The New Orleans Saints are re-signing quarterback Jameis Winston to a two-year, $28 million contract with $21 million in guarantees, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported Monday. Winston's getting a $14 million signing bonus, per Rapoport.
The free agency signing comes in the aftermath of the Saints falling short in their bid to trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Texans agreed Friday to trade Watson to the Cleveland Browns, who, along with the Saints, Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons had offered trade packages to Houston.
Winston returns to New Orleans for a third straight season after five years with the NFC South-rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted him No. 1 overall in 2015.
Possessing a live arm but a tendency with turnovers, Winston joined the Saints as Drew Brees' backup in 2020. In 2021 he returned as Brees' successor and beat out Taysom Hill for the QB1 spot. Through seven starts with Winston, the Saints were 5-2. Though Winston wasn't lighting up the scoreboard, he had limited his turnovers. He threw for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdowns to just three interceptions in those seven games.
Winston is back to running on his road to recovery from his ACL tear, and with the Saints coming up short in pursuit of Watson, he'll be back in New Orleans.