Former Saints quarterback Jameis Winston explains his decision to join Browns

The Jameis Winston experience is officially over for the New Orleans Saints, and now the team needs to find a new backup quarterback and another leader.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

Former New Orleans Saints quarterback, Jameis Winston plans to sign a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns to be the backup behind Deshaun Watson. The deal has $4 million guaranteed but it could go up to $8.7 million depending on the bonuses that Winston receives. This is a big deal for the Saints, as they not only lose a locker room leader, but also a formidable backup quarterback. Now the Saints will be in the market to find a replacement for Winston.

Jameis Winston has been with the Saints for the past four seasons. He started for 10 games in those seasons, going 6-4. He didn’t get many opportunities but showed bright spots, and some negative ones while playing. He threw for 2,367 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Winston’s play on the field wasn’t overly impressive but it will be challenging to replace his leadership to the team.

It is unclear if the Saints were looking to bring back Winston for another year. There have been no indications so far of them trying to get a deal done with him. There was a conflict between Winston and the team at the end of the season this past year. Against the Atlanta Falcons in week 18 Winston ran a fake kneel and handed it off to Jamaal Williams, who scored a touchdown to increase the massive lead. This caused a fracture between him and Dennis Allen that possibly could have led to his release.

It is also completely possible that the Saints let Winston go to get a starting opportunity, as it was looking like there wasn’t going to be one for him in New Orleans.

Jameis Winston agrees to a one-year deal with Browns

Winston is ready for the new opportunity that awaits him in Cleveland. On a call with Josina Anderson, Winston stated, “Having the opportunity to work with Deshaun (Watson) and help him be the best he can possibly be, is my main mission”. Winston accepts that he will be the backup going into the season but still has large goals. On that call, he said in addition “Ultimately I desire to win some Super Bowls, and this roster that Cleveland got, looks like they can do it”. One thing that will never waver for Winston is his confidence in himself.

Although the Jameis Winston experience was underwhelming in New Orleans, from an on-field standpoint, it will still hurt the team as he departs to the Cleveland Browns in free agency. The Saints have to find another backup, as everyone waits to see if Winston can shine somewhere else and prove his ability in Cleveland.