Jameis Winston

New Orleans Saints
Quarterback #3
New Orleans Saints
Quarterback #3
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Jameis Winston News

Favorite for starting job

Winston seems like the odds-on favorite to win the starting quarterback job over Taysom Hill this summer, Larry Holder of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Even though the Saints turned to Hill as the starter last season when Drew Brees went down, Hill had been in New Orleans since 2017 while Winston had only been there for a matter of months. Now that Winston has considerably more experience in Sean Payton's system, it appears the 2015 No. 1 overall pick and true pocket passer is being viewed as the better long-term option for New Orleans to build around than the dual-threat Hill. However, the Saints aren't practicing on-field like most other teams during OTAs this year, per Amie Just of NOLA.com, so no one has actually seen anything to confirm that Winston is being geared up as the clear starter. We should know more in late July when the Saints start training camp.

Jun 4, 2021 4:31 PM EST

Sticking with Saints

Winston agreed to re-sign with the Saints on Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Winston's contract is a one-year deal worth up to $12 million. The 2015 first-overall pick's second season in coach Sean Payton's system will be without Drew Brees in the picture, giving Winston a clear path to compete for the No. 1 spot in one of the league's most lethal offenses. Taysom Hill is the other notable signal-caller under contract in New Orleans, setting the stage for a training camp battle between two highly intriguing fantasy options.

Mar 15, 2021 6:09 PM EST

Headed for camp battle?

The Saints are trying to re-sign Winston, who would then enter a job battle with Taysom Hill during training camp, Dianna Russini of ESPN reports.

Analysis: If the two sides can't work it out, Winston will become a free agent at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. He could still re-sign with New Orleans after that point, but the Saints would be taking a risk. If Winston were to leave, It isn't clear if the Saints would hand Hill the starting job or bring in another QB to compete with him this summer.

Mar 15, 2021 6:44 AM EST

Could stay in New Orleans

Coach Sean Payton hopes Winston will re-sign with the Saints, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Drew Brees is expected to retire, while Taysom Hill is under contract through 2021 with a cap hit of $16.2 million. The Saints chose Hill over Winston when Brees missed time during the 2020 regular season, but it sounds like Payton will give Winston a fair shot to win the starting job if he stays in New Orleans. Of course, the 27-year-old QB might find a better contract or job opportunity elsewhere, as the Saints will need to do some cap gymnastics to become compliant for 2021.

Feb 3, 2021 7:08 AM EST

Tosses long touchdown in loss

Jameis Winston completed his only pass attempt for a 56-yard touchdown in the Saints' 30-20 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Analysis: Winston came in for one play mid-way through the second quarter and found a wide-open Tre'Quan Smith for a 56-yard score. Winston's future is uncertain in New Orleans, especially with rumors of Drew Brees' retirement floating around. Even if Brees does decide to call it a career, Winston would still face competition from Taysom Hill for the starting job.

Jan 18, 2021 7:05 AM EST

Back from COVID list

The Saints reinstated Winston from the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Larry Holder of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Winston was added to the list Sunday after being deemed a close contact of a person infected with the virus, but after self-isolating and testing negative over the last several days, he's been cleared to rejoin the Saints. The quarterback has presumably been staying connected with the Saints through virtual meetings during the team's Week 16 prep, so Winston could be available to back up Drew Brees in Friday's game against the Vikings.

Dec 24, 2020 1:34 PM EST

Late addition to COVID-19 list

The Saints placed Winston on the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, making him ineligible to play Week 15 versus the Chiefs, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The NFL announced no new positive COVID-19 tests earlier Sunday, so Winston may have been deemed a close contact of an infected person or persons. Regardless, the timing of Winston's move to the list leaves Taysom Hill as the only backup option at quarterback behind starter Drew Brees (shoulder), who was reinstated from injured reserve Saturday following a four-game absence. Hill, who had started in place of Brees, was poised to fill a "jack-of-all-trades" role Week 15, while the Saints had planned on having Winston serve as Brees' direct backup.

Dec 20, 2020 8:49 AM EST

Top backup to Brees

Winston is slated to work as the No. 2 quarterback behind Drew Brees (ribs/lung) in Sunday's game against the Chiefs, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.

Analysis: Brees will be back in action after the Saints activated him from injured reserve Saturday following a four-week absence due to a punctured lung and multiple rib fractures. While Brees was sidelined, Taysom Hill started each of the Saints' four games, but he'll move back into a "jack-of-all-trades" role in Week 15 that includes Wildcat quarterback packages and special-teams work. The fact that Winston is operating as the No. 2 signal-caller Sunday shouldn't be taken as a sign that he would be the next man up in the event of another Brees absence; instead, the Saints likely just wanted Hill to prepare for his multi-faceted role in practices this week once it became apparent Brees would be ready to return from IR.

