The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, IN is underway and with the start of the annual event comes hot takes galore. On Tuesday, Peter King delivered a very hot take concerning the Pittsburgh Steelers in his weekly column on Pro Football Talk and you’ll have to read it verbatim to believe it. In short, King thinks the Steelers should sign Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent quarterback Jameis Winston.
I think I really want the Steelers to sign Jameis Winston. Sit for a year, get him ready to conditionally succeed Ben Roethlisberger, and if the interceptions continue in 2021, he’s gone after one season. Risky, but the upside could be pretty great. Now, the contract would have to be one Winston would want to do; he’d likely have a chance to play sooner elsewhere if he leaves Tampa. I’m just talking about a coach-player relationship (Mike Tomlin-Winston) dynamic I’d like to see. Plus, I’d rather have Winston on the rebound than Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges or a draft pick that could be used in a wiser way.
For starters, Winston would have to sign for the NFL minimum because the Steelers just don’t have the salary cap space. Even though Winston’s now probably at the lowest point in his career after throwing 30 interceptions last season with the Buccaneers, he’s not going to sign a contract that cheap this offseason. It’s just not going to happen as there’s sure to be another team willing to pay the former first-round draft pick a lot more than that should the Buccaneers ultimately be unable to retain him this offseason. You can read more about Winston’s presumed market value here.
Not only is Winston’s expected price tag an issue, King’s assumption that Winston would succeed Ben Roethlisberger as soon as maybe 2021 is also a reach. If everything continues to go well for Roethlisberger in 2020 in his return from elbow surgery, and there’s no reason right now to think that it won’t, he’ll play out his contract that runs through the 2021 season. Winston, in turn, could possibly wind up not playing for the next two seasons.
To put a final nail into this hot take by King, all members of the Steelers front office have said more than once this offseason that the team is fine with the quarterbacks currently under contract for 2020.
The national media needs to stop putting a veteran quarterback in Pittsburgh this offseason as it’s just not going to happen. The Steelers are all in on Roethlisberger and his backup Mason Rudolph and that is that.
King, by the way, is a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter. That’s scary to think about when you read hot takes such as this one concerning Winston and the Steelers.