Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers pick up fifth-year option on quarterback Jameis Winston

USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have picked up the fifth-year option on quarterback Jameis Winston for 2019, the team announced on Tuesday.

Winston, the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft, signed a four-year, $25.3-million contract that included a fifth-year club option.

He stands to make $8.06 million in 2018 salary and bonuses, ranking him 26th among quarterbacks and 250th among NFL players.

If Winston were to play under the fifth year option of about $20.1-million, it would rank 13th in average salary per year among quarterbacks. There are currently 17 NFL quarterbacks earning more than $20-million.

At 24, Winston is entering his fourth season, having passed for 11,636 yards with 69 touchdowns and 44 interceptions. But his team has never reached the postseason. Winston went 6-10, 9-7 and 3-10 as a starter. He missed three games last season with a shoulder injury and fell less than 500 yards shy of passing for 4,000 yards for the third straight season.

The deadline for picking up Winston’s fifth-year option is May 2, but the Bucs had no reason not to just do it now. Tampa Bay is likely to attempt to negotiate a long-term deal before the start of 2019.

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