Quarterback Jameis Winston continues to see his name linked to the Pittsburgh Steelers as a possible landing spot. Here’s why the notion won’t go away.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to execute an offseason move most thought would have been impossible: They landed former Patriot and future Hall of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady. With their new signal-caller in place, quarterback Jameis Winston becomes expendable, and the Steelers (of all teams) are drawing the most buzz for a landing spot for Winston.
According to Marcus Spears of ESPN, “Jameis needs to go to Pittsburgh.” Here’s what he had to say on “Get Up” on Monday:
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 23, 2020
Spears believes that Winston should sit behind Ben Roethlisberger for a year. He also claims that Winton’s ceiling is as high as any quarterback in the NFL.
While I believe that Jameis and Ben share a lot of similarities in terms of stature, play-style, and the ability to throw a football that can cut through the wind, this scenario is unlikely to play out.
Pittsburgh cut three players and restructured half-a-dozen contracts so far this offseason to clear cap space for tagging Bud Dupree, tendering Matt Feiler and Mike Hilton, and bringing in players like Eric Ebron, Derek Watt, and Chis Wormley.
Because most teams have already found their starting quarterbacks for the 2020 season (or plan to via the NFL Draft), Winston may be in line for a backup job somewhere before working his way up the depth chart. This means that he shouldn’t rake in anywhere near the $26 million in yearly value he was once projected to receive, according to Spotrac.com.
Admittedly, Winston would be a significant upgrade over Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges and would be a terrific insurance policy to Ben Roethlisberger. However, with the Steelers being tight against the cap, there is virtually no way they will be able to afford the luxury of landing a backup QB at the cost of someone like Winston.
Ben Roethlisberger is the second-highest paid quarterback in the league in terms of yearly value, and his $41.25 million cap hit in 2021 is set to be the largest mark in the league, according to Over the Cap. Having an experienced backup with a plethora of tools at his disposal would be terrific, but the fact of the matter is the Steelers just won’t be able to afford Jameis Winston this year.