NFL Free Agency 2021: Jameis Winston Agrees to 1-Year Deal Worth Up To $12 Million with Saints
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – DECEMBER 13: Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints signals for the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 13, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston is staying in New Orleans.
The 27-year-old quarterback has agreed to a one-year contract extension with the New Orleans Saints worth up to $12 million, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
Winston’s news comes just one day after legendary Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced he was retiring from the NFL. The 42-year-old will join the NBC Sunday Night Football booth.
The Saints intend to hold a “quarterback competition at camp” with offensive gadget player Taysom Hill, as reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini on Monday. The 30-year-old former undrafted free agent restructured his previous contract which extended until 2022 on Sunday. His new deal is a four-year, $140 million extension — all four years of which are voidable which frees up $7.5 million in cap space this year, Schefter wrote on Sunday.
Winston is a former Heisman Trophy-winner and BCS National Champion for Florida State. He was selected No. 1 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft and spent his first five seasons as a member of the Buccaneers.
Winston earned Pro Bowl honors following his rookie season but his overall tenure in Tampa Bay was marred by inconsistency and turnovers. In 2019, he became the first player in NFL history to throw 30 or more touchdowns and 30 interceptions in one season. The Buccaneers opted to not re-sign the signal caller and instead pursue Tom Brady during free agency.
Following a disappointing run in Tampa, the former Seminole inked a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the New Orleans Saints to back up veteran quarterback Drew Brees. He completed seven of 11 attempts for 75 yards in four regular-season games and threw a 56-yard touchdown during the Divisional Round of the playoffs against his former squad.
Hill appeared in all 16 games in 2020 and completed 88-of-121 (72.3%) of his attempts for 928 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. The BYU product rushed for 457 yards and eight touchdowns and reeled in eight passes for 98 yards and one touchdown.
There is a lot at stake going into the Saints’ signal-caller showdown for fantasy purposes. In spite of his turnover proclivities, Winston’s pass-heavy play has made him a productive fantasy QB in years past. He finished as QB4 in his final season as a starter in Tampa (2019) through Weeks 1 to 16.
Pass-catchers Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara would also benefit from Winston taking over at the helm versus Hill, who has attempted 134 regular-season passes for 1,047 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions since joining the team.