The New Orleans Saints have brought back Jameis Winston on a two-year deal worth up to $28 million. That carries an average annual value of $14 million, which ranks as the 15th-highest among quarterbacks, sitting in between Tom Brady and Nick Foles. Of that total money, $21 million of it is guaranteed. That would actually rank as the 26th-most money tied up to the quarterback position, still slotting in between those two players.
The two-year length to me signifies that the option to pick a rookie quarterback is now off the board at the 18th overall pick for New Orleans. The Saints should now give Winston at least one full season before looking to the draft again. This seems like the smart move, as there has still yet to be a quarterback prospect to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack and prove that they are worthy of risking a few years of your team on. They can now reset and have Winston locked up as the starter and maybe look to next year’s draft class if things don’t work out.
Winston views himself as a starter in this league still and wants to be paid like it; this deal works perfectly for both sides. He is getting paid as a league-average quarterback, but his ceiling is much higher than that. Should Winston prove his worth to the team he will then be locked up for the big money contract he has been searching for.
He will be eligible for that contract when he is 30 years old, certainly not too old to give a big, long-term deal to a franchise quarterback. With Ian Book and Blake Bortles ranked behind Winston on the depth chart and Taysom Hill’s time up at quarterback, all focus should be centered on giving Winston greater support. Let’s see which moves are up next for New Orleans.