Then Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston prior to a game against the Falcons
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston signed with the New Orleans Saints to revitalize his career by putting his ego aside. Leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to joint the Saints was viewed as a slight shot at his former team, but largely a smart decision to turn his career around.

If Wednesday’s press conference with reporters is any indication of what led to his decision, getting revenge on his former team likely had a lot to do with it.

Shot across the bow

Winston, who also opened up about getting LASIK surgery and how it is helping him see, talked about the opportunity to learn from Drew Brees. It’s a unique opportunity for a young quarterback to sit behind a future Hall of Famer and Newton seems excited to have someone helping him.

It’s possible the 26-year-old didn’t intend to take a shot at the Buccaneers and head coach Bruce Arians. However, specifically noting that he could only learn by himself in Tampa Bay seems to be a shot at his former team.

Winston and Arians’ relationship

The Buccaneers hired Arians in 2019, hoping he could salvage Winston’s career. Viewed by many as a quarterback whisperer and one of the game’s brightest minds, Arians and Winston seemed to have an on-and-off relationship.

Arians routinely took public shots at Winston. While he would frequently stick by his quarterback, the veteran coach found ways to sneak in subtle shots during the season before taking aim at him once more at the end of the year.

Yet, Arians also showed a willingness this offseason to help Winston find a job and made calls to sell NFL coaches on the young quarterback.

It’s very possible Winston noticed the comments made by his coach in the past and decided he’d deliver some shade of his own on his way out the door. There is no love lost in the rivalry between the Saints and the Buccaneers and it will be more evident than ever this year.

If Winston can avoid getting into any off-field trouble and dedicates the next year to learning from Brees and Sean Payton, it could salvage the career of the former No. 1 pick. If he doesn’t, though, Arians might be the one smiling in the end.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick