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NFL Report: AFC North Team Highly Interested In Signing The New Orleans Saints Free-Agent Quarterback To Backup Their Starting Signal-Caller

An AFC North team is reportedly interested in signing New Orleans Saints backup quarterback.

The NFL free agency tampering period has started with a flurry of signings from the New Orleans Saints. An evening report from Mary Kay Cabot says the Cleveland Browns are interested in Jameis Winston to become Deshaun Watson's backup.  On Monday, former backup Jacoby Brissett signed a free-agent deal with the New England Patriots with hopes to start since the team traded Mac Jones.

During a February interview with the Saints News Network, Winston expressed an interest in signing with an NFL team as a starting quarterback. Recent signings of starters Russell Wilson (Steelers), Baker Mayfield (Buccaneers), and Kirk Cousins (Falcons) may have limited several of Winston's options.

New Orleans Saints Free-Agent QB Jameis Winston Has Cleveland Browns Interested

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings and Seahawks may have vacancies, and the New York Giants and Chicago Bears situations appear precarious.

Winston has been in New Orleans since the 2020 season, when he signed a free-agent deal as a backup. After Drew Brees retired, Jameis Winston took over as the starter and went 5-2 before suffering an ACL injury against his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on October 31, 2021.

Winston regained his starting position under Dennis Allen for three games, but Andy Dalton replaced him after he was sidelined with fractured vertebrae and a torn ligament in his right foot.

In 2023, New Orleans signed free-agent Derek Carr to a four-year franchise quarterback contract for $150M. Jameis Winston will officially join the free agent market on March 13 unless New Orleans offers to re-sign him.

Deshaun Watson has a recent history of injuries that have kept him out of the starting lineup. After another Watson injury, the Browns signed Joe Flacco off the street during the middle of the season. He guided Cleveland to the AFC playoffs until the Houston Texans defeated them 45-17. The Browns management has yet to extend an offer for Flacco's return.

Jameis says he's in great shape, healthy, and ready "to dominate" as a starter. Joining Cleveland could be ideal for the former No. 1 overall draft pick since the number of possibilities dwindles in the current free-agent market.