Heading into this offseason, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was getting ready to be traded, pending the resolving of his pending legal charges, and the New Orleans Saints were rumored to be high on his wish list.
Unfortunately, they lost out in the Watson sweepstakes, as he was sent to the Cleveland Browns instead.
Despite whispers that they were also interested in some other QBs, Winston was ultimately the one who made the most sense for the Saints.
Winston Has Potential And Unique Talent
The Alabama native was a decorated QB at Florida State University.
He led them to the BCS national championship in his first season as a starter and was named the game’s offensive MVP, and he took the school to the Rose Bowl the following year, where it lost to the University of Oregon.
Six years ago today, Jameis Winston and Kelvin Benjamin linked up to win Florida State the 2014 National Championship 🏆 pic.twitter.com/fo4kByykpk
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 6, 2020
With a nearly undefeated college record, as well as a Heisman Trophy and numerous ACC honors under his belt, he was chosen with the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Although he hasn’t quite lived up to the full expectations that come with being the top pick in his draft class, he did lead the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019.
However, that year he also led the league in interceptions.
Turnovers have always been his biggest problem. For his career, he has a 3.3 percent interception rate, which is a tad too high for a franchise QB.
The past two seasons with the Saints, he has been riddled by injuries, including a torn ACL that prematurely ended the 2021 campaign for him.
But Winston has a big thing going for him: his throwing arm.
He is one of the most accurate QBs when it comes to throwing the long ball.
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) September 12, 2021
The question is, who on the team will consistently get open downfield and catch those passes?
The Saints Have A Ways To Go
Ever since Drew Brees retired after the 2020 season, it was expected that it would take New Orleans a while to return to the level it enjoyed in the 2009 campaign when it won the Super Bowl.
After finishing 9-8 and missing the playoffs last season, there is still obviously lots of work to get done in the bayou.
Perhaps the best thing the team has going for it is running back Alvin Kamara, who was voted to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in as many seasons. He is just 26 years of age and should have several good years left.
Last season, at the time of Winston’s injury, the Saints were 5-2 and were likely planning on a return to the NFL playoffs.
They were also fourth in points allowed, and the presence of Pro Bowlers Cameron Jordan and Marshon Lattimore on the defensive side of the ball should take some pressure off Winston to pile up some big offensive numbers.
If New Orleans stays healthy this coming season, perhaps Winston could take it to the postseason, especially in a somewhat weakened NFC.NEXT: NFL Insider Provides A Jameis Winston Injury Timeline