Cory's Corner: Jameis Winston Makes Sense

Jameis Winston would benefit as Packers' backup. Is that something that he wants? 

We all know that the Packers are only as successful as Aaron Rodgers’ health.

On ESPN’s “NFL Live”, Tim Hasselbeck said that Green Bay would be an ideal landing spot for Jameis Winston. At first, it may seem odd, but remember that Rodgers is 36 and Winston is 10 years younger.

The reason why the market has dried up for Winston is because turnovers and inefficiency are the two worst things a quarterback can accomplish. Winston led the NFL with 30 picks — nine more than Baker Mayfield and he only completed 60.7 percent of his passes — good for 28th.

“I think backing up a quarterback that is aggressive with the football, but doesn’t turn the football over might be the exact recipe to get things turned around for Jameis Winston,” said Hasselbeck.

Winston had a Jekyll and Hyde season last year as he also led the league with 5,109 passing yards and was No. 2 with 33 touchdowns, three behind Lamar Jackson.

The reason this would work is because Winston is running out of options. It looks like the Patriots are going to tank for Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and the Chiefs just signed XFL quarterback Jordan Ta’amu.

Guys like Winston and Cam Newton don’t have anywhere to go and start right away. And the reason is because teams don’t want to invest big bucks into quarterbacks that cannot consistently keep their offense on the field.

Look at Ryan Tannehill. Nobody thought that he was going to go to Tennessee and start and all of a sudden Tannehill was the one leading the Titans out of the tunnel during a deep playoff run followed by a huge payday to be the team’s future starter.

Coincidentally, I wanted Marcus Mariota as the Packers backup before free agency began. He hasn’t had the knack for mistakes with a career 2.5 interception percentage combined with 61 career starts. That’s why the Raiders scooped him up pretty early in free agency.

I don’t think Winston would be the heir apparent, but Winston needs this to prove that he is more than a turnover machine. He would be on full display during the preseason and if Rodgers goes down with an injury for three or more games, he has a chance to win another job elsewhere.

Or he could play every game of the preseason and the Packers might be able to get a second rounder from a team that is willing to give him the starting reins once again.

This move makes sense because it benefits the Packers, it benefits Rodgers and it benefits Winston. The only way this doesn’t work is if Winston comes to Green Bay with an attitude about not starting. Obviously, there would need to be a long conversation about that and how his ego would need to be checked at the door.

But the Packers won 13 games last year. Continue assembling the best team possible.  

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (37)

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RCPackerFan's picture

March 24, 2020 at 06:33 am

I think Winston will have to accept that he will have to be a backup this year. Much like Tannenhill.

If Winston found the right system he could flourish. I do think he could do well in a LaFleur style system.

If the price is right I would bring him in to be the backup. It would allow him a good opportunity to sit back, learn from Rodgers and improve his game.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 24, 2020 at 07:27 pm

If I were Winston, I’d sign for a minimum deal with some incentives and learn how to protect the ball from the best in the business. He threw 30 interceptions. That’s just recklessly stupid and careless and you can’t possibly win much when your QB is turning it over like that.

Tell me a year under Rodgers wouldn’t make him a better and more valuable QB.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 24, 2020 at 06:36 am

It doesn't make sense to pay Winston even $3-$4 mil in cap, given the Packers cap situation. They have room for one, maybe two, additions like that. There are much better places to makes those additions than backup QB.

They'd have to dump both Lane Taylor and Corey Linsley to clear enough space to where I could get on board with buying a veteran backup QB. I'm not closed off to that idea but I would not call adding Winston, or any other vet QB, a motivating factor in going that route. That strategy would need to include finding a reasonable replacement IOL at a better cost, along with DL. Maybe a QB in leftover space.

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TheVOR's picture

March 24, 2020 at 01:01 pm

Exactly, no thanks.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

March 24, 2020 at 06:58 am

The Packers are too tight with the cap to be spending big $ right now on a backup QB.
There are still important starting holes to fill.

They need a legit WR2 and that takes money. Breshad Perriman or Robby Anderson will help this team a helluva lot more than a backup QB.

We need help at DL and Dontari Poe would be much more beneficial for about the same money as it would take to sign the backup QB. Even though I think Famous Jameis could do well here, in time, this is not a wise idea. The cap matters.

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Coldworld's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:11 am

It depends on where Winston thinks he is in his career. If he is honest and has faith in himself, this could be his best investment in his career. As time goes by, if he remains unsigned, it’s possible that he will realize that a pause to regroup and learn is in his interest. Therefore I don’t rule it out, but it won’t happen for a while even if the slim possibility actually matures.

