I adore this time of year. Speculations swirling, mock drafts being pumped out by the millions (or is that just me?) and the ominous misunderstanding about the intentions of teams and free agents. I’m slightly obsessed with the potential outcome of the QB free agent market currently also, which may or may not be almost as awesome as the draft.
The big names will start the tumble into insanity, with Brady most likely leading the charge in Free Agency. Despite your thoughts on his current football abilities, Brady is still the GOAT and should be treated as the missing piece to a SB team. Whether he is or not is yet to be seen.
Rivers still needs a home, as well as my favorite FA in Teddy Bridgewater. Basically what I’m saying here is the market doesn’t look abundantly favorable for Winston, a quarterback that we honestly don’t know is good or not.
All stats came from Pro Football Reference.
It’s not that Winston ISN’T good, it’s just that he is one of the most intriguing free agents ever. Winston threw for a league high 5,109 yards in 2019, an extremely elite number that only has been hit by the giants in Marino, Manning, Brady, Brees and one Matthew Stafford. Winston had the best wide receiver tandem this year also with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin exploding in fantasy and in the NFL. How could you ever not resign a guy who threw for 5k yards?
On the other hand, Winston threw for 30 interceptions in 2019. That’s a 4.8% interception percentage. 4.8% of his throws were picked off, which may seem like a small margin, but that’s insane for a quarterback. A completion percentage of 60.7% was also his worst since his rookie year (58.3%), showcasing that this was not his best year. How could you resign a quarterback who threw for 30 interceptions?
And there lies the question I really don’t have an answer too. Winston is….good? I think? You can’t be BAD with 5,000+ yards in a season, right? But also, the season can’t be considered “good” with 30 interceptions, right? I mean he had 33 touchdowns, which is an extremely high number…but he almost matched it with his interceptions?
Winston did confirm later on that he played the season with a torn meniscus, a broken thumb and was virtually blind (maybe not really), all things that could make you understand the interceptions…but not really the yards or touchdowns?
For me, Winston will be a later value guy in free agency. Rivers, Bridgewater and Brady will all find homes before people start to kick tires on Winston. I think he could be “saved” by the right situation, but what team is giving him the money he wants after last season? I guess it depends on which stats you’re looking at.