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Report: Jameis Winston 'finalizing' a deal to return to the Saints

By John Sigler,

2023-03-14
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In a bit of a stunner, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports that Jameis Winston is finalizing a deal to return to the New Orleans Saints for the 2023 season. It was previously reported that the Saints asked Winston to redo his contract — likely taking a steep pay cut — so that he could remain on the team as Derek Carr’s backup, or else be released.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that it’s a one-year deal worth up to $8 million, meaning the salary cap hit will be significantly less than that; and far beneath the $15.6 million Winston was set to count against the cap this season. Having him and Carr both on the depth chart makes for a strong quarterbacks room.

It sure seemed like Winston’s days were numbered when the Saints benched him after an injury last season, but this might work out best for both sides. The Saints could save more salary cap resources by lowering Winston’s salary than by releasing him. He gets a roster spot on a team he knows well rather than a fresh start elsewhere. He and his agent have likely scoured the free agent market and found few better opportunities. We’ll see how this shakes out.

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