It’s the speculation that just won’t die.
This evening, Chris Simms, former college and NFL quarterback forecast on Twitter that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) March 16, 2020
Winston is slated to became a free agent after spending his only five seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team that made him the number one pick in the 2015 draft. The 26-year-old former Florida State QB went 28-42, throwing for over 19,000 yards and 121 touchdowns against 88 interceptions.
In his podcast “Chris Simms Unbuttoned,” Simms laid out his argument in a segment with his famous father, Phil Simms, saying, “If I’m the Pittsburgh Steelers, I would probably call Jameis Winston.” A theory that 26-year NFL analyst Phil Simms doubled down on, interjecting “That would be, the first place I would look and try and work it out … and is he better than their backup quarterbacks? I think so.”
Simms goes on to compare Winston’s situation to that of Teddy Bridgewater who went to the Saints on a “show me” deal.
“If Winston goes to Pittsburgh, he’s going to have at least a good team around him, he’ll have a chance to show people ‘hey, look, I can be a starting quarterback’ and further his career.”
Simms and Simms go on to say that the Steelers believe they’re still a Super Bowl contender but that the window is “closing fast” and need “insurance” in case Roethlisberger goes down.
However, both Simms seem to couch the the idea of the Steelers getting the quarterback with the caveat of “if Winston leaves the Buccaneers.”
You can listen to the Simms’ explain in full why they think Winston to the Steelers would make sense starting at the 23:45 mark.
This isn’t the first time an analyst has connected Winston to the Steelers. Last week, ESPN’s Matt Bowen said that the Steelers would be the best fit schematically for the talented but interception-prone quarterback.
The Buccaneers have yet to make a decision on whether or not they plan on resigning Winston, however NBC Sports’ NFL insider Peter King believes that it is “likely” that Winston returns to the team that drafted him.
Even if Winston would make sense for the Steelers, there’s still the matter of the Steelers tenuous salary cap situation, which neither Bowen or the Simms touched on. The Steelers are already spending over $30 million of cap space on Roethlisberger and will need to make cuts in order to get under the salary cap for the start of the new league year without Winston.
The Steelers have also said they want to retain outside linebacker Bud Dupree. There’s almost no way they could do that and sign another quarterback.