Saints’ Sean Payton: “Big Interest” In Re-Signing Jameis Winston

The Saints like what they’ve seen from Jameis Winston. On Wednesday, Saints head coach Sean Payton said there’s “big interest” in bringing the quarterback back for 2021. 

[RELATED: Drew Brees To Retire]

We had a great exposure for one year with Jameis Winston,” Payton told NFL Network (Twitter link). “We didn’t have a normal offseason, but we had enough time to see what we had with him as a player, as a leader, and as an athlete. I really like what we had a chance to see. He was a tremendous leader for this team. That’s hard to do when you come in new in free agency your first year as a backup quarterback. So that’ll be an important checkmark for us.

And, a lot of times, you want to hold your cards closer to the vest and he is a free agent. But him, along with Taysom Hill who’s in the building, we’ve said it all along: We’re going to develop and coach those guys. And Jameis is one of those guys that we have a big interest in.”

In 2019, Winston set career-highs in passing yards (5,109) and touchdowns (33) in 2019, while also setting a league-wide watermark with 30 interceptions. After that, Winston joined the Saints on a modest one-year, $1MM pact last year in an effort to rebuild his value. He’s done that, to some extent, by impressing his coaches in practice.

Payton had “great” exposure to Winston, even though the volume wasn’t tremendous. Winston served as the Saints’ QB3, slotted behind both Drew Brees and Taysom Hill. The former No.1 overall pick made four appearances this season, completing seven of his eleven pass attempts for 75 yards. The highlight of his year came in the playoffs, when he threw for a touchdown against his pals.

Now, with Brees set to retire, the Saints could have more reps available for the 27-year-old signal caller.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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