Option VII: Sign this struggling veteran QB
The New Orleans Saints veteran QB Jameis Winston is projected to hit the 2024 NFL Free Agency market, and Pro Football Focus author Brad Speilberger sees him as an ideal fit for the LA Rams. Originally signed to a two-year $28 million contract with the Saints in 2022, that deal was restructured to provide an out-clause after the 2023 NFL season. Now, does it make sense?
It's hard not to look over Winston's size and not see NFL quarterback written all over him. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing a robust 234 pounds, he has the size and arm strength to excite any NFL offensive coordinator. And he has enjoyed a nine-year career in the NFL, playing for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints, so he has a solid background in piloting numerous offenses.
The thing is, longevity in the NFL is not enough. Can he guide the Rams offense?
Well, he is a pocket passer with enough mobility to extend plays. But as he has gotten older, his willingness to take off scrambling for a first down has waned considerably. And while we are here discussing downsides, Winston has struggled with ball security in his NFL career. In just nine NFL season, Winston has thrown 99 interceptions and fumbled the football 55 times. That averages out to over 17 turnovers per season, or greater than 1.5 turnovers per game played. So why would the Rams have any interest?
For starters, the guy fits the profile of an NFL QB whose once bright and shiny NFL career has been somewhat tarnished of late. There is no denying that he can sling the football, as he once threw for over 5,100 yards for the Bucs in 2019. And over his career, he has completed 1,763 of 2,882 passes for 22,104 yards, 141 touchdowns, and 99 interceptions. So he knows what he is doing in the pocket.
Because he is a talented quarterback is less than elite offenses, Winston and his team has placed undue pressure on him to 'make something happen,' which has frequently led to disappointing results. I think that he could be signed to a team-friendly contract, which makes him an option for 2024.