Former No. 1 pick Jameis Winston signed with the New Orleans Saints back in 2020 to learn behind then-quarterback Drew Brees and work with then-head coach Sean Payton.
Fast forward less than three years, and it looks like Winston’s career in the Bayou will end with a thud.
New Orleans just recently visited with Derek Carr prior to the quarterback hitting the NFL free agent market on Tuesday. This was yet another indication that the Saints are set to release Winston ahead of the market opening in March.
While it’s not yet known whether New Orleans will land Carr in free agency, several reports indicate that Winston won’t be long with the Saints. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted recently that the general manager Mickey Loomis and Co. will likely release Winston at some point soon.
It’s not the greatest of scenarios for the 29-year-old Winston. He’ll now enter an NFL free agent class that includes multiple quarterbacks with recent history as starters. Meanwhile, the former No. 1 pick from Florida State has played sparingly over the past three seasons.
- Jameis Winston stats (2020-22): 61% completion, 2,103 yards, 18 TD, 8 INT, 10 starts
In addition to Carr, the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, Daniel Jones, Baker Mayfield, Jacoby Brissett, Sam Darnold, Carson Wentz and Ryan Tannehill will likely be free agents once the market opens. It’s going to be about supply and demand.
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Jameis Winston will have to settle for a backup job in NFL free agency
Given his recent track record, it’s hard to imagine Winston heading into a situation where he’s even a stopgap option at quarterback. Heck, he won’t be brought in to be part of a training camp competition for a starting job. That time has passed.
After all, his last full-time starting gig with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2019 resulted in Winston throwing an absurd 30 interceptions.
For the veteran quarterback, it’s now all about landing in the right situation. That is to say, behind a young and unproven quarterback while working under a respected offensive-minded head coach.
- Jameis Winston career stats: 61% completion, 21,840 yards, 139 TD, 96 INT, 87.5 QB rating
There will be some real intriguing options for Winston. The San Francisco 49ers come to mind as a real possibility. They are set to lose the aforementioned Garoppolo in free agency. Youngster Brock Purdy is facing a lengthy absence with an elbow injury, leading the greenish Trey Lance as QB1 for the reigning NFC runners-up. Working with Kyle Shanahan wouldn’t hurt, either.
Other options include the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.