According to NFL Insider Adam Schefter of ESPN, the New Orleans Saints have re-signed quarterback Jameis Winston. The deal is a one-year contract worth up to $12 million dollars, according to several sources.
Winston will likely replace Drew Brees as the New Orleans starter for 2021, with Brees officially announcing his retirement on Sunday. Tom Pelissero of ESPN reports that the contract has a base salary of $5.5 million guaranteed, with incentives that could earn Winston up to $12 million.
The 27-Yr old Winston was the 1st overall pick of the 2015 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after winning the Heisman Trophy and a national championship at Florida State.
He went 28-42 as a starter in five seasons with the Buccaneers surrounded by little talent. He completed 61.4 % of his throws for 19,812 yards during that time with 121 touchdown passes but 88 interceptions.
Winston threw for 5,109 yards in 2019, the eighth highest total in NFL history, while tossing 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Tampa Bay moved on from Winston after that season in favor of Tom Brady, leaving the former Heisman Trophy winner to sign with the Saints to back up Brees.
Winston had just 12 pass attempts in 2020, completing 8 for 131 yards, including a touchdown in the Divisional Round loss to Tampa Bay. He had a full year to digest coach Sean Payton's offensive system and learn behind Brees, one of the best to ever play.
His New Orleans teammates and coaches both praised Winston's work ethic and talent last season, and the locker room seems ready to fully embrace him as their starter.
Winston's physical talents and potential have never been in question. The biggest criticisms of him has always been his decision-making and penchant for turnovers.
He’ll now be surrounded by elite talent such as RB Alvin Kamara and WR Michael Thomas, with the league's best offensive line in front of him, with a chance to resurrect his career.