Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that while the Buccaneers are disappointed that it’s come to them benching Jameis Winston in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team hasn’t given up on the former first-round pick and could give him another shot this season.
According to La Canfora, the Buccaneers have been “very impressed” with how Winston has handled the demotion and they believe he is working hard to try to correct the decision-making errors that have led the turnover issues he’s had this year.
Even though they run the risk of Winston’s fifth-year option becoming guaranteed if he gets hurt, La Canfora says the Bucs’ front office is “hopeful” of getting another chance to evaluate him this season.
As for Fitzpatrick, La Canfora expects him to remain the starter for as long as he is playing well. However, if the Buccaneers begin to fall out of the race for a playoff spot, Winston will likely take over at some point.
La Canfora adds that the success of Winston will have “major ramifications” on the future of HC Dirk Koetter and GM Jason Licht.
Winston, 24, is a former first-round pick of the Buccaneers back in 2015. He’s set to make a base salary of $705,000 for the 2018 season and will earn $20.922 million for the 2019 season under his fifth-year option.
In 2018, Winston has appeared in four games for the Buccaneers and thrown for 1,181 yards while completing 64.9 percent of his passes to go along with six touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has also rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown.