The dust is settling from the conclusion of the NFL draft yesterday and now we have an answer to one of the biggest offseason questions that remain. Where will former Buccaneers quarterback, Jameis Winston, play next season?
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According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, Winston and the New Orleans Saints are finalizing a one-year deal to bring the former Buccaneer quarterback to the Bayou. He will compete for a job behind Drew Brees and with Brees’ future in doubt beyond this season, it may become an opportunity for Winston to start once again.
This will surely not sit right with some Bucs fans. Not only does Winston leave Tampa but he heads to one of their NFC South rivals and could potentially start against the Bucs twice a year in the near future. However, the Buccaneers were obviously not bringing Winston back once they signed Tom Brady in the offseason. And for all the good that came with Winston (5,000-yard season, passing records, etc) there was plenty of bad too. The turnovers were too much to overcome for Winston and ultimately it sealed his fate with the Bucs. Especially when a better option presented itself in Brady.
However, if you’re a Winston fan, this should excite you because it gives him the best opportunity to seize a starting role in the near future. Similar to what Ryan Tannehill accomplished in Tennessee this past season. The big difference being that Winston is just 26 and coming off a season in which he threw for 5,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. He will now get to polish his game under Brees and head coach Sean Payton in an offense that likes to throw the ball.
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Former Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater is now the starter in Carolina so Winston will be competing with 30-year-old Taysom Hill for the backup role. Despite his limited number of pass attempts in his career, the Saints hold Hill in such high regard. So much so, they say he can be a starting quarterback. Evident by them placing a first-round tender on him earlier in the offseason and agreeing to a two-year, $21 million contract today. With that said, Winston offers far more upside for the Saints moving forward. He could even spell Brees, at times, during the season next year, especially considering the difference in arm strength.
With Brees’ career winding down, Winston could be the perfect replacement to take over. Of course, Winston will have to limit the turnovers (Brees did too), but he will be in an environment that will play to Winston’s strengths.
Winston finished his career with the Bucs as their all-time leader in passing yards (19,937), touchdowns (121), and completions (1,563). He is second in interceptions (88), 24 behind Vinny Testaverde.