Reality Before Nonsense, Please.

February 3rd, 2022

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Let’s stop the nonsense — he’s not coming back.

The Bucs may be desperate to land a veteran under center, but Bruce Arians isn’t desperate enough to bring back Jameis Winston for a second stint.

Although he’s rehabbing from a torn ACL, Winston may be the most coveted free-agent quarterback on the market in a few months. That hardly means he’s a natural fit at One Buc Place as long as Arians is still sitting in the head coach’s office.

Arians evaluated Winston during the 2019 season and it didn’t end well.

No chance, writes Ira Kaufman.

In fact, it ended terribly.

In position to earn a second contract, Winston self-destructed in the final two games, prompting Arians to turn his attention to Door No. 2. We know what happened next — two years of startling success, national exposure and a rush to the turnstiles, all initiated by Tom Brady.

Arians has already passed judgment on Winston, the first overall pick in the 2015 draft.

“He had a nice run going,” Arians said after the 2019 season. “We had a great shot to get to 9-7. And then we lose a couple of games on pick-sixes and it was disheartening because he had made progress … then he regressed.”

After sitting behind Drew Brees in 2020, Winston played well in New Orleans last year before suffering his injury against the Bucs. The reeling Saints figure to make Winston a competitive offer to stay, but the Steelers could also have interest.

There’s another way to look at the unlikelihood of a potential Winston-Bucs reunion.

From Winston’s perspective, why would he want to play again for a coach who said no thanks the first time around? In the unlikely scenario that the Bucs become suitors, you would think Winston will have several other options to consider in free agency.

Tank Talk

It was natural to think about Winston and the Bucs when news broke this week that Brian Flores is suing the NFL. One of his allegations is that owner Stephen Ross offered him money to lose games for the 2019 Dolphins so Miami would have a higher pick to draft a quarterback.

Team Glazer memories.

Flores said he refused to go along and the Dolphins ended up choosing Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5. Ross denies the allegations.

A few years earlier, the Bucs fueled a tanking controversy of their own. Heading into the final game of the 2014 season, a loss would guarantee Tampa Bay the top choice in a draft headed by Winston and Marcus Mariota.

The Bucs were 2-13, riding a 5-game losing streak when the Saints came marching into Raymond James Stadium. With Tampa Bay ahead 20-7 at the half, coach Lovie Smith pulled Mike Evans, Lavonte David and most of his offensive line off the field down the stretch while the Saints rallied for a 23-20 victory.

When New Orleans dropped Josh McCown for a last-minute safety to ensure the win, the north end zone at RayJay erupted in cheers. After the game, Smith dismissed any suggestions he was tanking for Winston.

We know better.

Sean Payton kept his mouth shut until 2020, when he was interviewed by a Baltimore radio station.

“Heck, they (Bucs) lost the game on purpose to us at the end of the season,” Payton said. “They forced Lovie to take his starters out of the game so they could get the No. 1 spot to draft Jameis.”

We all know how that turned out. To be fair, neither Winston nor Mariota has established himself as a franchise quarterback.

Next Move

If bringing Winston back doesn’t make sense, what does?

You’ve come to the right place. The Bucs could do a lot worse than Jimmy Garoppolo. Just because the 49ers are infatuated with Trey Lance, don’t overlook what Jimmy G. accomplished with San Francisco.

Steady winner.

This guy boasts a 33-14 record as a starting quarterback during the regular season and he’s 4-2 in the playoffs. Last season, he completed 68 percent of his throws and his 98.9 passer rating was better than Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Josh Allen. Most impressively, he averaged 8.6 yards per pass attempt, No. 2 in the league behind Joe Burrow.

Best of all, he’s available. There’s no mystery — the 49ers are moving on from Garoppolo. He’ll be with another team in 2022 and it’s not like John Lynch is going to demand a massive return.

The Bucs can win with this guy, but it will require a different offensive strategy. Tom Brady threw an NFL-high 719 passes, most of them very successfully. Brady threw a lot because it worked, not because it was a necessity.

Post-Brady, this offense is going to change markedly, and that’s all right. Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t Tom Brady. Who is? But he’s smart and he makes good decisions.

At the moment, he’s standing tall behind Door No. 2.

63 Responses to “Reality Before Nonsense, Please.”

  1. adam from ny Says:

    food for thought ira…

    fitzy for one year while things get figured out……fitzy!

  2. ocala Says:

    Nowhere to go but down t=from the best of all time.

