Saints signing Jameis Winston is best thing for his future

New Orleans Saints

With no clear path to a starting job, signing with the New Orleans Saints was the best move for Jameis Winston.

Despite leading the league in passing yards last season, Jameis Winston got little if any interest in free agency and remained unsigned going into the draft. A real chance at even an opportunity to win a starting job is gone, and according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports Winston is set to sign with the New Orleans Saints.

At the conclusion of Day 2 of the draft, ESPN’s Dianna Russini pointed to the Saints signing a veteran quarterback. That veteran signal caller will be Winston.

With the good of last season, leading the league in passing yards and finishing second in touchdowns through the air (33), came the bad for Winston with a league-high 30 interceptions. Five years into his career, the former No. 1 overall pick is at a crossroads.

Though there are some indications 2020 will be his final season, Drew Brees is firmly in place as the Saints’ starting quarterback. So Winston will not see action unless Brees is injured, but in a broad sense that is the best thing for him.

Brees and Saints’ head coach Sean Payton have been a perfect marriage of quarterback and head coach since 2006. Winston will be a witness to this stability, which he has not had anything close to in his career. And don’t understate the influence of offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, who arrived with the Saints as quarterbacks coach the same year as Brees and Payton.

Teddy Bridgewater started five games when Brees was injured last year, and the Saints went 5-0 in those games. It was Bridgewater’s first extended action since a career-altering knee injury late in the 2016 preseason, and all things considered he acquitted himself nicely beyond wins and losses. More importantly, he knocked some rust off and showed the rest of the league he was healthy.

Bridgewater hit free agency again this offseason, ready to leave the Saints. He landed a three-year $63 million deal from the Carolina Panthers, with $40 million guaranteed. Winston is a year younger than Bridgewater, with physical tools that far exceed Bridgewater’s.

Winston needs to take a step back from the pressure and expectations he entered the NFL with. In New Orleans he will do that, while learning at the feet of a future Hall of Fame quarterback and one of the best offensive minds in the league right now.

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