his career. Lot of options at qb can’t negotiate against yourself and overpay a average to below average qb

  18. DoooshLaRue Says:


    You are correct about JayMiss.
    And guess what all his tendencies are good for?


    It’s what he should be playing.

  19. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Go bag groceries Clayton.

  20. Waterboy Says:

    My concern with franchising Jameis is if he goes out and has a great season next year and is legitimately able to demand a big contract. At that point I’d still be leery that it was a fluke year and need to see it a 2nd year before I’d be sold. I’d rather see him get a 3 yr contract/27 mil a yr contract with about 40 mil guaranteed. Pay him 30 this season and if he fails cut/ trade him next year with only 10 mil guaranteed dead remaining (if cut).

    Franchise tag is going to either save the from some dead money next year OR force them to potentially get screwed and overpay for him next year if he has an uncharacteristically great season.

  21. D-Rome Says:

    I agree with Clayton that this team is on the cusp of something great. They are a RT, RB, and QB away.

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I would agree with Clayton that we should either sign a vet or keep Winston by transition or franchise tag (no long term deal)

    But……we need to draft a QB in either case…..and that is entirely due to the question mark with Winston.

  23. TOM Says:

    I don’t care one iota what loser Clayton has to say.

  24. thisisouryear!! Says:

    It maddens me that I keep seeing pay Winston the franchise tag. Why? No one else is going to pay 20 million dollars. That money should go to the defense and picking up the pieces that will get us into the playoffs next year. I can’t see paying him more than 15 MAX!!

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Are the Bucs really on the cusp? When you’re 7-9, can’t win at home and you don’t know who you’re QB is, and you have a lot of key players looking for a fortune, that’s not exactly the formula for sitting on the cusp of greatness.”

    Kudos Joe, you get it. Bucs are walking a high-wire right now much like Karl Wallenda did many, many times in his career. Hope this ends better.

  26. martinii Says:

    I might be wrong but it seems if Jameis goes out and has a great year in 2020, he should have a fairly successful career going forward. Thats taking a leap of faith by implying that the problems causing his turnovers would be corrected.

  27. mark2001 Says:

    So Michael..what do you do if Jameis flames out and you haven’t drafted a QB to replace him the next season? Hope for a vet to be available? Try to draft a QB in 2021? May end up franchising him…but Michael, it can’t stop there. Or we are very possibly doomed to multiple years of basement dwelling failure.

  28. Billy_45 Says:

    Anybody who can’t see the Bucs are on the cusp is crazy.

    A Lot more to be excited about this off-season than years past.

  29. mark2001 Says:

    Billy… I’m excited that Arians will be basically making this decision..not Licht…not Koetter..and sure as heck not Lovie.

  30. Wesley Says:

    On the cusp? That’s funny, how many years have we thought that.

  31. CrackerBall Says:

    “If you don’t lock down a veteran quarterback, the message that you’re sending to your team is, ‘We really don’t care about this season”

    … or, you’re showing the team you’re ready to overpay for mediocrity. That’s what we do here. I mean… take a look at Donovan Smith, or… wait a minute, Michael Clayton

  32. FlBoy84 Says:

    “or, you’re showing the team you’re ready to overpay for mediocrity. That’s what we do here. I mean… take a look at Donovan Smith, or… wait a minute, Michael Clayton” – too true @CB… lmao

  33. Waterboy Says:


    I hope you’re right but 1 solid season of low turnover football out of 6 years I wouldn’t be sold. I need to at least see it 2 yrs in a row before you could convince me that he turned the corner.