State of the Union 2017 – Quarterback

Jameis Winston’s second year was a dichotomy of stability and consistency. He set a league record by being the first passer to record 4000 passing yards in his first two seasons in the NFL. He made incremental improvements to his touchdown total, completion percentage and yards per completion.

He also threw more interceptions and took more sacks, either of which can be attributed to poor play by the offensive line and his lack of pass-catching options. While the rest of the offense does appear to hold Winston back to a degree, so does his spotty ball placement, questionable decision-making and tendency to lose control of his emotions.

Nevertheless, Winston remains the driving force behind the offense. Given he’s only 21, Winston has plenty of time to grow into the Bucs’ franchise leader and become one the league’s top quarterbacks.

Mike Glennon, on the other hand, appears destined for, well, not-as-green pastures. Name a team that needs a quarterback and there’s Glennon name right next to it. Jets? Bears? Bills? Take your pick.

Glennon is this year’s free agent quarterback heir apparent, like Brock Osweiler last year. Good thing for Glennon the NFL generally doesn’t learn its lesson about unproven free agent quarterbacks. Adam Schefter even suggested he may snag up to $15 million a year.

For the Bucs, Glennon’s future contract is significant for one reason: he might provide Tampa with their first compensatory pick in years. While much of this depends on what else the Bucs do in free agency, his contract numbers could net the Bucs another mid-round pick in a few years.

There’s always the chance he stays in Tampa Bay. Still, money talks and the Bucs already have a firm investment in a pretty durable Winston. Jason Licht is unlikely to give Glennon top backup quarterback money.

Ryan Griffin appears to be the heir apparent to the backup role, but that could change this offseason. The Bucs just signed former Falcons QB Sean Renfree to a futures contract per the Tampa Bay Times’ Greg Auman. Renfree was with the Falcons when Dirk Koetter was offensive coordinator so he will be familiar with the offense.

If anything, the Bucs will keep both Griffin and Renfree to let them compete for the QB2 spot. It’s academic anyways: if Winston goes down for any length of time, the offense will be neutered regardless of who the backup is.

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