Instead of replacing Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints have given QB best chance to thrive

Jarvis Landry pointed across the practice field as if it was planned.

Just as the veteran receiver was telling reporters why quarterback Jameis Winston was one of the main reasons he chose to sign with the New Orleans Saints in free agency, Landry looked around and noticed Winston was the only player remaining on the field about 15 minutes after practice ended.

“Look, I don’t see nobody else out here. This guy’s the last one. That’s who he is,” said Landry, who signed with the team in May. “That’s something you want at that position and a part of your team.

“He’s a leader, man. … Just the conversations that we had, the intent that he’s putting behind the things that he’s saying.”

Winston is heading into his eighth season. Depending on your perspective, you could argue this is a make-or-break season for the former No. 1 overall draft choice — or his best chance yet to thrive as a starting quarterback.

True, the Saints did consider replacing Winston when they aggressively pursued a trade for now Browns Deshaun Watson, who is face 24 civil lawsuits for inappropriate behavior and sexual assault during massage sessions. But everything they’ve done since has furthered their commitment to Winston, 28, as he recovers from a torn left ACL he suffered on Oct. 31.

New Orleans signed him to a two-year deal worth $28 million plus incentives, with $21 million in guarantees. Then, instead of adding a potential long-term replacement in the draft, the Saints bolstered Winston with both wide receiver Chris Olave and left tackle Trevor Penning in Round 1 while trading away their first-round pick in the quarterback-rich 2023 draft class.

Author: Lucy Green