Bucs' Arians not ready to commit to Winston as 2020 starter
Icon Sportswire / Getty

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston's rookie deal expires at the end of the season, and it still isn't clear if he'll remain the team's starter beyond 2019.

Bruce Arians has staunchly defended Winston's play. However, when asked whether he'd unequivocally support retaining the former No. 1 pick if Bucs ownership requested an evaluation this week, the head coach wouldn't say.

"I'm gonna pass on that one," said Arians, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine. "I'm gonna wait until the end of December."

The Buccaneers are divided on what to do with Winston, sources told Laine. Some people within the organization reportedly want to retain him, while others feel the team needs to move on.

The quarterback's turnover issues haven't been fixed by the arrival of Arians, who has a long history of mentoring top-level passers. Winston leads the league in interceptions with 20, a career high, but his head coach has consistently said that they aren't all the quarterback's fault.

The 25-year-old's game-to-game performance has been boom or bust for the 5-7 Buccaneers, who have been all but eliminated from playoff contention.

Winston has six games with a passer rating of over 100, but five games with a rating below 75. Only once has the signal-caller finished a contest between those two marks (89.0 in last week's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars).

"There's been really, really, really good and there's been some really, really bad," Arians said. "I'm gonna pass until it's over and then we'll make a decision."

Tampa Bay currently sits 14th in the 2020 NFL Draft order, likely too far back to land one of the top quarterbacks in the class without engineering a move up.

Bucs' Arians not ready to commit to Winston as 2020 starter
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox