Thursday, November 15, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

ESPN projects that Jameis Winston will return to Bucs, Dirk Koetter will not

They're the questions on the minds of all Bucs fans.

Will head coach Dirk Koetter be fired? Will quarterback Jameis Winson be back? What about GM Jason Licht?

Well, one national writer thinks he has a couple of the answers.

In his 19 predictions for the 2019 offseason, ESPN's Dan Graziano projects that the Bucs will fire Koetter and bring Winston back on a short-term extension.

Koetter, who has a 17-23 record in two-and-a-half seasons with the Bucs, isn't the only head coach Graziano thinks will get canned. He predicts that Todd Bowles (Jets), Jason Garrett (Cowboys), Vance Joseph (Broncos), Mike McCarthy (Packers), Adam Gase (Dolphins), Jim Harbaugh (Ravens) and Gregg Williams (Browns) also will be looking for work by season's end.

"The coaching carousel is going to get weird," Graziano writes.

Graziano expects Winston, who went 1-2 in three starts this season before being benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick, to reclaim the starting job.

Though Winston continues to struggle with turnovers in his fourth season, Graziano believes the Bucs will keep him around — just not for the $20.9-million value of the fifth-year option on Winston's rookie contract they picked up in April.

"The Bucs see no better option than to bring Winston back and give him yet another shot," Graziano writes. "But not for $20.9 million. They do what the Jaguars did last year with Blake Bortles, spreading out the money over a couple of years and keeping the salary low enough that they can get to work on that defense."

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