Sports Illustrated revisits Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota debate

Neither quarterback has done enough to be awarded with a second contract, Jonathan Jones writes.
Marcus Mariota, left, and Jameis Winston, right. [Associated Press]
Marcus Mariota, left, and Jameis Winston, right. [Associated Press]
Published January 10

New Bucs coach Bruce Arians is a believer in quarterback Jameis Winston, going so far as to tell  NFL Network's Rich Eisen that Winston "can win it all" in a telephone interview.

But, four years after Winston and the Tennessee Titans' Marcus Mariota were drafted first and second overall, Sports Illustrated's Jonathan Jones writes, "neither quarterback has done enough in his first four seasons for a general manager to confidently award him with a second contract."

Jones points to Winston's propensity to commit turnovers and get into trouble off the field. He also is concerned about the quarterback's inaccuracy on deep throws.

Meanwhile, Mariota has had trouble staying on the field and hasn't been particularly impressive when he gets there.

"Instead of working on contract extensions for their young QBs," Jones writes, "the Bucs and Titans are stuck in Quarterback Purgatory."

Both Winston and Mariota are expected to play next season under their $20.9 million, fifth-year options. Neither has shown enough to earn a long-term deal at this point. Nor are they likely to accept team-friendly extensions.

So, what will happen to them?

Ultimately, that might be for the rest of the NFL to decide.

"Because you have no chance in this league without a competent quarterback—and because there are usually not 32 competent starting quarterbacks in the league at any given time," Jones writes, "the teams will give in and give their quarterbacks the kind of contracts the market forces them into."