We also need to consider what the Packers really think that they have in Boyle. If they really believe in his potential, then this kind of move would be self defeating.

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dobber's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:02 am

Who would've thought that the Saints would have gone 6-0 with Brees on the shelf last season? It turned Teddy B. from mostly forgotten player into a starter in Carolina. Tannehill didn't need a full season out of the starter's role before he was able to go from pariah in Miami to savior in Tennessee.

Sometimes it just takes a change of scenery, new opportunities, time to grow and change with a new scheme and coaches. Some players aren't willing to do that. Others use it to their advantage.

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Tarynfor12's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:50 am

The Saints and Titans were set up to be able to have Bridge and Tanne play well and win. The Packers are struggling to make it possible for Rodgers to win with the offense, much less with Winston the turnover machine, not to forget the defensive issues.

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Tarynfor12's picture

March 24, 2020 at 07:28 am

The offense is not good enough to cover up the mistakes that Winston will make on the field. Winston is not a QB that can get what Rodgers gets from same offense. If Rodgers goes down for any significant amount of games the season is over and the only reason to sign Winston and spend crucial cap place would be if the belief Winston can carry the team as would Rodgers.

To think or believe the above in any form or level says you're a person or fan who just wants to sign anyone because all who come to GB will automatically be much better than they are or have been, as has been said too often already with the, _____ will fit right in with the MLF system.

Lastly, unless the FO believes Winston to be the guy who takes over for Rodgers in 2-3 years, I'm not mentoring or fixing his issues, so he can play for another team. Don't become the farm system for others. Let the other team spend their money and risk fixing him.

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PeteK's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:01 am

I thought you would on board with this move considering all the negative comments that you have for Rogers.

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Tarynfor12's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:44 am

My opinions are mostly deemed negative because they contradict the blind optimism of blind optimist, who are the same who believe Winston makes this team better during the final 2-3 seasons that the SB window remains open for Rodgers that some believe.

Rodgers is still a very good QB, but he is not the elite QB of yesteryear. He needs help and a Winston doesn't supply it. Winston kept a team with better offensive personnel than GB out of the playoffs, the standard of success for many here. What would he do to GB when he gives away an average of two possessions a game and putting an even larger burden on the defense. At this time, the offense for GB is even worse than last season and Rodgers will struggle to overcome it, What the hell does Winston do for this situation.

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flackcatcher's picture

March 25, 2020 at 12:10 am

Concise and accurate Taryn. Tampa Bay's offensive should be special, but is not. Having seen them up close and personal over the past couple of years, they are the better team on the field most of the time. But the number of stupid mental mistakes Tampa makes on the field is amazing, and Winston is in a class all by him self. For that alone, signing Winston would be a high risk, one that Green Bay with it extremely tight Cap simply can not afford.

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Razer's picture

March 24, 2020 at 07:47 am

Don't want a home-run-ball QB who throws picks just like I don't want a running back who puts the ball on the ground. Tight games against good teams are the games you need to win and I don't think that Jameis Winston is the QB for those games. Somehow I am getting an image of Jay Cutler. To top it all off you would be paying top dollar for this guy to sit the bench.

I'd much rather see us farm draft picks to find a QB who could learn behind Rodgers. What if a Jordan Love feel to the bottom of the first or another natural thrower can be had in later rounds?

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Leatherhead's picture

March 24, 2020 at 07:56 pm

Amen, Razer. If you do a better job of protecting the ball than your opponent, you’re in every game. That’s an advantage we have with Rodgers and Jones/ Williams . We should build the defense and line and run game so that we don’t need a super duper QB to win games.

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Packer_Fan's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:05 am

The Packers don't have the cash to sign Winston and get other players. They need to fill out the roster with players that can contribute. So, just plain no.

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Razer's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:16 am

Well said.

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stockholder's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:07 am

On May 1, 2015, Winston signed a four-year, $23.35 million contract with the Buccaneers, with a $16.7 million signing bonus. The contract prevents him from playing any other sport than football. He should go play baseball.

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NickPerry's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:10 am

I'd actually love for the Packers to be able to sign a backup the caliber of Winston. Hell he'd be the best backup the Packers have had since Rodgers was backing up Favre. BUT if the Packers were to sign Winston they'd have to get rid of someone or a few someone's. IF they were to do that to add a player, I'd hope they were doing it for a player who would actually start and make a difference.

