Free agent quarterback Jameis Winston has traded his old Tampa Bay Buccaneers colors for the New Orleans Saints. What does the team have in mind with this signing?
With Tom Brady inked in Tampa Bay, it was time for former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston to enter the backup quarterback market. He’s now on the New Orleans Saints.
The Buccaneers had enough of his erratic play behind center, especially with Winston tossing 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 2019.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints have decided to scoop the former Florida State Seminole up for a one-year contract to back up future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees in 2020.
The deal says Winston will don a Saints uniform for the 2020 season, but he won’t be guaranteed the backup quarterback spot.
Winston will battle it out with fellow backup quarterback Taysom Hill for that spot behind Brees, and more competition will take place as the Saints drafted former Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens with a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Most likely, the Saints will carry three quarterbacks on the active roster and leave one on the practice squad, and it could be Stevens that is left off the official squad since he will be a rookie.
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Hill will return to his role as a gadget player in the offense while contributing to special teams, and Winston may be the unofficial No. 3 quarterback that could be ready to step in for Brees if need be.
The differences between Winston and former Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater deal with both passing yards and turnovers, the latter being the reason why Winston is a backup quarterback now.
Winston can out-hrow Bridgewater in yards, but will guarantee a turnover or two every week he starts, cooking up interceptions in his “Famous Jameis Turnover Factory.”
Bridgewater has a more cautious approach to his game, evident in his (5-0) record last season while stepping in for an injured Drew Brees in New Orleans.
Winston will need to fix his habitual habit for turnovers and his pocket presence in order to claim he can be relied upon again in the NFL.
But Saints head coach Sean Payton saw potential in Winston and seems to have confidence he can fix his mistakes, especially after he helped Bridgewater guide New Orleans during an important stretch in 2019.
The status of being a Pro Bowler, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, a 2013-14 BCS National Champion and the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner will be difficult to ignore no matter if Winston plays in any game for the Saints, but he may be eyeing for something beyond 2020.
Perhaps New Orleans sees enough promise to have Winston, Hill and some more competition battle it out to be the heir apparent to Brees after he retires.
Whether the Saints start this decision process before the 2021 season or later, Winston knows that his commitment and play for New Orleans as a backup signal-caller will be pivotal for him to become an NFL starting quarterback again.