Bruce Arians was finally as mad as you, but what does that mean?
John Romano, Tampa Bay Times, published 30 December 2019

And in the end, the mentor turned on the protege. A sharp tongue delivering a climactic carving. It was shocking and yet overdue. As if months and months of defending the indefensible had become too much to bear.

So with no games remaining and no reasons left to coddle, Bucs coach Bruce Arians finally took aim at quarterback Jameis Winston. "There's so much good," Arians said, "and so much outright terrible."

Has Winston done enough to get a new contract in 2020? "Got to wait and see."

Will the decision include looking at quarterbacks available in the draft and free agency? "That will be a huge part of it."

In one sense, this was classic Arians. A no-nonsense coach with a jones for accountability. But when it had come to Winston this season, Arians had always tempered his remarks. Maybe he truly felt his quarterback was being unduly blamed, or maybe he was trying to keep Winston's confidence from shattering. Probably, it was a little of both.

So was this abrupt change in tone - coming minutes after a 26-22 overtime loss to Atlanta in the season finale - a telling clue that Winston's time in Tampa Bay may be coming to a close? Probably not. It was more emotional than analytical for a head coach who lost a ninth game in a season for the first time in his career.

When it comes to deciding whether Winston will get a new contract or a farewell party, another pick-six on the final pass of the season will not likely play a large role. Not for a player who defines what has become a love-hate relationship between a franchise and a fan base.

This is a decision that will touch on available free agents and quarterbacks in the draft. It will involve the salary cap. It will take in Winston's progress, or lack of it, from September to December. It will involve the dwindling numbers at the turnstiles. It may even include how much patience a 67-year-old coach can afford to have. "There are a lot of things to evaluate," Arians said. "And we will take our time and evaluate it."

This is not an easy decision, no matter how vociferously you want to argue either side of it. Only a handful of quarterbacks can make the kind of throws Winston makes, including a 30-yard laser to Breshad Perriman between three different defenders on Sunday. You do not carelessly toss that kind of talent away.

On the other hand, the NFL has not seen a quarterback throw 30 interceptions in a season in more than three decades. And no matter how many of those mistakes can be blamed on receivers or poor protection, there are too many bad decisions to ignore.

A franchise should never allow ticket sales to influence its on-field decisions, but it's hard to imagine the Glazers not looking in the bleachers on Sunday and wondering how they sell another season of Winston to fans in 2020. Tampa Bay's attendance has dropped from 61,560 in Winston's rookie season to 50,728 in the seven games at Raymond James Stadium in 2019. Officially, their biggest home crowd of the year was 4,400 miles away in London.

So is there another quarterback available in 2020 who would excite the fan base? Probably not where Tampa Bay is picking in the middle of the draft. Teddy Bridgewater would be the most plausible free agent, and he's somewhat intriguing. Or maybe Cam Newton if Carolina parts ways with him. But it's hard to imagine either would mean a significant boost in season tickets. And you could argue Winston is more talented than both of them.