Sources: Saints get deal to sign QB Winston

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New Orleans Saints bring quarterback Jameis Winston back after missing out on their hunt for Deshaun Watson.

Winston and the Saints agreed on a two-year deal with a base value of $ 28 million, including $ 21 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

The Saints were one of four teams battling to acquire Watson, who was eventually traded to the Cleveland Browns.

Winston, 28, went 5-2 in his first year as a starter with the Saints last season, but he tore the ACL in his left knee and suffered an MCL injury on Oct. 31.

The former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner received a career-high pass rating of 102.8 at the Saints last season, completing 95 of 161 passes (59%) for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdowns with three interceptions. He also ran in 166 yards and a touchdown and lost a fumble.

Although Winston only averaged 186 passing yards in his six full games, he still got his big-game ability with four completions on 49 plus yards. And he proved he could overcome the turnover problems that plagued him in his first five NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Winston went 28-42 as a starter with the Buccaneers, completing 61.3% of his passes in 19,737 yards and 131 total touchdowns, including 10 rushing. He also had 88 interceptions and 23 lost fumbles.

He showed some dynamic ups and downs during his tenure with the Bucs – especially in 2019, when he led the league with 5,109 passing yards, while also becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw at least 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions in the same season. . (33 TDs and 30 INTs).

When Tampa Bay chose to move on to Tom Brady in 2020, Winston joined the Saints as a backup to try to revive his career under then-coach Sean Payton and starter Drew Brees. Winston signed a one-year deal worth only $ 1.1 million plus incentives because he said he wanted to get a “Harvard education in quarterback school.”

Winston signed another one-year deal with the Saints before the 2021 season that included $ 5.5 million in guarantees and up to $ 7 million in incentives after Brees retired. He knocked Taysom Hill out to win the starting job in the preseason, and he was repeatedly praised by Payton for both his arm strength and his leadership.

ESPN’s Mike Triplett contributed to this report.

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