By Steven Ruiz |
April 29, 2020 11: 32 am
The details of Jameis Winston’s contract with the New Orleans Saints finally dropped and, honestly, it’s kind of sad. It turns out Saints GM Mickey Loomis didn’t go back to his often-used book of salary cap spells to fit Jameis under the cap, as everyone assumed. He just convinced him to play for a salary that’s only a touch over the veteran minimum.
According to multiple reports, a 26-year-old quarterback who just threw for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns (and an interception or 30) will be pulling in a salary of just $1.1 million for the 2020 season.
That’s … not a lot of money.
Even Nathan Peterman, who will be making $2.1 million from the Raiders in 2020, scoffs at that number (and Winston’s interception rate). In fact, Las Vegas’ THIRD-strong quarterback, DeShone Kizer, will be making more than Jameis next season.
So, essentially, the Saints just landed a quarterback who is probably better than a third of the league’s starters (and just out-performed both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady from an efficiency standpoint) to a deal that would put him fourth on the Raiders’ depth chart. Even if Jameis never plays a down in New Orleans, this is a great deal for the Saints.
This league is dumb wild.
I think the first question that popped into just about everyone’s mind was the same: Wait, the Patriots, who are strapped for cap space and talented quarterbacks, couldn’t give him that salary?
Reports say Jameis turned down more lucrative offers to sign with the Saints, which makes sense with the allure of Sean Payton’s coaching making the tiny salary more palatable after Teddy Bridgewater parlayed the Saints’ backup job into a lucrative deal. But New England is home to the greatest coach in the World and one of the sharpest offensive minds in the NFL in Josh McDaniels.
And, oh yeah, HE WOULD HAVE WALKED RIGHT INTO THE STARTING LINEUP.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the Pats were not one of the teams Jameis turned down for New Orleans. Maybe Bill Belichick couldn’t reconcile all of those interceptions, or maybe he has his sights set on another free-agent quarterback. Either way, if New England goes into the season with Jarrett Stidham (or Brian Hoyer) behind center, passing on Winston would have been a mistake.
The Patriots’ loss is the Saints’ gain. They, once again, have a quarterback capable of filling in for Drew Brees if/when the 40-something quarterback needs to miss a game. Last year, Teddy Bridgewater dinked-and-dunked his way to an undefeated record as a starter while Brees worked his way back from an injury. Well, Winston’s even better than Bridgewater. The turnover thing is a big issue but getting out of Bruce Arians’ offense should naturally cut down the turnovers.
If Brady falls off a cliff at age-43 — which is possible, if not likely — the Saints could have two of the three best quarterbacks in the NFC South on their roster.
I don’t know how the other 31 NFL teams let this happen, but fans in New Orleans won’t complain.