Tuesday June 22nd, 2021 5:50AM

Winston re-joins Saints for 2021 after Brees retirement

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints are bringing back quarterback Jameis Winston on a one-year contract.

The move announced by Saints general manager Mickey Loomis comes on the heels of Drew Brees' decision over the weekend to retire and provides Winston a chance to compete with Taysom Hill to be New Orleans' next starter under center.

Winston entered the NFL with high expectations after winning the 2013 Heisman Trophy and being selected first overall by Tampa Bay in the 2015 NFL draft. He started five seasons for the Buccaneers, who allowed Winston to walk in free agency in 2020 after opting instead to sign Tom Brady.

Brady led the Buccaneers to the franchise's second Super Bowl victory while Winston served as a backup for the NFC South Division champion Saints.

Winston played only sparingly in his first season in New Orleans, even when Brees missed four games with rib and lung injuries.

Hill went 3-1 as a starter in Brees' absence.

Winston did replace Brees for one half in a victory over San Francisco — a game Brees started before leaving at halftime because of his chest injuries. While Winston did not throw a touchdown pass in that game, he led two scoring drives — one for a touchdown and one for a field goal — in a 27-13 victory.

In all, Winston appeared in four regular season games for New Orleans, completing 7-of-11 passes for 75 yards.

He also took the field for a trick play in an NFC divisional round playoff loss to Tampa Bay, completing a 56-yard touchdown pass to Tre'Quan Smith to gave the Saints a 13-10 lead.

In his career, Winston has appeared in 76 regular season games with 70 starts, completing 61.4% of his passes for 19,812 yards and 121 touchdowns while also throwing 88 interceptions. He also has rushed for 1,040 yards and 10 touchdowns.

But the Bucs struggled to win with Winston, going 28-42 in games he started.

In 2019, Winston led the NFL with 5,109 yards passing and ranked second with 33 touchdown passes, but also obtained the dubious distinction of being the first NFL QB with at least 30 TDs and 30 interceptions in the same season.

In joining the Saints on a one-year, back-up deal in 2019, Winston took ownership of the role his mercurial play had in Tampa Bay's inconsistent results during his tenure there. He also stated that he saw moving to the Saints as an opportunity to change his career trajectory for the better by learning from the NFL's all-time leading passer in Brees, and coach Sean Payton, who designs and calls New Orleans' offense.

“One thing I’m really excited to learn — the most exciting thing — the way this quarterback room functions,” Winston said last April. “What’s coach Payton’s approach to every week? What’s Drew’s approach? What’s Taysom doing in the room that I can add to my game? Just trying to find different things by serving this team and learning from everybody.”

Now he'll have a second season in New Orleans to build on those lessons — and perhaps re-emerge as an NFL starter.


More AP NFL coverage: and

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Winston re-joins Saints for 2021 after Brees retirement
The New Orleans Saints are bringing back quarterback Jameis Winston on a one-year contract
6:15AM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Sweden pauses use of AstraZeneca vaccine
Sweden is pausing the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure amid concerns about reports of blood clots in some recipients in Europe
5:53AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Sweden is latest country to stop using AstraZeneca vaccine
Sweden on Tuesday became the latest country to pause use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as European regulators review safety data following reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients
5:52AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pick Six: Veterans to watch as NCAA Tournament begins
There has never been a better time to have senior leadership in the NCAA Tournament than this season
2:26AM ( 4 hours ago )
LeBron, short-handed Lakers beat up on Warriors 128-97
LeBron James had a triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, leading the injury-depleted Los Angeles Lakers past the Golden State Warriors 128-97
1:54AM ( 4 hours ago )
Leonard, Clippers bounce back with 109-99 win over Mavericks
Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points, Marcus Morris Sr. added 14 in a rare start and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks 109-99
12:16AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Sports
With NIL reform in limbo, NCAA heading toward busy June
The NCAA’s efforts to allow athletes to earn money from personal endorsement and sponsorship deals are stuck in limbo and June is shaping up to be a potentially busy and important month for college sports
7:01PM ( 11 hours ago )
Shaq Barrett stays with Bucs on 4-year, $72 million deal
Linebacker Shaquil Barrett has agreed to a four-year, $72 million contract to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are aren’t wasting time doing whatever’s necessary to retain key components of their Super Bowl-winning roster
2:28PM ( 16 hours ago )
Next play: Brees joins NBC Sports after retiring from NFL
Drew Brees is headed from the Superdome to the Golden Dome
11:11AM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Football
The Latest: NFL Hall of Famers help push vaccine awareness
Five Pro Football Hall of Famers are partnering with Centene Corporation to increase education and awareness around COVID-19 vaccines through a series of public service announcements
4:51PM ( 3 days ago )
Free agency an antidote for offensive fireworks, mobile QBs
Teams looking to counter the pass-happy offenses and mobile quarterbacks who rule today's NFL won't have to wait for the draft next month to find the antidote
2:25AM ( 4 days ago )
Culley on possible Watson trade: "He is our quarterback."
New Houston Texans coach David Culley reiterated Thursday that the team has no intention of trading Deshaun Watson despite the star quarterback’s request to be dealt
3:22PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
The Latest: Sweden pauses use of AstraZeneca vaccine
Sweden is pausing the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure amid concerns about reports of blood clots in some recipients in Europe
5:53AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Iran starts trial of new homegrown vaccine as campaign lags
Iran says that its third homegrown vaccine has reached the phase of clinical trials, even as details about its production remained slim
5:41AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Israeli experts announce discovery of new Dead Sea scrolls
Israeli archaeologists have announced the discovery of dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments bearing a biblical text
5:39AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Advocates seek Biden push on gun bills, but prospects iffy
The House recently passed legislation that would require background checks for gun purchases, a signature Democratic issue for decades
5:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
Once held in Iranian jail, ex-Marine fights espionage claims
A former U.S. Marine freed from Iranian custody five years ago is in court with the American government over whether he can collect a multimillion-dollar payment from a special fund for victims of international terrorism
5:08AM ( 1 hour ago )