Jameis Winston: I’m a championship starting QB, but I stayed because I love New Orleans
Jameis Winston agreed to stay with the Saints this year, even knowing he will back up Derek Carr, rather than trying to find a team that will let him compete for a starting job. And he says he’s at peace with that decision.
Winston still views himself as a starter who can lead a team to a Super Bowl, but he says he loves New Orleans and wants to stay there, even as a backup quarterback.
“First, I love this city,” Winston wrote on social media. “In all of my professional career, I’ve never felt so culturally in tune with a fan base. The Saints fans that I’ve met have been incredible. Y’all have made me and my family feel at home. That is why last season was so disappointing to me. I want to see this team and city succeed. I know great things are ahead for this team, and this city! I was led here by the spirit that’s why I would never run away from this new challenge. The things that led me here are still here. A stable organization, a championship caliber team, and a great fan base. This year’s team like last year’s team is built to win a Super Bowl. Let there be no doubt, I am still a championship caliber starting quarterback in this league. However, getting healthy and staying healthy is my number one priority and I have suffered three devastating injuries over the last two years. I need to stay healthy to assist this team in getting to where we want to go. Most importantly, I need to stay healthy to get me where I want to go in my career! With that being said, I will serve and lead however I need to see this organization and city win! I am proud to say for one more year, at least Who Dat!”
The first overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, Winston has never lived up to the hype around him in college, either in five years in Tampa Bay or over the last three years in New Orleans. Last year he started the first three games of the season but was replaced by Andy Dalton and never got back on the field. He views himself as a championship-quality starter, but his current role is backup, and at age 29, that may be the role he needs to settle into for the remainder of his career.