Jameis Winston to the Patriots? Please, no. Please.
The New England Patriots’ offseason is generating all sorts of buzz, and rightfully so given that multiple roster upgrades are expected to be made and how much salary cap space they will have at their disposal.
Perhaps the most intriguing element of the upcoming offseason is how the Patriots plan to address their convoluted quarterback situation. Taking their stingy track record into account — look no further than Cam Newton’s contract — fans shouldn’t exactly anticipate a huge signing at that position.
At the same time, however, you can bet that the Patriots, who are laboring through their worst season of the last two decades, aren’t going to settle for mediocrity at the most important position in the sport.
That’s precisely what makes insider Michael Lombardi’s latest comments so impossible to comprehend. During an interview with WEEI Radio this week, the former NFL GM noted that the Patriots could be interested in signing Jameis Winston to be their starter in 2021.
Here’s the rationale behind Lombardi’s proposal.
"“I think you can fix James Winston. I was thinking the Patriots might have an interest this offseason in Winston because I think he can be fixed.”"
If fixing Winston was that simple, shouldn’t he have been able to beat out glorified gadget specialist Taysom Hill for the backup job in New Orleans? Drew Brees has been shelved for the last four weeks while recovering from 11 broken ribs, and Winston has continued watching from the sidelines.
We totally get that this year was supposed to be more of a learning experience for Winston, but it says a lot about how much (or little) he’s developed with the Saints that he’s currently third in their quarterback pecking order.
Now, could that have something to do with head coach Sean Payton’s stubbornness in terms of him wanting to prove a point to everybody who thought Hill couldn’t win games under center? No doubt. But we fully believe his decision mostly boiled down to his lack of conviction in Winston.
If we had to choose between Newton and Winston, who hasn’t started a game in 2020 and is just one year removed from throwing 30 interceptions and setting the single-season record for INTs returned for touchdown with seven, we’d side with the former MVP in a landslide.
This obviously isn’t to say that Winston isn’t fixable, but the Patriots will have too high of standards following their lackluster campaign this year to take a chance on him running their offense next season because it could very easily blow up in their face.