The season peppered -- no, blanketed -- by Winston interceptions appropriately ended with his 30th, making him the first quarterback ever to throw for 30 or more touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season. The Buccaneers finished 7-9 despite their quarterback's penchant for turnovers, frequently digging themselves early holes via Winston interceptions before throwing their way out of deficits to late-season victories.
Winston's contract is set to expire in March. A decision at the position looms. Arians was asked if he thought his Buccaneers could win with someone other than Winston at the position, and he provided an enlightening response.
"With another quarterback? Oh yeah," Arians said, via the Tampa Bay Times. "If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one, too."
You can't fault Arians for this line of thought. Winston did everything he could to make a level path ahead suddenly rise into a mountain on a near-weekly basis, usually getting an early interception out of the way before getting under control, but also often throwing multiple picks in a game. That helps no one but the opposition, and seeing as Arians' team still won seven games, his response is quite logical.
Does that indicate Arians is ready to cut bait with the former No. 1 overall pick? Not quite. We'll have to wait until the spring to learn Winston's fate.
"I would think within a few weeks we'll have a decision which way we want to head," Arians said. "Will we let it out? Probably not because you lose your leverage on that one, too. So stay tuned."
Arians added that issue of if a potential replacement is a better option will impact the team's decision on Winston.
"Well, free agency, who's available," Arians said. "What's behind Door No. 2? That's the first question. Then as you evaluate for the draft, that's another question. Are they better than what you have? Then you evaluate and that's when you make your decisions."
A franchise tag may be in order, seeing as Winston still tossed 33 touchdowns and broke 5,100 passing yards. He's still a viable option, and if he'd ever eliminate or even just cut down on the turnovers, he could be a legitimate franchise quarterback. But right now, all we know is this: He's the founding member of the 30-30 club.