Saints’ Jameis Winston Eyeing Starting Role

Jameis Winston has been in New Orleans since 2020, and his desire to remain with the team has been made clear this offseason. A new Saints contract would tie him to a backup role, however, something which the veteran quarterback has become familiar with in recent years.

In spite of that, Winston still has his eyes on a No. 1 gig. New Orleans has Derek Carr on the books through 2026, although the team could move on after next season with relative ease. Carr will be in line for the starting role in 2024 at a minimum, so Winston’s intention of re-signing with the Saints will need to be weighed against his desire to lead an offense. He recently spoke about his situation with free agency not far away.

“My goal is to be, and my desire is to be, a Super Bowl-winning starting quarterback in this league,” the former No. 1 pick said in an interview with Kyle Mosley of Saints News Network“Right now, that doesn’t look like a very clear picture with the New Orleans Saints.”

Winston is a pending free agent after he agreed to a one-year pact last offseason in a move which allowed him to stay in New Orleans. That contract has been restructured, leaving him on track to reach the open market while leaving the Saints with dead cap charges regardless of if he is re-signed or allowed to depart. While Winston’s remarks suggest he would interested in exploring outside opportunities, it would be a surprise if he managed to generate a notable market as a No. 1 option this spring.

The 30-year-old has not played a full season as a starter since 2019, the year of his infamous 33-touchdown, 30-interception campaign with the Buccaneers. Winston would join a host of other veteran signal-callers available as bridge options for teams in the QB market this offseason, many of which are likely to add at the position via the draft in April. New Orleans has Carr as well as 2023 fourth-rounder Jake Haener on the QB depth chart, and the latter could ascend to the backup role if Winston were to depart. It will be interesting to see how willing Winston is to test the market if a clearer path to a starting opportunity presents itself outside of New Orleans.

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