Sources: QB Jameis Winston returning to Saints on revised deal

New Orleans, La. — Quarterback Jameis Winston is finalizing a deal to return to the New Orleans Saints, he told CBS Sports, a move that keeps him with the team as a backup on a revised contract.

Winston, who was set to make $12.8 million in base salary in the final year of the two-year extension he signed in 2022, will sign a revised contract for one year and $4 million, with incentives making the deal’s potential total value Will bring $8 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Winston’s new deal will free up more cap room for the Saints, who entered the off-season over $50 million over the 2023 salary cap. They have reduced that number on Wednesday following a series of reorganizations to be in line with the cap by the start of the new league year.

The Saints offered Winston a new contract last week after agreeing to a four-year deal on March 6 with former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Friday to be guaranteed.

Had Winston been released, he would have saved $4.4 million as a standard deduction against the salary cap, or $12.8 million if the Saints had elected to give him the release designation after June 1.

The Saints offered Winston a new deal last March after trying and failing to acquire former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Winston entered the summer as the expected starter, even though he was rehabbing from a torn ACL.

Winston recovered from the ACL tear in time to participate in training camp, but back and foot injuries early in the season limited him to just three games in 2023. Saints coach Dennis Allen said he initially sat Winston out in Week 4 to allow him to heal, but Winston never got his starting job back from Andy Dalton, even when he was well enough to play later in the season. was considered healthy.

Winston’s 2022 season was also cut short after he suffered an ACL tear on Halloween against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston, who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Buccaneers in 2015, hasn’t started a full season since going 7-9 in 2019 his final season in Tampa.

Dalton is set to become a free agent after starting 14 games for the Saints last year. If Dalton does not re-sign, Winston will enter the 2023 season as Carr’s backup. Winston signed with the Saints during the 2020 season as one of the backups to Drew Brees, but did not start any games. Taysom Hill filled in for Brees when he was injured.

Winston won the starting job over Hill in training camp after Brees retired in 2021. Hill was moved to the tight end slot ahead of the 2022 season.

Winston has started 10 games during his three seasons in New Orleans, completing 61% of his passes for 2,103 yards and 18 touchdowns, with eight interceptions.

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