Bruce Arians had a busy Tuesday fielding questions about former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks.
The head coach told reporters that Tom Brady definitively closed the door on undoing his retirement. That means Arians must find a successor this offseason.
Could they turn to another familiar face?
When asked about reuniting with Jameis Winston, per The Athletic’s Greg Auman, Arians said he’s “not totally” opposed to the idea. However, he doesn’t think it’s the right decision for the 28-year-old free agent.
Wondering about a potential (if unlikely) return of Jameis Winston to Tampa? Bruce Arians, asked if he would be opposed to such a move: "No, not totally. I don't think it's the best thing for him."
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 1, 2022
Drafted with the first overall pick in 2015, Winston spent five up-and-down seasons in Tampa Bay. While he delighted fantasy football managers with 5,109 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes in 2019, he also coughed up 30 interceptions for the 7-9 Buccaneers.
The following year, Tampa Bay signed Brady and won the Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Winston, meanwhile, spent the season backing up Drew Brees for the New Orleans Saints. He opened 2021 as the starter and led them to a 5-2 record before a torn ACL ended his season.
On Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared a video of Winston running on an anti-gravity treadmill for the first time since suffering the injury last Halloween.
Free-agent-to-be QB Jameis Winston is running today for the first time since undergoing surgery on the left ACL he tore Oct. 31 vs. the Buccaneers, 📹 by Kevin Wilk @ChampionSportsM pic.twitter.com/Lt3aH4hgRX
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2022
Winston briefly received a fresh start away from the pressures of revitalizing a franchise that made him the top draft pick. Perhaps Arians is right that going back to Tampa Bay isn’t the best career move from the player’s perspective.