The Cincinnati Bengals will likely be in the market for a new backup quarterback this offseason and Jameis Winston has been floated as a possibility.
The injury to star signal-caller Joe Burrow exposed yet another weakness on the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster: the backup quarterback position. In the wake of losing number nine, Zac Taylor’s squad has been unable to accomplish much offensively, averaging just eight points per contest in the three weeks they’ve been without him.
Brandon Allen, despite showing some flashes, has largely disappointed in the role, and Ryan Finley clearly isn’t capable of holding the fort down.
That fact alone should be enough to signal that the front office will need to be aggressive players this offseason to secure a capable second-string quarterback. When you throw in the uncertainty of Burrow’s injury timeline, finding a worthy number two becomes all the more important.
"“I’ll give you a place that makes a lot of sense [for Jameis Winston]… Cincinnati, which will have Joe Burrow coming back, you don’t know if he’ll be ready for the start of the season.”"
As things stand, many are projecting Burrow to be able to return for the opening game in 2021. However, with the knee injury he suffered and to the extent he suffered it, it’s difficult to project his return date so far out.
Cincinnati simply cannot afford to get off to another slow start should Burrow need a couple of extra weeks to heal up. A guy like Winston gives you far more confidence that you can secure a victory or two until the face of the franchise makes his triumphant return. The same cannot be said for Allen or Finley.
The Bengals offer the perfect one-year landing spot for Winston
Prior to signing with the New Orleans Saints to be their backup quarterback, Jameis Winston was expected to be the saving grace for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started five years for the franchise and flashed the talent that caused him to be selected with a first overall pick. However, he proved to be too prone to turning the ball over.
Winston is clearly looking to prove that he’s capable of becoming a franchise’s starter once more. He likely thought he would get that opportunity down in the bayou with the Saints, but Taysom Hill has emerged in the wake of Drew Brees’ injury.
This development all but guarantees Winston will find himself in the same position he was in just prior to this season. When scanning the football landscape for opportunities, perhaps no other option trumps the one to be had in Cincinnati.
For Winston, he’s essentially guaranteed the snaps under center if Burrow isn’t ready to go, unlike the situation he finds himself in this season. Plus, he gets some exciting playmakers alongside him to throw to. He could do a lot worse than Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and whatever other weapons the Bengals add this offseason.
If Winston is capable of pulling off just a single win while limiting his turnovers, it would speak volumes, in part because of how elusive victories have become in the Queen City. That combination should be enough to land him a starting job for a quarterback-needy franchise in 2022.
For the Bengals, they get one of the better, if not the best, backup quarterbacks on a favorable contract to keep things afloat. They won’t be forced to rush Burrow back from injury either. Perhaps most importantly, if anything happens to their star quarterback again, they’ll avoid the clown show they’ve put on display in his absence this year.
For both parties, it makes a lot of sense. With the offseason right around the corner, we’ll know soon enough if the Bengals’ front office is interested.