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Jameis Winston’s one-year deal carries a $5.5M base salary with incentives

A day after one quarterback retires, another re-signs as Jameis Winston is reportedly headed back to the New Orleans Saints

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After Drew Brees announced his retirement on Sunday, all signs pointed to the New Orleans Saints wanting to retain Jameis Winston to compete for the starting job in the Big Easy. Now, Winston and the Saints have reached a one-year deal worth up to $12M. That deal will allow the former Buccaneer a chance establish himself as the next leader of the Saints offense, while opening the door to re-up again next year for a larger contract.

A unique situation for the New Orleans Saints who will be without Drew Brees for their first time in 15 years is only matched by the unique news break brought upon by NBA insider Shams Charania.

The deal looks to be incentive-focused with the terminology “up to $12M” when discussing the value of the deal.

What’s important about that is that the incentives earned will not count against the Saints’ 2021 cap, but their 2022 cap instead. The incentives will be considered “Not Likely To Be Earned” or NLTBE incentives. Those numbers will count against the following year’s salary, not the present year’s.

Now, Winston and Taysom Hill (who restructured his contract after Brees’s announcement) will have to battle it out during training camp for the starting role. Until then, the Saints will continue to build their roster starting with more in-house moves such as possible extensions to cornerstone players like OL Ryan Ramczyk, Safety Marcus Williams, and Cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

The curiosity in me is whether or not New Orleans will take some time to invest in a speedy deep threat receiver in free agency such as Breshad Perriman or Rashard Higgins to compliment their new signal caller, whomever it may end up being. They could also look to the draft as well, having already visited with Auburn’s Anthony Schwartz and other speed-heavy options.

Will be fascinating to watch as the Saints embark upon their new era.


Updated: March 15 at 9:10 PM

Winston’s one-year deal will carry only a $5.5M base salary, which is guaranteed. Seems the rest can be earned via incentives. Those performance-based bonuses have not yet been released, but as this contract continues to have growing similarities to Cam Newton’s one-year deal in New England, we can expect these to also be akin to one another.

Newton’s deal included incentives based on: playing time thresholds, Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, as well as playoff appearances.

With a max of $6.5M possible in incentives, those charges, as explained above, should push to 2022 if earned.


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