The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did pickup the 5th-year team option on starting quarterback Jameis Winston for a whopping $20.9-million, but make no bones about it, the team is expecting big things from the former Florida State Star this fall.
Winston enters his fifth season as Tampa Bay’s starting signal caller, but a bumpy last couple of years has those around the organization hesitant on making him the long term franchise quarterback. The Buccaneers have had issues in recent memory with extending potential franchise quarterbacks, with Josh Freeman being the most notable.
Many around Tampa Bay believe many of Winston’s bad habits could now be possibly coached out of him under the tutelage of ‘Quarterback Whisperer’ Bruce Arians, who has done notable work with the likes of Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer.
Arians will surely have his hands full on the offensive end of the ball, as he installs a new offense and tries to put the puzzle pieces together. Winston lost one of his most reliable targets in slot receiver Adam Humphries, who signed with the Tennessee Titans over the off-season.
Returning on offense as targets for Winston is elite receiver Mike Evans, who has turned into a top-10 NFL wideout. Also back are tight ends OJ Howard and Cameron Brate, whom form one of the top duos in the NFL. Tampa Bay boosted the receiving corps by drafting Bowling Green wide out Scotty Miller and signing Breshad Perriman, who came on strong last season for the Cleveland Browns.
The offensive line remains fairly intact from last season, a Donovan Smith returns to left tackle and Demar Dotson is back at right tackle. Ryan Jensen returns at center and All-Pro guard Ali Marpet round out a formidable offensive line unit. The Buccaneers’ backfield should be an upgraded unit, as Peyton Barber is back as the lead back, with Ronald Jones II and former Arizona Cardinal Andre Ellington all will be vying for carries in Arians’ offense.
The pressure is all on Winston to perform in Year No. 5 in Tampa, as the receiving corps looks to be elite, the offensive line will improve and the backfield has capable runners. Oh, and Arians is a 2-time AP NFL Coach of the Year winner. To say if all eyes be on Winston just might be an understatement.
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