Sean Payton: Saints have “big interest” in bringing back Jameis Winston

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The Buccaneers replaced Jameis Winston with Tom Brady and now they’re playing in Super Bowl LV.

But Winston’s NFL future could still be bright. He signed a one-year deal to be a backup in New Orleans in 2020 and apparently made a lasting positive impression on head coach Sean Payton.

Winston is slated to be a free agent in March. But with Drew Brees reportedly expected to retire, Payton said Wednesday he wants Winston back.

“We had a great exposure for one year with Jameis Winston,” Payton said in an interview with NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Wednesday. “And 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, as an athlete. I really like what we had a chance to see. He was a tremendous leader for this team, and 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.”

Winston did not play much in 2020, as Hill started the four games at quarterback that Brees missed due to injury. But Winston did throw a touchdown pass in the Saints’ playoff loss to the Buccaneers.

In 2019 with the Bucs, Winston led the league with 5,109 yards passing but also became the first player to ever throw 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season.

13 responses to “Sean Payton: Saints have “big interest” in bringing back Jameis Winston

  1. Please sign him to a lucrative, long term contract. Signed, lifelong Buc fan since 1980. Go Bucs!

  2. Winston came in and replaced Brees when he got hurt, and I think threw 10 or 12 passes total. One of them was right in the gut of a linebacker, who dropped the sure interception.

    The next four or five games, Taysom Hill was the starter.

    I don’t know that those two things are related, but I know Payton hates interceptions. He better be able to do what Dirk Koetter and Bruce Arians could not: get JW to stop turning the ball over.

  3. Can’t see him staying. There will be better options for him in free agency. He took the internship under Brees last year. Saints have a big interest in bringing him back – as long as it is at the veteran minimum again. Saints have an unbelievable cap situation. Over $100 million over the cap.

  4. The rest of the NFL has a big interest in the Saints making Taysom Hill the full time starter. 8-8 team every year. Maybe 7-9. 3-1 as a fill-in seems really good, until you realize the records of those four teams was 17-46-1. Also, if you saw Hill pass the long ball. Very ugly.

  5. roughingthepasser says:
    February 3, 2021 at 11:23 am
    The Saints have no cap space, so it wont happen.

    lol, just how much do you think he’s gonna cost

  6. Everyone trying to act like Winston is terrible, Favre threw 29 and Manning threw 28 in a season, and they never had to worry about getting a job the next year. This isn’t Goff game managing. The Bucs were the third highest scoring offense last year too. The Buc defense was terrible his whole time starting until late last year. The only time it was average, they went 9-7.

  7. The rest of the NFL has a big interest in the Saints making Taysom Hill the full time starter.

    Well obviously, the Saints aren’t planning on making Hill the starter……

  8. Jameis Winston is what he is–a guy who can put up big numbers but is reckless with the football. The only way you can overcome a liability like that is with a top 6 defense. Otherwise, you live in 7-9 to 9-7 territory. His numbers are intriguing, but the turnovers will always be a problem with him. Many coaches have tried to “fix” Winston with no success. Buyer beware.

  9. Or maybe he wants someone to sign JW to a big contract to get that compensatory draft pick!

  10. Yes, Winston will be the starter next year. Yes, it may not work out. But I’ll trust Payton’s vision and observations of Winston over anything I hear or read from the national media or public right now.

  11. I would rather have Winston, in a controlled (run first) offense, at $5-10 million per year than Dak at $38-40 million per year.

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