Jameis Winston is hoping backing up New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees can revitalize his career, just like it did for Teddy Bridgewater.
The Saints officially announced Tuesday they reached a one-year deal with the veteran quarterback, who was displaced in Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers signed six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to a two-year, $50 million deal guaranteed, with $9 million in incentives.
The 26-year-old Winston, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, is expected to be the backup to Drew Brees, along with Taysom Hill, who also will continue to be used as a wide receiver and running back in certain game situations. The Saints signed Hill, 29, to a two-year, $21 million extension on Sunday.
“Being a part of the New Orleans Saints, being a part with Drew Brees, Taysom Hill, Sean Payton, coach Joe Lombardi, coach Pete Carmichael. When you think about that room, that’s like a Harvard education in quarterback school,” Winston said on Instagram Live on Tuesday, via Pro Football Talk.
“I wanted to put my ego aside, put the money [aside], think about my family, think about my career. [There] was no better position than to be in the same room with someone that I’ve really looked up to, someone that I’ve admired since I’ve been playing this game in Drew Brees.”
Brees, 41, told ESPN that he is “excited” to have Winston in the quarterback room.
“He’s got a lot of talent and a bright future,” Brees said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about his work ethic and love of the game.”
Winston, who threw for 19,737 yards during his five seasons with the Buccaneers, put up big positive and negative numbers in 2019. He led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards, and became the first quarterback in league history to throw for at least 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions in the same season.
Saints general manager Jeff Ireland credited Winston for signing the deal, saying it will be beneficial for both sides.
“It’s a compliment to Jameis Winston to understand where he’s at in this world and sign a one-year deal here and learn behind Drew [Brees,]” Ireland said on “The Matt Mosley Show” on ESPN Central Texas radio. “Look, there’s no better teacher. If Drew never said a word to him, he would observe more than he’ll ever learn in football just by learning how Drew does things. He’s an incredible leader. He’s an incredible studier of of the game, how he breaks down his opponents.”
Winston only can hope his time in New Orleans will work out as it did for the 27-year-old Bridgewater, who was 5-0 with the Saints as a starter last season. Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63 million deal with the Panthers in March.
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