Jameis Winston bid farewell to Tampa Bay via Twitter on Saturday morning, but he isn’t expected to trade places with new Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady this season.
The New England Patriots are “unlikely” to pursue Winston as a free agent now that Brady’s deal with the Bucs became official Friday, NFL Network reported, citing “a high-ranking New England official.”
The 26-year-old Winston, the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft out of Florida State, became the first player in NFL history last year to throw at least 30 touchdown passes (33) and 30 interceptions (30) in the same season. Brady, by contrast, has totaled just 29 picks over the last four years and never has exceeded 14 in any one season.
Among the trade options for the Patriots to replace Brady are Carolina’s Cam Newton, Indianapolis’ Jacoby Brissett and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton.
Newton has been granted permission to seek a trade after the Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal worth $63 million. He also has been linked to the Washington Redskins, due to his Carolina ties to new coach Ron Rivera, even though they drafted quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the first round of last year’s draft.
Brissett, who appeared in three games for the Patriots after they drafted him in the third round in 2016, figures to be available after the Colts signed former Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. And the Bengals are expected to draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall selection in this year’s draft.
As for Winston, it isn’t immediately clear which NFL teams might be interested. The Chargers have Tyrod Taylor listed as their starter, but they could use the sixth overall pick – or move up in the draft – to take a quarterback such as Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon’s Justin Herbert. The Miami Dolphins (fifth overall) also could select or attempt to move up for a quarterback.
With his future uncertain after Brady officially was announced as his replacement, Winston indicated Saturday that he hopes to return to Tampa with another team for next year’s Super Bowl.
“It’s been a great 5 seasons as a Buccaneer,” Winston tweeted. “All love and respect, I love Tampa and I look forward to seeing y’all again in February. #SBLV #2020Vision #Dreamforever”
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