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Saints to bring back quarterback Jameis Winston on 2-year deal

Saints to bring back quarterback Jameis Winston on 2-year deal
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, shown Oct. 3, 2021, missed most of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

March 21 (UPI) -- The New Orleans Saints are re-signing veteran quarterback Jameis Winston after the franchise's failed pursuit of Deshaun Watson.

League sources told ESPN, NFL Media and NOLA.com on Monday that Winston agreed to a two-year, $28 million with the Saints. According to the outlets, the pact also includes $21 million guaranteed.

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The Saints were one of four teams vying to acquire Watson from the Houston Texans. The 26-year-old Watson ultimately waived his no-trade clause and was sent to the Cleveland Browns for a package of draft picks last week.

Winston posted a 5-2 record in his first year as a starter with the Saints last season, but he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee Oct. 31 that forced him to miss the remainder of the 2021 campaign.

The former No. 1 overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner posted a career-high passer rating of 102.8 with the Saints last year, completing 95 of 161 passes (59%) for 1,170 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran for 166 yards and one touchdown.

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Before initially joining the Saints in 2020, Winston spent his first five NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He went 28-42 as a starter for the Bucs, completing 61.3% of his passes for 19,737 yards and 131 total touchdowns -- including 10 rushing scores. He also had 88 interceptions and 23 lost fumbles.

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