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Sources: Bucs to bring back Winston as starter

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Sources: Bucs to bring back Winston as starter
10:44 AM ET

  • Adam SchefterESPN Senior Writer

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    • ESPN NFL Insider
    • Joined ESPN in 2009
    • Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers intend to bring back quarterback Jameis Winston as their starter for the 2019 season, league sources told ESPN.

Despite his suspension this season and some inconsistent play, the Buccaneers believe that Winston is the right man for the job and the right quarterback to get behind, according to sources.

Winston is only 24 years old, he’s due to make $20 million next season, and the Bucs don’t think they could get anyone who is better than the former No. 1 overall pick.

Winston next will try to make history in Tampa, becoming the first quarterback the team has drafted to procure a second contract with the Bucs. No other former Buccaneers quarterback — including Doug Williams, Steve Young, Vinny Testaverde and Trent Dilfer — ever landed a second contract from Tampa Bay.

Winston will be heading into his fifth-year option with the Buccaneers, and they will have the chance to re-sign him, franchise tag him or let him go.

Winston enters Sunday’s season finale against Atlanta with 2,647 yards, 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 10 games this season, including eight starts. The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner was suspended for the season’s first three games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy — a suspension that stemmed from an allegation that Winston groped a female Uber driver in 2016.

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