Jameis Winston needs a new home and the Los Angeles Rams need a spark this offseason. What if the Rams take a chance on the free-agent quarterback?
The Los Angeles Rams need to take back control of their city.
Even though the Rams went to a Super Bowl two years ago and have won the NFC West twice since coming back home from St. Louis in 2016, they’re not exactly winning the offseason in the City of Angels. Their new stadium buddies in the Los Angeles Chargers have made better moves in free agency, better moves with their rebrand and maybe be the better of the two teams next year.
It’s so sad, but it’s true. The Rams are in need of some juice to get everybody fired up about the upcoming season. Even though they don’t have a ton of available cap space, general manager Les Snead will always find a way to get a deal done. One underrated move he could make would be to sign former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston to compete with Jared Goff.
It will be a super awkward battle of former No. 1 overall picks, as Winston and Goff went first in consecutive drafts in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Unlike fellow No. 1 pick and Heisman Trophy brother Cam Newton, who is also a free agent, Winston has the potential to have a good second act in the NFL as a backup/fringe starter. No, he doesn’t have to be handed the starting job here.
The reason the Rams make a good bit of sense for Winston is the gap isn’t all that far from him and Goff. Though Goff is considerably less turnover prone than him, Winston actually plays well off-script. Frankly, that’s when he’s at his best. Yes, there are an absurd amount of picks that come along with his playing style, but so too come the touchdowns and a ton of yardage.
Overall, Winston is a less refined version of Ben Roethlisberger, while Goff is a blander version of Matt Ryan. Some days, Winston is better than Goff and vice versa. At the very least, Winston is a better version of Goff’s backup Blake Bortles. Winston’s throwing mechanics are superior to that of Bortles’, but he’s not as mobile as the former Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback.
In terms of Goff’s greatest attribute as an NFL starting quarterback, Winston throws a beautiful deep ball. It’s not as pretty as Goff’s, but Winston can certainly be effective with it. If you want proof, just look at all the times he threw it deep to Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson or any number of Buccaneers receivers these last five seasons.
By adding Winston as a backup, this could push Goff to be even better, much more so than Bortles did last year. When Goff played poorly last year, he got to stay on the field because Rams fans would throw a tantrum when Sir Blake Bortles, the Dark Knight of Garbage Time trotted on the field. But with Winston standing on the sidelines, head coach Sean McVay can make the switch.
And it’s not like Winston’s a dummy in the classroom. He knows what direction the sun sets and he’s played under two great offensive minds at the professional level in Dirk Koetter his first four years and Bruce Arians last year. Even though the interceptions are inevitably coming, Winston knows how to move the sticks. There won’t be as many three-and-outs with him under center.
Ultimately, Winston will find a new team to play for next year. He’s a good locker room guy, he competes his tail off and he’s too good to not start a handful of games next year. There may be better fits than the one in Los Angeles, but when owner Stan Kroenke realizes he has maybe the fourth-best team in the NFC West, they may need to make an adjustment at quarterback.