Sports

NFL free agency 2022: Saints re-signing Jameis Winston following Deshaun Watson decision to join Browns


Within moments of Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons shaking up the NFLJameis Winston has found an NFL home for 2022, and it’s the same one he had the last two seasons. The New Orleans Saints were forced to immediately pivot to their contingency plan at quarterback following the unexpected pivot by former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson — who will avoid the NFC South altogether in joining the Cleveland Browns on a record NFL contract — and that meant picking up the phone to ask Winston if he’d accept the position instead. 

They have now come to terms with the former first overall pick, agreeing to a two-year, $28 million deal, per CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

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Winston initially joined the Saints in 2020 as the backup to future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, but was promoted to QB1 when Brees announced his retirement following that season. Things got off to an explosive start for Winston in 2021, leading an offense that throttled Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, before the Saints would eventually lose Winston to a torn ACL later in the season — ending his second year in New Orleans and thrusting him into yet another uncertain offseason. 

He’ll now get another shot to finish what he started last season, but he continues to rehab from his torn ACL with hopes of being ready for the start of the 2022 season. The former Pro Bowler was always viewed as the Saints’ backup plan in the event they lost out on Watson, and it appears Winston sat still to see how everything shook out before making the decision on where he might play in 2022.

In the end, it worked out for both sides, albeit much more for Winston — the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-rounder still working to prove he can be a franchise quarterback capable of leading an NFL team deep into the playoffs.





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