NEW ORLEANS — When the New Orleans Saints agreed to a deal with veteran quarterback Derek Carr in free agency, it seemed almost certain to spell the end of Jameis Winston's tenure in the Big Easy.
However - Winston shocked the NFL world by agreeing to return to New Orleans on a one-year deal worth a maximum of $8 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The move gives the Saints an extremely high level backup to Carr, and helps them save significant cap space at the same time.
Locked on Saints podcast host Ross Jackson was just as shocked as everyone to see Winston back with New Orleans, saying this shows just how few starting quarterback jobs there are available this offseason.
"The Carolina Panthers traded up to number one, they'll roll with their new rookie quarterback," Jackson said. "Same thing with the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts look ready to transition to a rookie quarterback as well....so what does Jameis Winston do? He stays where he's familiar."
The 2023 NFL draft class offers a handful of potential Week 1 starters at the quarterback position, including Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson - creating a situation where many teams aren't interesting in pursuing a veteran option for this season.
That left Winston in a position where returning to New Orleans - where he started 10 games in the past two seasons - as the most appealing option.
This is great news for the Saints, who now have a dependable starter in Carr - who fits their offense and rarely misses time to injury - while also adding solid 'Carr insurance' in Winston who is familiar with the offense and, when healthy, among the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL.