New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston is entering his eighth season in the NFL. Throughout his career, Winston has experienced a lot of ups and down he was the first overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015 to being Drew Brees’ backup in 2020.
After the Saints legendary quarterback decided to retire after the 2020 season. Winston got a second chance to prove he can be a starter in the NFL. In 2021 Winston was on pace to put up some of the best statistical numbers of his career until he tore his ACL in October and missed the remainder of the season.
Before the injury, Winston looked as if he was beginning to change the narrative that was placed on him -- that he was the poster boy for bad quarterback play. Winston’s proved he was on the verge of turning a corner in his career. He also began to make better decisions and did not turn over the football at the same rate as he did in 2019.
So, why is it that no one is giving him the credit for making the necessary changes he needed to become a better quarterback? Why are members of the mainstream sports media constantly labeling him as a lost cause? You can make an argument that quarterback Jameis Winston is the most disrespected NFL player playing the game today.
Jameis Winston deserves more respect
In Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints pulled off an improbable comeback over their fierce rival the Atlanta Falcons. With his team down by 16 points, Jameis Winston went 16-of-19 for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help his team pull off a 27-26 victory.
The comeback was the largest deficit the Saints had to overcome in their team's history. You would think that his late-game heroics would be the focal point, but his post-game interview got more attention than any pass that he threw in the fourth quarter.
In the third quarter, Winston went into the medical tent. After the game, Winston told a reporter that he was in pain. The reporter asked, “Where did he experience the pain?” Winston’s response “I had pain all over.” There seems to be an agenda when it comes to Winston; to not make him look serious in the eyes of sports fans. Whether it’s a meme of him with his eyes wide open, eating a W, or a creative workout video it seems that mainstream media spends more time highlighting reasons you should laugh at Winston than take him seriously at the quarterback position. Winston’s performance got little to no attention on major sports networks.
Winston seems to have put in a lot of work to improve as an NFL quarterback since joining the Saints. As the starting quarterback, Winston has a record of 6-2 and he has thrown for 1483 yards, 16 touchdowns, and three interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 106.3. These are the things that should be highlighted however no one seems to be acknowledging them.
It seems that the message is simple no matter what he does -- no matter how well he performs he will never have what it takes to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Creating that type of narrative is not only unfair but can be dangerous as well. There have been many quarterbacks in the past who have had struggles early in their careers. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford spent 12 years with the Detroit Lions the narrative about Stafford was that he could not win the big game. In his first year with the Rams, he helped lead them to a Super Bowl championship.
Narratives can be changed every day. Jameis Winston deserves to have a fair shot at rewriting the narrative that was placed on him since his time in Tampa if we continue to not acknowledge the steps he has made to become a more solid NFL quarterback then his career will be similar to the Saints Week 1 fourth-quarter comeback, he will continue playing from behind.