Coming off a season in which he became the first quarterback in NFL history with 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions, Jameis Winston recently underwent LASIK eye surgery, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The surgery was to correct his nearsightedness, which Winston has dealt with since at least his time at Florida State.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians even made reference to it during his final news conference of 2019.
“He can’t read the scoreboard, but he can see the guys in front of him. So he’s all right,” Arians said.
Winston enters the 2020 offseason as an unrestricted free agent and the Buccaneers will need to determine whether they want to bring back Winston or let the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft hit the open market. Winston is among a crowded class of quarterbacks who have expiring contracts, a list that includes Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum, Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers and Ryan Tannehill. Other veteran quarterbacks, such as Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco, could join the ranks of those looking for new teams.
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During that same end-of-season news conference, Arians was asked if he thought the Buccaneers could win with a different quarterback than Winston. His response wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence in the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner.
“With another quarterback?” Arians said. “Oh yeah. If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one, too.”
Whether Winston’s nearsightedness affected his ability to complete forward passes to his teammates will remain a mystery. In addition to his ignominious 30/30 season in 2019, Winston set an NFL single-season record for pick-sixes with seven. That broke a record previously held by Peyton Manning in 2001 and Rudy Bukich in 1966. The closest any quarterback had come to a 30/30 season before Winston was Lynn Dickey, who threw 32 touchdowns and 29 interceptions for the Green Bay Packers in 1983.
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