Dec 20, 2020 7:05 AM EST

Back in backup role

Winston will serve as the backup to Taysom Hill during Sunday's game against the Falcons, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Winston was thrust into action after Drew Brees (chest) exited last weekend's win over San Francisco, but he was lackluster and completed just 6 of 10 pass attempts for 63 yards despite playing the entire second half. Coach Sean Payton has since elected to allow Hill the entire portion of starting reps at practice, and Schefter reports that Winston won't be involved in any offensive packages against the Falcons, hints that New Orleans' decision to roll with Hill under center is a firm one. Even with Brees on track to miss at least 2-to-3 weeks, it looks like Winston may not get another chance to enter the lineup.

Nov 20, 2020 7:37 AM EST

Could start Week 11

Coach Sean Payton said Monday that he won't reveal a starting quarterback until later in the week following news that Drew Brees (ribs) is out 2-to-3 weeks, Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: It's a two-man race between Winston and Taysom Hill, and both quarterbacks likely will handle first-team reps in practice this week before Payton names a starter. Winston was mediocre in place of Brees in Sunday's win over San Francisco; he completed six of 10 passes for 63 yards. Hill was up to his usual tricks, piling up 45 yards on eight carries but didn't attempt a pass. This Sunday's matchup against the Falcons' pitiful pass defense would be an ideal opportunity for Winston to showcase his skills for the Saints and other teams who could be interested in his services next season.

Nov 16, 2020 2:42 PM EST

Steps in for injured Brees

Winston completed 6 of 10 pass attempts for 63 yards during Sunday's 27-13 win over the 49ers.

Analysis: Winston entered the game at the start of the second half after Drew Brees (ribs) picked up an injury earlier in the contest. He averaged a lackluster 6.3 yards per attempt and took a pair of sacks as he helped his team cruise to victory against an undermanned San Francisco outfit. The extent of Brees' injury is not yet known, but Winston would be in line to start next Sunday's matchup with the Falcons if his teammate is sidelined and would be an interesting fantasy option against one of the league's worst pass defenses.

Nov 15, 2020 5:34 PM EST

Wraps up in blowout win

Winston completed his only pass attempt for 12 yards in the Saints' 38-3 win over the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Analysis: He also "added" three carries for a loss of three yards. Winston entered the game late in the fourth quarter as New Orleans cleared its bench with the game well in hand. Blowouts like this won't be commonplace for the Saints, and - barring a Drew Brees injury - Winston isn't expected to see playing time otherwise.

Nov 9, 2020 1:11 PM EST

Rotating with Hill

Winston operated as the Saints' No. 2 on Thursday as he continues to split work with Taysom Hill, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: After signing with New Orleans in the offseason, Winston was expected to battle for the backup job with the incumbent Hill, and that's how things are playing out thus far in camp. Hill is likely to see some work on offense regardless of his place in the quarterback pecking order, but Winston's value - both real-life and fantasy - is tied to the health of Drew Brees.

Aug 20, 2020 4:32 PM EST

Likely top backup for 2020

Winston is expected to be the top backup behind starter Drew Brees, Larry Holder of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Holder notes this is just speculation, as the Saints have not underwent any sort of organized team activities or minicamps, but the claim makes sense given Winston's resume as a starter, and the overall role presumed backup option, Taysom Hill, has on the totality of the offense. Hill's offensive flexibility makes him a valuable commodity regardless of the backup quarterback label, and the $16 million extension he signed in the offseason reinforces that notion the 29-year-old is likely considered the "future" starter as opposed to Winston. Still, as we saw with Teddy Bridgewater in 2019, the comfy confines of the Saints offensive system can do wonders for the prospects of a backup quarterback, especially one as gifted as the former No. 1 overall pick.

Jun 13, 2020 11:37 AM EST

Officially joins New Orleans

Winston (thumb) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Saints on Tuesday.

Analysis: The Saints and Winston have been finalizing the contract over the last few days, and the deal is now official with the passing of Monday's deadline for signings factoring into the compensatory pick formula. The departure of Teddy Bridgewater this offseason would appear to open up the backup job for Winston, but he instead likely will be in competition for the job with holdover Taysom Hill. Even with an injury to Drew Brees, Winston isn't guaranteed to immediately lead the offense as Bridgewater did last season. However, spending a year under the tutelage of Brees and Sean Payton should still prove beneficial after the 2015 first-overall pick led the NFL with 30 interceptions in 2019.

