Jameis Winston accomplished a lot during this past season and displayed qualities that show an impressive level of progression and improvement since his Tampa Bay Buccaneers days.
Going 4-2 as a starter before sustaining a season-ending injury in Week 8, Winston showed a lot of the improvements that some people questioned whether or not he was capable of displaying.
A couple seasons after throwing a league-high 30 interceptions, he only threw three in about six and a half games. But more importantly, he only recorded six turnover-worthy plays in that span — compared to 40 in 16 games during the 2019 season, via PFF.
While doing so, he maintained his big play abilities, with 12 big time throws and a 7.1 big time throw percentage, which ranked fourth among 35 qualifying QBs through Week 8.
He also was exploring avenues in efficient ways to utilize his legs outside of the pocket. His previous season high in rush yards was 281, and in just over six games in 2021, he was already at 166 — on 5.2 yards per carry.
He managed this despite a group of playmakers that was severely lacking, to say the least. And most importantly, he was finding ways to win the New Orleans Saints games.
An unrestricted free agent, it is unknown whether or not Winston will return as a Saint next season. And with a huge change in leadership sparked by Sean Payton’s retirement, there’s even more doubt in the air.
But barring a huge upgrade via trade or otherwise, I see no reason why the Saints wouldn’t consider running it back with Jameis. Even if they draft a QB early in the draft, bring him back as a bridge-type QB.
And this is all assuming that Jameis would want to come back to New Orleans next year. But given his happiness with the franchise, the shot at rejuvenation the Saints gave him and how well-received he’s been by teammates, I think I’d bet on him wearing Black and Gold in 2022.
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