The New Orleans Saints and free agent quarterback Jameis Winston are closing in on a deal, according to a report Sunday.
Yahoo Sports reported the two sides were expected to quickly finalize an “economical” one-year deal.
Veteran Drew Brees is locked in as the starter, and the Saints retained backup Taysom Hill with a two-year, $4.6 million deal signed Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. Hill has been expected to have a shot to step in for Brees when he retires, which could be as soon as 2021.
Compensation update: Taysom Hill’s two-year extension with the Saints is worth $21 million, including $16 million fully guaranteed at signing, plus $1 million more in performance incentives, per source. So it really is a one-year, $16.3M extension.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 26, 2020
Last year, the Saints carried three quarterbacks: Brees, Hill and Teddy Bridgewater, who was 5-0 as a starter when Brees suffered a hand injury. Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63 million contract with the Carolina Panthers in March.
Hill played in all 16 games in multipurpose duty — passing, running and receiving. Winston would be a traditional No. 2 quarterback and an insurance policy should Hill sustain an injury in his innovative offensive role.
The No. 1 selection in the 2015 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay, Winston wasn’t re-signed by the Bucs, who inked QB Tom Brady to a two-year contract instead. While Winston had hoped to secure a starting job, the openings that were available seemingly were filled through the NFL draft over the past three days.
Winston’s arrival in Tampa Bay failed to turn around a franchise that hasn’t been to the postseason since the 2007 campaign. Only the Cleveland Browns have a longer NFL playoff drought.
Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019 and became the first player in league history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns (33) and 30 interceptions.
He threw for 19,737 yards, 121 touchdowns and 88 interceptions in 72 career games with the Buccaneers. He has a record of 28-42-0 in 70 games as a starter.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)