Why Jameis Winston to the Steelers Makes No Sense

Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston to the Steelers in free agency doesn't make much sense for Pittsburgh. | Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Most of the big-name quarterbacks that hit the free agent market this offseason have been scooped up. One of the few remaining is former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Jameis Winston.

There have been rumblings over the past week or so that the Pittsburgh Steelers should be considering Winston, and that it would be a great fit. But this move wouldn't make any sense for the Steelers.

First of all, quarterback isn't exactly a huge need for the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger isn't going to be around forever, but he's still the clear starter, and would be over Winston. Jameis is better than Mason Rudolph, sure, but the Steelers went 5-3 in Rudolph's eight starts in 2019. He's a capable backup quarterback that isn't going to totally sink the team when forced into action.

It would be nice to sign Winston to be a short-term backup and long-term starting option, but there are two problems with that.

First, the Steelers don't have the cap space for that kind of move. They rank No. 27 with less than $9 million available. While Winston isn't going to command a premium deal, even mid-range QB contracts are expensive. For some context, Marcus Mariota, who likely isn't valued as highly as Winston, has a cap hit of $7.5 million for the Las Vegas Raiders this season.

Second, Winston simply may not want to sign with a team that plans to keep him on the bench for the next couple of seasons. He is 26 years old and just had his first 5,000-yard season. Giving up on a couple years of his prime would be a very unusual move for the 2015 first-overall pick.

This might be a fun move to speculate about, and the idea of Jameis Winston throwing to JuJu Smith-Schuster in a couple years intriguing. But in reality, the move simply doesn't make any sense for either side.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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