‘Technically I’m Not A Free Agent Just Yet’ | Former No. 1 Overall Pick Jameis Winston Is Eager to Reclaim Starting Position

The New Orleans Saints and quarterback Jameis Winston seem to be at an impasse. Despite the former No. 1 overall pick being under contract for one more season, his future with the team as of now is murky at best. While Winston isn’t completely absolving himself of possibly being the signal caller this season, he also is not putting all his eggs in one basket. 

Jameis Winston. Image Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty

Last season, Winston was coming off a torn ACL, and then he suffered a fractured vertebrae, which sidelined him indefinitely, thrusting veteran Andy Dalton into a position he pretty much kept the remainder of the season. Now with his future in Nawlins up in the air, Winston is in a wait-and-see approach, and that’s what the 2015 No. 1 overall pick told the NFL Network team during Saturday’s HBCU Legacy Bowl. 

“Technically, I’m not a free agent just yet, I have one more year under contract. My main thing right now is just making sure I stay healthy and be ready to play. That’s the one thing that’s on my mind. I’ve got to be ready to play because when given the opportunity, I look forward to taking advantage of it.”

The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback is entering the final year of a two-year prove-it deal, and the Saints can save nearly $13M by releasing him after June 1. With the aforementioned Dalton being a free agent and hybrid player Taysom Hill the only other quarterback on the roster under contract for 2023, Winston could be safe down on the bayou.

But as of now his future with the Saints is very much in limbo. 

Winston Was Off To Promising Start In 2021

Following the retirement of future first ballot Hall of Famer Drew Brees after the 2020 season, Winston won a quarterback competition under then-head coach Sean Payton. Winston hit the road running out the gate, leading the Saints to a 5-2 record while tossing 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions. It looked as if the Saints had found the successor to the aforementioned Brees, until Winston’s unfortunate injury in essence set him and the franchise back. Now the team is trying to decide if it benefits both parties going forward in the relationship. 

With the uncertain future of star running back Alvin Kamara, who was recently indicted on felony battery charges, keeping Winston may end up being the only option for a Saints team not really looking to rebuild, but reload. 

Derek Carr To The Saints? 

Derek Carr, the longtime Raiders quarterback was released from the team last week, and he’s now on a recruiting tour. While he did meet with the Saints, there is no guarantee that he chooses them as his next football home. That adds more intrigue to the Winston situation, but they do have until June to decide on him, and by then Carr will have made his decision. 

Carr may be an upgrade, but let’s not act as if Winston is some scrub; he was the No. 1 overall pick for a reason. 

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