Jameis Winston explains return to Saints as backup quarterback behind Derek Carr
Jameis Winston returned to New Orleans despite knowing he would support Derek Carr.
Former #1 overall pick took to social media on Wednesday to explain his decision by noting that while he considers himself a “champion-level starting quarterback”, New Orleans has become his home.
“First of all, I love this city,” Winston wrote. “In my entire professional career, I have never felt so culturally in tune with the fan base. The Saints fans I met were incredible. You made me and my family feel at home. That’s why last season was so disappointing for me. I want this team and the city to succeed. I know that big things are ahead for this team and this city! I was brought here by a spirit, so I will never escape this new challenge. What brought me here is still here. A stable organization, a team of champion caliber and a great fan base. This year’s team, like last year’s, is built to win the Super Bowl.
“Let there be no doubt, I am still the starting champion-caliber quarterback in this league. However, health and staying healthy is my top priority and I have suffered three devastating injuries in the last two years. I need to stay healthy to help this team achieve what we want. Most importantly, I need to stay healthy in order to achieve what I want to achieve in my career! At the same time, I will serve and lead, however, I need to see this organization and victory in the city! I’m proud to say another year of at least Who Dat!”
It’s a nice feeling, but let’s be honest: if Winston had found starting caliber money or more chances to win playing time, he still wouldn’t be a member of the Saints. None of them materialized under conditions of free will.
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero revealed that Winston’s new deal includes $4 million in guarantees ($2.835 million bonus and $1.165 million base salary) with a cap of $8 million.
Winston’s re-signing really helped the Saints clear some ceiling space. The deal lowered the cap of $11.068 million. Had QB signed elsewhere, that dead money would have increased before the 2023 season. So Winston really helped New Orleans get under the hood before Wednesday’s deadline.
The reality of Winston’s situation is that, barring an injury to Carr, who hasn’t missed a game with an injury since 2017, the former starter will remain on the bench for another season.