If Winston is done, where would he rank?

by Gary Shelton on March 15, 2020

in general

How would you remember Winston if he left?/JOE MESTAS

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Do you imagine it? Do you dream about it? Do you wait without breath for the day it occurs?

Do you envision Jameis Winston packing his bags? Do you imagine him taking a cab -- not an Uber -- to the airport? Do you anticipate him handing his family's tickets to the agent and stepping on the plane tower parts unknown?

The biggest question?

Do you think it might happen?

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With the internet rumor churning stories about Tom Brady putting on the red and pewter uniforms, with the Bucs surrendering every important decision to him, do you really see it happening? Do you see Brady coming and Winston going?


I keep reading, and I keep doubting, but the stories keep coming. Still, I have difficulty wrapping my brain around the fact it would really happen. I just think there are teams with a better shot at the Super Bowl than the Bucs who would love to sign up for two years of Tom Brady.

But say it does happen.

How would you remember Winston?

Would you think of him forever as the troubled kid at FSU? Or the guy throwing a down-and-out to an opposing cornerback for a touchdown? Or trudging off the field and spouting cliches about how he's going to do better -- honest he is?

And where, pray tell, would Winston rank on the list of the Bucs' starting quarterbacks?

  1. Brad Johnson: You can tell how weak this position is by the fact that Johnson is on it.. He won only 26 (and lost 23) of his 49 starts. But Johnson took the Bucs to the Super Bowl after the 2002 season, and he outplayed some top quarterbacks along the way.

2. Doug Williams: Williams owns only 33-33 as a starter with Tampa Bay (and 5-9 elsewhere), but he was the unquestioned leader of that team, and the Bucs spend decades trying to fill his loss. Williams completed less than half of his passes and had a rating of just 69.4 for his career.

3. Jameis Winston: Yes, he's a turnover machine, and yes, the rules make it easier to play quarterback than at any time in league history. But Winston also has thrown for almost 20,000 yards and 121 touchdowns. Give him is due.

4. Trent Dilfer: Granted, Dilfer played with the best defense the Bucs have ever had. Still, his 38 wins is the most-ever by a Bucs' quarterback. If he had played on a better offense, and shown a little maturity, he would have won even more.

5. Jeff Garcia: Garcia was 14-10 with the Bucs, but he had a rating of 92.2. He was aging when he got here, but he did okay.

6. Vinny Testeerde: Testaverde lasted parts of 21 seasons, which puts him high enough on the yardage totals to make you think he was a good quarterback. And he was ... elsewhere. But with the Bucs, Testaverde was 24-48, and he threw 112 interceptions in 72 starts. (Winton has 88 in 72 starts). Not much help for Testaverde on any front.

6. Josh Freeman:There for a while, the Bucs would argue that Freeman was among the NFL's elite quarterbacks. And why not? In 2010, he led Tampa Bay to 10 wins. He threw 25 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. But he won only 14 other games for the Bucs, and bounced around with three teams as an afterthought after leaving.

7. Steve DeBerg: DeBerg spent parts of six seasons here, but he won only eight games with the Bucs (29 losses). Again, he was just the face in a miserable era.

8. Shaun King: King was 14-8 with the Bucs, but 10 of those came in the 2000 season. His last four seasons in the NFL (the last with Arizona), he didn't get a win.

9. Craig Erickson: Erickson was 11-18 with the Bucs. An entirely forgettable era.

10. Mike Glennon:Glennon was 5-13 with the Bucs in two seasons, which puts him ahead of Ryan Fitzpatrick (four wins), Chris Simms (three wins) and Bruce Gradkowski (three wins).

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