Apr 28, 2020 3:16 PM EST

Nearing deal with New Orleans

Winston (thumb) is in the process of finalizing a one-year contract with the Saints, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports.

Analysis: Reports surfaced shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft on Saturday that the Saints were interested in bringing Winston aboard, and the two sides were apparently able to quickly hammer out the parameters of a deal. As Mike Triplett of ESPN.com notes, the Saints may choose to wait until after 4 p.m. ET to make Winston's signing official, as New Orleans wouldn't have to surrender a compensatory draft choice after that deadline. Assuming the deal ultimately gets finalized, Robinson notes that Winston wouldn't be guaranteed the top backup quarterback job vacated when Teddy Bridgewater signed with Carolina in March; instead, Winston would have to battle with holdover Taysom Hill for the No. 2 role in a best-case scenario. Even though Winston's path to a starting gig in New Orleans would be blocked barring an injury to Drew Brees, the opportunity to spend a developmental year under offensive guru Sean Payton could help the 26-year-old cash in as a free agent next offseason in a manner similar to Bridgewater, who signed a three-year, $63 million deal with the Panthers.

Apr 26, 2020 6:28 AM EST

Gets support from former coach

Winston's (thumb/knee) former coach in Tampa Bay, Bruce Arians, said Wednesday in an interview on Fox Sports Radio's "The Rich Eisen Show" that he's reached out to two teams, campaigning for them to sign the quarterback, Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "I talked to two teams," Arians said. "I think it was just to [tell them], 'Get him on your roster' and it would be a great fit. One team was not interested and the other one was."

Analysis: Winston's hopes of returning to Tampa Bay for a sixth season ended nearly two weeks ago, when it became apparent that Tom Brady was leaving New England to sign with the Buccaneers. Though he's just 26 years old and has 70 career starts on his resume, Winston's high turnover rate has likely contributed heavily to the cool market he's faced thus far in free agency. With few -- if any -- starting jobs open for Winston and another experienced, more accomplished option in Cam Newton also looking for work, Winston could be forced to settle for a backup job at his next stop.

Mar 29, 2020 7:59 AM EST

Future completely in flux

Winston's (thumb/knee) 2020 status is currently the subject of much speculation, and the Buccaneers sound increasingly open to other free-agent options at the position, Greg Auman of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Auman formed his conclusions regarding the team's seemingly cooling interest on their first overall pick of 2015 from comments made by both general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians during the NFL Combine. Arians referred to Winston as an "unknown quantity" while heaping unfettered praise on fellow free-agent-to-be Shaq Barrett in the same breath. The veteran offensive guru also made mention of a head coach being obligated to explore the possibility of a better option at the position if there are any doubts about the starting quarterback, following up that remark by offering up the names of Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers as players whose availability he'd theoretically inquire about ahead of free agency. Licht would only offer tepid endorsement of Winston in his own right, and given the transition and franchise tags would cost the Bucs $25 and $27 million, respectively, for this coming season, there appears to be growing evidence the team may be prepared to move on.

Mar 2, 2020 4:58 PM EST

Dealt with knee issue last season

Winston reportedly underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus that required trimming, NFL.com reports.

Analysis: The report doesn't specify when the procedure occurred, but this nugget only reinforces that the QB -- who was already known to have previously been dealing with a hairline fracture in his throwing thumb -- played through some aches and pains this past season. In the process, the 26-year-old threw for 5,109 yards, but logged a shaky 33:30 TD:INT ratio. In any case, as free agency approaches, this nugget adds some context to the mixed results the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft put up in 2019. At this stage, a return to the Bucs -- either on a new deal or through a franchise or transition tag -- still seems like a plausible outcome for Winston.

Feb 28, 2020 12:34 PM EST

Undergoes vision procedure

Winston has undergone LASIK surgery to improve his vision, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Analysis: Winston has dealt with nearsightedness since his collegiate days at Florida State, and question marks surrounding his vision resurfaced at the end of the 2019 season when coach Bruce Arians said "[Winston] can't read the scoreboard but he can see the guys in front of him." Whether at the behest of Tampa Bay's coaching staff or via his own discretion, Winston has now undergone a laser-assisted eye procedure with the hope of improving his vision. Of course, it remains to be seen what effect the surgery will ultimately have in potentially enhancing the 26-year-old's accuracy. Winston, who became the first signal-caller in NFL history pass for at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions last season, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March. He also dealt with a fracture in his right thumb during the latter portion of the 2019 campaign.

Feb 12, 2020 1:55 PM EST

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