The New Orleans Saints made it official Tuesday, signing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston to a one-year deal.
Tampa Bay's all-time franchise leader in every major passing category joins a crowded depth chart in New Orleans, replacing the departed Teddy Bridgewater but joining a future first-ballot Hall of Famer in Drew Brees, and one of the league's most versatile weapons in Taysom Hill.
Tuesday night, Winston appeared on Instagram Live with a fellow Heisman Trophy winner and former Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward, saying he's excited for the opportunity to learn from the experience around him on his new team.
“I think being a part of the New Orleans Saints, being a part with Drew Brees, Taysom Hill, (coach) Sean Payton, (quarterbacks) coach Joe Lombardi, (offensive coordinator) Pete Carmichael Jr., when you think about that room, I mean that’s like a Harvard education in quarterback school," Winston said.
Winston surely wanted to find another opportunity to be a starting quarterback in the league this offseason, but it was a tall task while coming off multiple injuries, especially given the unique nature of this year's league rules. In the end, Winston knew he'd have to find the best opportunity for him to prepare for future success.
“I wanted to put my ego aside, put the money aside and think about my family, think about my career," Winston said. "It was no better position than to be in the same room with someone that I’ve really looked up to, someone that I admired since I’ve been playing this game in Drew Brees.”
“Just understanding where I’m at in my career,” Winston said of his decision to sign with the Saints. "I’ve done some great things with the Bucs. I’m going to miss being a starting quarterback. But you never know what happens. I think this is just a great and unique step to join Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints and learn from him. Learn from one of the best to ever do it and make a great transition in my career."
It's a step back for now, but Winston is confident he's putting himself in the best possible position to succeed once he gets another opportunity to start down the road.
“There’s a proverb: 'Humility comes before honor'. So I have to humble myself and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be with Drew Brees and be with the New Orleans Saints and just prepare," Winston said. "Just prepare for when my next opportunity is going to present itself."