While it appears that the rest of the NFL is in the throes of quarterbacking upheaval, the New Orleans Saints are going with what they know — signing Jameis Winston to a two-year, $28 million deal on Wednesday, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It was uncertain if New Orleans would come back to the 28-year-old after they reportedly showed interest in Deshaun Watson. Following the All-Pro’s trade to the Cleveland Browns, though, it appears the Saints see Winston as their best option moving forward.
For the Florida State product, it’s another opportunity to solidify himself as a top-tier starter at the NFL level. He was written off by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the team that drafted him No. 1 in 2015 — after a 2019 season in which he led the league with 5,109 yards but also 30 interceptions.
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All he could get was a backup gig with the Saints behind Drew Brees, but after the future Hall-of-Famer’s retirement, he got the keys to the offense and looked as though he would flourish.
In seven games last season threw for 1,170 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions, all while ranking first in the league in touchdown percentage (8.7%), and seventh in touchdown-to-interception ratio (4.7) and total QBR (64). But a torn ACL ended his season prematurely and cast further doubt on his return to New Orleans.
With a clean bill of health and a winnable NFC South, Winston has a golden opportunity to carve out his role in New Orleans while getting the Saints back into the playoffs.