The Saints got better with Sanders. The 49ers have 2 picks in the 1st round and will probably be able to land one of the better WR in this class and a D-Lineman to replace Buckner. In other words, those teams have or are improving. The Packers aren't improving by signing Winston...At least as long as Rodgers is standing. I understand we'll improve during the draft, but drafting at 30 and 62 Gute is going to have to be at his very best.

IF the Packers are going to make a move before the draft and sign someone in FA, then lets go get Robbie Anderson and actually IMPROVE the product on the field for 2020.

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PeteK's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:03 am

Anderson is too expensive and a head case.

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stockholder's picture

March 24, 2020 at 11:16 am

Common Nick. You know what were getting with Tramon Williams and CM3.

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blacke00's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:35 am

No, No and No!

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Three and Out's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:36 am

This is hilarious.

Winston is garbage and signing him would just continue the string of Packers backup quarterbacks being completely incapable of displaying any sort of accuracy, see Hundley and Kizer. Keep Boyle and continue to let him grow and mature under Rodgers and in the system, while using the money on other positions that actually need help.

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dobber's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:41 am

I'm not in favor of bringing in Winston, mostly for cap reasons, but comparing him to Kizer or Hundley is just plain dumb.

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Three and Out's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:59 am

I see what you're saying, but all three of them are highly inaccurate, which is horrible when backing up someone who doesn't throw interceptions. Winston is a homerun qb. Threading needles and reacting to what he's given aren't where exactly shines.

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dobber's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:39 am

I tend to disagree on Winston if only by the fact that he improved his accuracy during his first four seasons and was middle-of-the-pack in 2018 and top 12 in completion percentage in 2017. Mid-60s in completion percent can be best described as average, overall, those two seasons. We can argue that his step back in 2020 could be due to a new HC and offensive system. Kizer was epically bad as QB of Cleveland...he'll likely never get a chance to make people forget that. We all saw what Hundley was in GB.

Yes, I agree: Winston's a downfield passer, and 30 INTs in this modern era of catch-and-run football is inexcusable. Mostly, this has been attributed to bad decision-making, but others have been pointing to bad mechanics, as well. Throwing to the wrong spot is different from not being able to hit a spot. Mechanics are correctable...decision-making? Well, there's only so much you can do with that. I think he has good potential as a reclamation project, yet, and he's likely to get that chance if he and his representation are willing to accept coaching, a backup role, and backup salary.

Apologies on the "dumb" thing. I usually don't throw that out.

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CheesyTex's picture

March 24, 2020 at 10:38 am

Kudos for the apology. Nice to see a show of sportsmanship on this site.

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dobber's picture

March 24, 2020 at 10:46 am

I give kudos to Three and Out for reacting to it in a positive way.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 24, 2020 at 11:34 am

Let Wilkens compete for the backup job. He can move around and throws a good deep ball.

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Packman60's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:40 am

I agree with those who believe the Packers have greater needs to try to fill with their limited cap space - D-line. Also, I think Jameis would rather find an opportunity that would allow him to potentially take over as the #1 if the starter falters much like what happened in Tennessee last year.

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PeteK's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:14 am

Winston will not be a backup for two yrs and we are not going to waste lg amounts of cap space. Rogers has a cap hit of 30 mill for 2021. Stories like this are a result of what is going on right now. LOL

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dobber's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:42 am

You're right--of course--but in this lull of 'no travel for physicals' free agency, it's something to talk about.

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OldPacker's picture

March 24, 2020 at 10:18 am

To Much $$,,,,,,,,, Joe Flacco .( type) .kind of makes more sense

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Handsback's picture

March 24, 2020 at 11:23 am

Where would the money come from? The only reason this makes sense is that Green Bay COULD groom him as a starter and then trade for a high pick....otherwise this is a waste of time.

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Tarynfor12's picture

March 24, 2020 at 03:44 pm

Agree, we don't have the cap space or the roster to waste on fixing a player for another team for a comp pick.

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Rudedawg67's picture

March 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm

The wrong Buccaneer is being targeted in this article. Breshad Perriman is who we should be talking about. He is a 4.2 fourty guy and he can actually break routes off sharply and from stop to start instantly. In other words he just doesn’t have straight line speed. If you can teach him to catch the ball consistently he could be better than Devante. Is definitely an instant upgrade to what we have.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 24, 2020 at 01:25 pm

No...No...30 times No!

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Point-Packer's picture

March 24, 2020 at 03:11 pm

Though this kinda makes sense, the idea of seeing Jameis Winston in a Packer uniform makes me want to isolate and vomit.

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