The recent rumor for some time was that Deshaun Watson, a three-time Professional Bowl choice who’s simply 26 years of age, was on his solution to The Large Straightforward to staff up with Alvin Kamara and crew.
However as an alternative, he pivoted and elected to change into a member of the Cleveland Browns, leaving the Saints excessive and dry.
They responded by deciding to stick with their incumbent signal-caller, Jameis Winston, they usually signed him to a two-year deal price $28 million.
Winston can also be comparatively younger (28), and after being challenged by accidents, inconsistent play and off-the-field drama, New Orleans is hoping that he’ll discover himself.
How probably is it that Winston will change into a professional franchise quarterback for the Saints?
Winston Has Had His Moments
The Alabama native was the highest decide within the 2015 NFL Draft after two banner seasons with Florida State College and a nationwide championship.
Within the 2015 season opener, his very first cross was intercepted for a pick-six.
However he confirmed some glimpses of greatness that 12 months, as he threw for 5 touchdowns in Week 11 in opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles, which tied a league report for rookies.
In 2019, he led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards whereas additionally throwing for a strong 33 touchdowns.
Nonetheless, Winston has at all times been turnover-prone.
He had 30 interceptions that 12 months, and for his profession to date, he has a 3.3 p.c interception price, which is just too excessive for a franchise QB.
Final season, in seven video games for the Saints, he did a greater job of defending the ball with simply three interceptions, however he solely threw for 1,170 yards.
He did, nonetheless, publish a 102.8 passer ranking throughout that span, earlier than his season was prematurely ended by a torn ACL.
Opposite to appearances, there are individuals who appear to sincerely imagine in Winston and his potential.
Throughout this QB shuffle, Jameis Winston is the forgotten man.
In his final full 12 months as a starter, he led the league in passing yards and was 2nd in TD’s.
Previous to his damage final 12 months, career-high TD price and career-low INT price.
What are we doing NFL?pic.twitter.com/aU2VWDYJxM
— Dave Kluge (@DaveKluge) March 20, 2022
There appear to be some items in the direction of a full puzzle, however Winston will want some assist if he’s to change into one of the best model of himself.
The Saints Want Extra Items To Assist Winston Develop
In Kamara, the Saints have one of many NFL’s higher working backs and a person who has scored 47 touchdowns in his 5 seasons within the league whereas getting named to the Professional Bowl annually.
He’s additionally a succesful receiver out of the backfield, as he has notched 3,263 yards and 20 touchdowns within the air all through his profession.
However New Orleans had one of many NFL’s weakest collections of broad receivers this previous season, and it completed dead-last in passing yards final season.
Fortunately, Michael Thomas, the staff’s star wideout, is predicted to play in 2022 after lacking final 12 months with an ankle damage.
In 2019, his final totally wholesome season, he led the league with 1,725 yards whereas scoring 9 touchdowns and earned his third Professional Bowl nod and second straight All-Professional First-Group choice.
I so desperately need to see wholesome Michael Thomas once more. He had among the best receiver seasons ever and was one of the best receiver in soccer when he was final seen totally wholesome in 2019. pic.twitter.com/7f9x6IpKcL
— Pranav Sriraman (@PranavSriraman) January 4, 2022
Nonetheless, it needs to be famous that he put up these numbers whereas enjoying alongside Brees.
The query is whether or not a resurgent Thomas can be sufficient assist for Winston to steer New Orleans again to the playoffs, a spot it narrowly missed this previous season.