Does Matt Canada want the Steelers to sign Jameis Winston?
As Mike Tomlin stated after Big Ben’s retirement, the Steelers are considering all options on the table to find Roethlisberger’s heir.
Taking Tomlin at his word, one would assume that he has had some discussions with offensive coordinator Matt Canada about his thoughts on whom he would like to fill that role. So is it possible then that Canada could have urged Tomlin to pursue free agent Jameis Winston?
If you ask ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Matt Bowen, they seem to think the Steelers may be interested in pursuing Jameis Winston. They feel Pittsburgh would be the ideal landing spot because of the Steelers’ offensive coordinator of all the teams Winston could sign to play.
It has never been a secret that Big Ben did not like play-action and perhaps might not have been the best fit to run Canada’s offense. Perhaps Winston might be a slightly better fit. It might be fair to say any difficulties Ben had in his final year could be trying to adjust to Canada’s offense. Not that he didn’t have problems in 2020 either.
According to Fowler, “Winston… thrives off the play-action.” So in a theoretical sense, Winston might thrive in Pittsburgh. Here’s what Bowen had to say about Winston and his fit with Steelers offensive coordinator, Matt Canada:
"“With Winston, we would see the full scheme under coordinator Matt Canada. That means more motion/movement, under-center play-action, and full-field passing concepts on dropback throws. The decision-making with Winston is still a concern, but his arm talent and second reaction movement ability would fit well here.”"
Despite being an unrestricted free agent in 2022, there is no guarantee that Winston leaves New Orleans. In fairness, though, Sean Payton gave his resignation. Thus the Saints will have a new head coach in 2022, which leaves a few unanswered questions. Primarily will Payton’s successor want to stay with Winston or draft a quarterback?
Could Winston be an option for the Steelers?
With Payton’s resignation, many mock drafts now lean to the Saints taking a quarterback in the draft, however until free agency begins and the Saints finalize their head coach search, a lot of that is still conjectured at this point. That said, the Saints are struggling with cap space, so his departure might be an inevitability.
Then there is the fact Winston did not have a graceful exit from Tampa, plus injuries in 2021 should give the Steelers pause for consideration. Nevertheless, the possibility exists Canada might like to see Winston come to the Steelers. Keep in mind that no one has publicly mentioned it if that is the case. So we really have no idea if obtaining Winston is on the agenda until free agency begins March 16th.
If the Steelers want Winston, they might be able to obtain him, although he may seek what Bridgewater wants somewhere in the neighborhood if $25million a season. If that’s the case, the Steelers may pass; however, if he’s willing to sign for less, then perhaps the Steelers roll the dice, sign Winston and start rebuilding their offensive line with their first pick in 2022. Although any quarterback that can run Canada’s offense might certainly elate the Steelers offensive coordinator.