It was just over a year ago when Winston, the former No. 1 overall pick, threw 30 interceptions on a Buccaneers team that went 7-9. With Tom Brady under center in 2020, the Buccaneers overcame a slow start to earn a date with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55.
Buccaneers fans have Winston on their mind ahead of the Big Game, but they’re not exactly feeling grateful or nostalgic about their former quarterback.
Jameis Winston had a mixed career with the Buccaneers
Over a year after playing his final game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there is still too much gray area to decide if Jameis Winston was a bust.
Over five years and 72 starts for the Buccaneers, Winston completed 61.4% of his passes for 19,812 yards, 121 touchdowns, and 88 interceptions. Thirty of those picks came in 2019, the same year that Winston threw for 33 touchdowns and a league-high 5,109 yards.
Winston did not earn a second contract, which ordinarily would put him in ‘bust’ territory. Tampa Bay selected Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, with the No. 1 overall pick in 2015.
Still, there were times in Winston’s five seasons where he showed why the Buccaneers thought so highly of him. However, turnovers proved to be Winston’s undoing, and Tampa Bay moved on from him last spring.
Tampa Bay made the Super Bowl with Tom Brady this year
Brady dominated the league at age 43, and he has the Buccaneers in their first Super Bowl since January 2003. Tampa Bay played a postseason game in 12 seasons before Brady arrived in Florida.
Winston, meanwhile, spent the 2020 season backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans. When Brees missed time with various injuries, Saints coach Sean Payton started Taysom Hill, a gadget weapon, at quarterback instead of Winston.
Winston completed seven of his 11 passes for 75 yards in the regular season. However, Winston fired a 55-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith on a trick play in the NFC divisional round.
Brady’s three all-purpose touchdowns led Tampa Bay to a 30-20 victory over Winston and the Saints that day.
Buccaneers fans sent Jameis Winston an ugly message
Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans understandably celebrated the team’s NFC championship victory.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine tweeted several fan-submitted videos, including one of a fan setting a Winston jersey ablaze. Laine also tweeted a video capturing cars driving over the same Winston jersey.
Buccaneers fans clearly haven’t moved on from Winston, who went 28-42 in Tampa Bay and never reached the postseason. Still, the jersey-burning is a bit over the top, especially on a night where Buccaneers fans gathered to celebrate a Super Bowl berth.
If Tom Brady and Antonio Brown aren’t enough to make fans move on from Winston, what will?