1. Bucs

Survey: NFL defenders don’t seem to have a very high opinion of Jameis Winston

The Bucs quarterback doesn't fare well in poll of 85 defenders around the league conducted by The Athletic.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) stiff-arms Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley (44) during a game in Tampa in December. [BRONTE WITTPENN | Times]
Published Jan. 11
Updated Jan. 11

NFL defensive players don't appear to share the high opinion of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston that his new coach does.

At least, that seems to be the takeaway from an anonymous survey of 85 defenders around the league conducted by The Athletic over the past six weeks.

Taking the results at face value, they seem to suggest that Winston is viewed as: overrated, bad in the locker room, deserving of being replaced — by either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Colin Kaepernick — and among the quarterbacks defenders would most like to face in a big game.

Some of the highlights:

* Winston was among 11 players who received multiple votes in the category of most overrated quarterback. The Vikings' Kirk Cousins finished first, followed by the Giants' Eli Manning.

* All but four players (95 percent) said former 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick — who has gone unsigned since his decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest social injustice and racial inequality—  deserves to be on an NFL roster.

* In response to which quarterback Kaepernick should replace, Winston was among seven who received multiple votes. Blake Bortles of the Jaguars was first, followed by the Raiders' Nathan Peterman.

* The Bucs' No. 2 quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick (15 percent), joined Teddy Bridgewater (17 percent) of the Saints as runners-up in response to the question of which backup should be a starter. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles of the Eagles was the top choice.

* Winston was tied with Ben Roethlisberger (with 11 percent) of the Steelers as runners-up for quarterback you would least want as your teammate in the locker room. The Panthers' Cam Newton received the most votes.

"It is notable that Winston wound up on this list months after he served a three-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy and while he's rotated in and out of the lineup," The Athletic writes.

* Winston was among seven players who received multiple votes for the quarterback they would most like to face in a big game. Tom Brady was the top answer and Aaron Rodgers was among the runners-up, so players seemingly took the question to mean two different things.

"Some went the route of wanting to play the greats," The Athletic writes, "and others preferred to face the … not-so-greats."