  3. Barber20 Says:

    IRA, I understand your argument to a degree, but to dismiss Winston completely is not looking at this situation objectively. Winston could be had on a deal friendly contract, he has produced, knows the offense, respected by the players, we wont have to trade for him, and has shown growth and improvement since he was here. Jimmy G was a part of teams that helped him win, Jameis hasn’t had that in Tampa. This team doesn’t need him to win for us, just do his part. I believe this needs to be considered more carefully, and many I the media are hell bent not to have Jamie’s back. I dont know many that would say Jimmy G is better( I saw him make poor decisions in games this post season), or that Teddy B is better than Jameis. We really need to look at what are the best options when talking about our next QB, and Jameis needs to have serious consideration.

  4. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I love how many people are so quick to dismiss Jimmy G when he just came off a very good season and was close to winning a conference championship.

  5. Ash Says:

    Stay in reality and then you suggest Jimmy g? Jimmy can not make the hard reads in arians scheme so might as roll Trask out. I honestly don’t know why Jimmy keeps getting mentioned he played in a scheme that made it easy for a QB and he still failed.

  6. HC Grover Says:

    ABW Anybody But Winston. Can we trade Tryon, Howard, and Darden for Polo? Heck even throw in Bowles and Trask.

  7. mark2001 Says:

    Winston had every chance…. every advantage here. And failed. No turning back.

  8. Aaron Says:

    I need to watch some more Jimmy G tape – I just don’t see it. I see the 49ers drafting a QB at #3 overall – Why? I see the 49ers very good coaching staff run the ball over and over – you just got the feeling they didn’t trust him…Would BA throw the ball just 15x a game?

    I’m forever a Bucs fan but not forever a season ticket holder – 2 completely different things.

    GO Bucs!

  9. D-Rome Says:

    Hold on a second, are there people out there actually suggesting we should bring Jay-Miss back?

    He’s not a franchise QB. He’s a bust. Winston’s “success” with New Orleans last year is because Payton had him throwing on average 185 yards a game. He was completing less than 60% of this passes. That is no longer good enough in the NFL. These days if you’re not completing at least 62% of your passes you’re not going to lead your team to meaningful wins. Throughout his entire career both here and in New Orleans he has shown he cannot see the field and make the correct decisions.

  10. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “I saw him make poor decisions in games this post season“

    Barber20, yeah, all 32 starting QBs do that. There’s a reason he got to the post season.

  11. unbelievable Says:

    ZERO chance Winston comes back here. Sorry.

    Jimmy G will at least throw the ball further than Teddy, but neither are those clutch guys that are going to will you to victory. I don’t think there are any QBs out there who fit that description, besides maybe Wilson or Rodgers, and I’d say our chances of getting either one of them are the same as Winston coming back: zero.

    Kirk Cousins might be a better choice, but he has a 35mil cap hit next season.

    Sadly, there just aren’t a lot of good choices out there. Might have to roll w/ Trask and re-evaluate after next season.

    We all knew this day would come sooner or later after mortgaging everything to win with Brady. It is what it is.

  12. BA4President Says:

    The Bucs spent 5 years doing EVERYTHING they could to make Jameis work. He crushed their souls on and off the field. There is no way in hell he ever steps foot in the locker room again, even as a backup.

  13. westernbuc Says:

    Jimmy G was the worst player on a great team and the only reason they aren’t in the Super Bowl right now.

    The record is not relevant. His missed throw cost them the super bowl against the chiefs, and he couldn’t do anything at all during these playoffs.

    I’d rather see what Trask has to offer than endure Jimmy G

  14. Lamarcus Says:

    Why would JW have in his heart to come back? No, that’s a done deal

  15. Tbbucs3 Says:


    So you rather see a complete unknown in Trask who couldnt even beat out Blaine Gabbert in camp than a QB whos capable of taking a team to the super bowl with a great roster? Not at all a good strategy.

  16. Buc king Says:

    Rather Wilson Watson or winston

  17. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Outside of the quarterback position…the Bucs have an equally if not more talented roster than the 49ers. So why couldnt Jimmy G lead this team back to a conference championship game? He absolutely cam

    Jason Licht isnt dumb to risk his job security by throwing Trask out there in year 2

  18. Buc king Says:

    Winston didn’t have the tools brady had simple and plain..he will be a decent bandaid

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I tend to agree with you Ira………but Winston is still more likely than some…..I wouldn’t want him going back to NO….or to Carolina….hope he ends up in Pittsburgh….that would be a good place for him.

    As far as Jimmy G., he has a 1 year contract that could be worked into a longer term deal saving cap in year 1…..

    We can’t afford Wilson or Rodgers…..and we can’t afford Watson in many more ways than 1….namely his character and pending suspension. If Jameis got 3 games for a “hassle” with an Uber driver……Watson should get 3 years.

    My thought is to let it roll with Trask……he just may surprise….use the savings for other players.

    I could see Arians going for Bridgewater… draft picks and a reasonable salary….don’t love that but we could do worse.

  20. Buc king Says:

    Stop the false narrative bucs have big loads of cap space

  21. Rayjay1122 Says:

    My wife wants the Bucs to get Jimmy G because she thinks he is hot. Good grief. 🙈😂

  22. Christos Says:

    You can do a lot worse than Jimmy G. He is good, he will make some bad throws for sure. But besides changing the philosophy on Offense we are going to need a better Defense for sure cause he is not gonna carry the team. The 8.6 yards per attempt is a little misleading, 49ers was one of the best YAC teams in the league with Deebo-Kittle-Aiyuk.

  23. Pewter Power Says:

    Trask was never in competition to beat out anyone. Why on earth would BA let a rookie back up Brady before Blaine who was here before Brady. With a Super Bowl roster you let a rookie sit and worry about their mechanics and playbook not playing time. It’s on him from here on out, he can’t be worse than the Winston era

  24. FairMinded Says:

    One thing I’ve learned in recent years is to trust Licht, Arians and the Glazers to make the best personnel decisions. After Brady, I think with those guys in charge we can almost expect them to pull off something unexpected. I sincerely doubt the answer is on our current roster.

    Waiting with bated breath because I just feel like they’ll get something done and keep this juggernaut chugging along

  25. westernbuc Says:

    Tbbucs3 I’d rather see a complete unknown than Jimmy G yes.

    We’re going to have to upgrade the position. Jimmy G isn’t a top-20 QB. All the “He wins” and “He’s been to a Super Bowl” nonsense applies to Nick Foles as well. Why not go and get Nick Foles if that’s the case?

    Shanahan’s offense is way different than what Bruce runs here. It’s run-heavy. Bruce hates running the ball and wants to throw the ball every day. Jimmy G would crumble in that offense.

    Our best hope is that McDaniels wants Jimmy G and we get Derek Carr.

  26. Kevin Marbley Says:


  27. Cobraboy Says:


    Not just no, but f@<k no.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Aaron … ‘I need to watch some more Jimmy G tape – I just don’t see it. I see the 49ers drafting a QB at #3 overall – Why?’

    Great question & any answers are just speculation on our part obviously (John Lynch knows why though). I SUSPECT it’s because John Lynch knows how to build a team & he’s trying to get his salary CAP under control. 49ers finished 10-7 & made the playoffs, but in 2021 they weren’t anything spectacular. Offense was middle-of-the-pack (#13), but their defense was better than that (#9). But neither set the world on fire. IOW BOTH sides need work to be competitive in the NFC West.

    Unfortunately for Lynch, 49ers have a CAP problem. They’ve only got 37 players under contract for 2022 and only have $3.0 mil in CAP space left. Their basic problem? Too many players making some BIG $$$, starting with (tada) … Jimmy G. The good news for John Lynch though is that Jimmy has a VERY LOW Dead CAP (only $1.4 mil) and Trey Lance is waiting in the wings. Result? Bye Jimmy.

    49ers have made some big commitments to their offensive AND defensive stars AND they won’t be easy to move on from because of Dead CAP (guys like Armstead, Kittle, Williams, Ward, Ford, McGlinchey & Bosa … those 7 together make over $96 mil in 2022 & account for nearly $120 mil in Dead CAP … they’re not going anywhere in 2022). Lynch is trying to restore some order it looks like to the 49ers salary CAP position, and Jimmy G is the obvious first cut. Just speculation though …

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … ‘Winston? Not just no, but f@<k no.'

    Aaahh yes Cobra, love the clarity. I second that.

  30. Ash Says:

    The QB is the most important piece and so hard to find so if he is good enough teams figure out the cap around him. John knows Jimmy isn’t the one so cya Jimmy, is more how I see that one.

  31. Gunnin4Ya Says:

    Post all comments professionally, within 15 minutes. Especially when no other content is being drafted and uploaded.

  32. Hodad Says:

    Jimmy G. is not a fit for this offence. It’s as simple as that. Don’t worry folks, he ain’t coming.

  33. Phred Says:


    Remember that time you broke up with a girl and then got back together?

    Now remember how that went.

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    Like it or not – Winston is probably the best fit for this team in 2022 if the Bucs decide they want to bring in a QB instead of rolling with Trask and Gabbert for a year. (Which is what I would be tempted to do – mainly for financial reasons – while building up the team around them).

    Winston, Bridgewater, Mariota, Trubiski, Tyrod Taylor, Cam Newton, Jacoby Brissett, Andy Dalton, Trevor Seimian and 39 y.o. Fitzpatrick

    Those are the QB ‘choices’ available without paying way too much money and /or draft capital.

    Jameis is obviously the most talented and capable Quarterback from that list.

    “it was disheartening because he had made progress … then he regressed”

    Yes BA – we all felt that way. Going after Brady was definitely the right move and paid HUGE dividends. But now the fairy tale is over and its back to the cold harsh reality that it is hard as hell to even find – much less afford a top NFL Quarterback.

    It’s important to remember the context of that “regression” as well. Winston was definitely playing HURT towards the end of the 2019 season and he had to make do with a bunch of backup receivers as well because both Evans and Godwin were on IR.

    Its not an excuse for bad play and bad decisions the last couple games – but it WAS the situation. Also, just prior to those last 2 ‘terrible’ games by Winston – he broke an NFL record by throwing for over 450 yards in 3 straight games – and became just the 8th QB in NFL history to throw for over 5000 yards that season…..

    No one on that list has the arm talent/play making capability of Winston and that certainly includes Garappolo who would cost us draft picks AND $27M next year. Winston could likely be signed for $10M or so.

    BA would already know what he was dealing with and would hopefully reign Jameis in as needed – which is obviously what Sean Peyton was doing….

  35. Ralphie Says:

    Ira, isn’t Jimmy G hurt a lot?

    According to it looks like he only played in 46 of 81 possible starts over the last 5 seasons (not sure if the 46 includes playoff games).

  36. Tacklebockwin Says:

    I can see Winston or Rodgers in Pittsburgh, not Tampa.

  37. Ash Says:

    Its definitely not Winston and he was a terrible fit in Tampa in arians scheme because he took to long to make reads in the mentally taxing system that arians runs which made Brady perfect for the scheme they almost signed Bridgewater before they got Tom might do it this go around after tom retired while they wait for Trask to finish cooking.

  38. Gunnin4Ya Says:

    New post..6:58

    What missing here, is Jimmy Class’s INJURY history. Completely missing here. More to come…

  39. Gunnin4Ya Says:

    So at 5:46…mysteriously missing was…

    Not too mention one of the brightest minds in ALL of the NFL, Shanahan NEVER trusted Jimmy Glass, either in crunch time, not in playoffs. Sure trade for that.

    Next, the quote was “but it will require a different offensive strategy”. Hmm. BA didn’t change the scheme for Winston, not our latest Goat, just added TE seam routes.

    Noodle arm Jimmy Glass doesn’t fit the down field, no INT no risk it no biscuit offense whatsoever.

    You know who does….he’s kickin it in Houston. Post.

  40. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Can we please stop the Jay Miss talk? The guy was wearing shackles the entire time he was the New Orleans QB. He turned into “Checkdown Charlie,” because Payton didn’t want him turning it over. How often did he even throw it for 250 yards as the New Orleans QB? He stunk it up for 5 years here and he’s never gonna be anything more than a low end starter or decent backup.
    I have no interest in JimmyG either. I’d rather spend the money elsewhere and keep some good free agents. Turn the keys over to Trask. If he stinks, we’ll get a really high pick in the draft next year and there will be better QBs coming out.

  41. Gunnin4Ya Says:

    In all future threads, regardless of content or author, professionally post all comments at time of submission, within short reason.

  42. Arn Platz Says:

    Sign Fitzpatrick, mentor Trask, focus more on defense. Especially play calling

  43. Stu Says:

    “He’s smart and makes good decisions.”
    I respectfully disagree…hard pass from this Bucs follower…

  44. Dapostman Says:

    I expect Winston to get a decent offer from New Orleans or Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has a pretty good roster with a good defense, running game and a top tier coach. New Orleans is behind the 8 ball in cap space and may do a total rebuild.

    Highly doubtful he’d even want to go to Tampa. I think he would prefer to beat Tampa every chance he gets.

  45. Craig Says:

    The best fit for this team next year will be Kyle Trask. He should know the offense and be ready to step up.

    I doubt we can afford anyone else. We need a lot to sign our existing free agents back into the nest.

  46. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Interesting article Ira…many twists and turns like you in the sweet 16 Edge headed to a paid for lunch.

    There is zero chance of Winny coming back…despite the longings of fanboys OneLilBuc & Hot Rod Mulch. That was an awful 5 year sentence/stretch which ended poetically with a walk off pick 6. He helped bring Brady to town…so there’s that.

    I just don’t know what to think of a Jimmy G-String trade. I do believe he will actually fetch a 1st round pick given the market demand for his services.

  47. Costa Rica John Says:

    Does anyone think Phillip Rivers might come back on a 1 year deal to play for the Bucs? He’s older but has made the playoffs everywhere he went and hasn’t been gone from the league long.

  48. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Jimmy G isn’t my favorite QB we could get but he’s certainly the most accomplished for the right price. Lynch deserves all the credit in the world in the way he’s built the 49ers. They are built the right way. He may not deal with an NFC foe but if he does it would be the Bucs. Personally I’m not a Trask fan at all when it comes to his physical ability but he produced with top level talent at UF. Wish we would have really went all in on the 2021 draft to get more defensive help and build o-line depth. I feel like we got a little careless with the holes we had on defense. Trask will get his shot if the staff thinks he can do it but we need a winning presence at QB. Jimmy G has won and can win more with better decision making. Lenny, Godwin, maybe Gronk can be had for the right QB. It will help lure Jensen back and we can add another interior o-lineman.

  49. Darin Says:

    Can’t believe anyone would want him back here.

  50. Jbeachbuc Says:

    D-Wat, anyone?
    Everyone deserves a second chance… No better testing grounds in the league than Strippa Bay. Easy way to find out what he is really made of ( character wise that is, we all know he is a beast on the field)

  51. steele Says:

    Jittery G is a great team guy and game manager who inevitably collapses in critical moments. The bigger the moment, the worse his face plant is. Give him a huge, safe pocket in regular season games, and he looks oh so slick on short passes, but the moment there is pressure, he panics, turns the ball over, spins around and around, flips wild basketball set shots into the air to get picked, etc. He is also very fragile.

    Bring him to the Bucs, and you’ll want to believe, but you will not shake the nervousness. Ask anyone in SF.

  52. jameisGirl1 Says:

    The question is why would Jameis want to come back to Tampa other than the weather?? It took the GOAT being qb, head coach and gm to win the super bowl. Jameis was expected to do this as a 22 year old kid. Luckily we faced Noodle arm Brees in the playoffs last year instead of Jameis! Poke fun and criticize all you want but letting Jameis go was a mistake. Yeah we won a super bowl but lost a franchise qb. Better hope the Saints get outbid or we won’t win the the South for another 10 years

  53. Howard Cosell Says:

    Oh No! We suck a-gain

    JImmy Glass < Winston <<< Brady the GOAT

    (For the non-math types: Howard is saying Winston is better
    than JG and Brady is magnitudes better than either.
    JG was a painfully obvious weak link in SF

  54. Howard Cosell Says:

    Sounds like Ira has insider info on Bradys replacement and it definitely fits the Glazers mold. We, and they, got lucky with Brady now it’s back to business as usual in the home of the Mons Venus and chronic underachievers

  55. BradyBucs Says:

    “Winston may be the most coveted free-agent quarterback on the market in a few months”


    Dude averaged like 185 yards passing a game or something terrible. They barely let him throw so he wouldn’t turn it over. Saints are a heavy run first team.

  56. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Lynch & Shanarat have assembled a good roster. The Trey Wax Your Lance pick may be their undoing, however. And Brady offered them up his services requiring no picks and a manageable salary. Thankfully they passed.

    As far as giving D-Wat a 26th chance to freak out a masseuse…that’s just not a good look and doesn’t pass any sniff test on the planet.

  57. Howard Cosell Says:

    This is terrible to say but Howard would rather take back Winston than get JImmy G

  58. Howard Cosell Says:

    Howard still think AR12 would be THE MAN in Arians offense and Howard doesn’t buy that Rodgers is diva. Howard also knows that AR12 is a west coast guy, but he’s not typical of west coast softies at all (*Cough* Carr!)

    If Howard had to guess he’d say Rodgers was from Texas. The guy is tough as nails

  59. Howard Cosell Says:

    Licht, Glazers, Bruce…please talk to Aaron Rodgers

  60. BrianBucs Says:

    There is absolutely no way the Bucs could sell a Winston return to the fan base.
    Plus that he still stinks.
    Sean Payton’s game for Winston – throw a 5 yard pass to Kamara and let him run 40 yards.

  61. Swampbuc Says:

    If Bowels were the offensive coordinator, he would order his offensive line to blitz.

  62. JayWill Says:

    If it took the goat 3 months into the season to get Arians offense, I understand Winston’s 2019. Jimmy G, Tribusky, Bridgewater or Trask will have the 30ints without the 33tds and 3rd in scoring. Brady’s greatness is making people forget Arians qbs 1st yr history with Qbs.

  63. JayWill Says:

    Rodgers isn’t coming to Tampa right after Brady. No way he wants that kind of pressure or the comparisons