The NFL’s fascinating quarterback carousel continued to spin through the first Monday of spring.
Shortly after reports surfaced that the Indianapolis Colts were trading for Atlanta Falcons starter and one-time NFL Most Valuable Player Matt Ryan, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that the New Orleans Saints were bringing signal-caller Jameis Winston back via a two-year contract:
Winston, the first-overall pick of the 2015 draft, spent his first five pro seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then landed with the Saints to serve as a backup to future Hall of Famer Drew Brees for the 2020 campaign. Winston began last season as New Orleans’ QB1 but suffered a torn ACL and damage to his MCL on Halloween and hasn’t faced an opposing defense since.
The 28-year-old was spotted running on an anti-gravity treadmill in late February, and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis told reporters later that same week: “Jameis is an option for us and we hope we’re an option for Jameis.”
Winston completed 59% of his passes for 1,170 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions in fewer than seven full games with the Saints this past season.
While nothing is for sure at the moment, this latest development seemingly takes the Saints out of conversations regarding Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is searching for a new NFL home after his employer made the blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson. Mayfield and San Francisco 49ers veteran Jimmy Garoppolo remain on the trade market, but the number of potential would-be buyers decreased again at the start of the week:
Mayfield is on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract worth $18.858 million.