If it wasn’t bad enough that quarterback Jameis Winston had to suffer the indignity of an unceremonious exit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the organization on Friday seemingly took an unprovoked, passive-aggressive potshot at him in an article published on its official site.
The arrival of Tom Brady in Tampa was made official Friday when both the quarterback and the team confirmed a deal, which is being reported as a two-year, $50 million pact, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
In an article featuring the header “Welcome to Tampa Bay! Tom Brady” and written by senior writer/editor Scott Smith, the following passage contains a factoid that appears to deliberately troll Winston.
“Brady replaces Jameis Winston as the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback, with Winston also becoming an unrestricted free agent for the first time,” the statement reads. “In his fifth and final season at the helm in Tampa Bay, Winston threw for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns but was also intercepted 30 times, with seven of those returned for touchdowns. Winston was the first player in NFL history to throw 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions in the same season.”
While not an official statement authored by Bucs brass, the team had to have some knowledge of what was included in an article published to its site. That it was pointed out in said article that Winston embarrassingly set such a dubious record involving 30 picks is arguably an unnecessary move.
After all, few quarterbacks — even those with the seemingly untapped potential and upside of Winston — match up well in a head-to-head breakdown with Brady, a three-time NFL MVP and six-time Super Bowl champion.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians never hid his contempt for Winston’s penchant for turning the ball over, and odds are he’ll be much more comfortable with Brady running the offense. It also stands to reason Brady will enjoy working under Arians, as one superstar NFL quarterback who once worked with the Bucs head coach has suggested.
Still, to drag down Winston in such a manner in an article on the team’s site that heralds the arrival of the G.O.A.T.? Seems like an unneeded and over-the-top parting shot.
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Hint: For those who need a refresher, these are the seven teams Tom Brady and the Patriots played in their nine Super Bowls: St. Louis Rams (XXXVI), Carolina Panthers (XXXVIII), Los Angeles Rams (LIII), Philadelphia Eagles (XXXIX & LII), New York Giants (XLII & XLVI), Seattle Seahawks (XLIX) and Atlanta Falcons (LI).