Jameis Winston was bothered by Saints’ Deshaun Watson pursuit
The New Orleans Saints always appeared most likely to return to Jameis Winston as their quarterback for 2022. However, the team was heavily involved in the pursuit of Deshaun Watson.
Winston admitted that he was a bit upset by the Saints’ public flirtation with Watson. However, he is now grateful that the process forced him and the Saints to have “tough conversations” about how the team views him.
“I think that was the best part of this free agency process with me is because there were a bunch of tough conversations that I had with our coaches and with people on the business side of everything,” Winston said, via Katherine Terrell of The Athletic. “And I know if their pursuit of Deshaun didn’t happen, I would not have been able to have that growth and those conversations with people in important roles. So I’m actually thankful that everything turned out how it did because we did have to have tough conversations. We had to have conversations that probably I didn’t want to have or that they didn’t want to have. But it ended up leading to this now.”
Part of the issue for Winston was not just the pursuit of Watson, but the fact that the team has a new head coach in Dennis Allen. Winston wanted to know how the Saints viewed him and if he still had the confidence of the team’s coaching staff.
Reports consistently indicated that the Saints were just fine bringing Winston back. They owed it to themselves to see if they could land Watson, who is a superior quarterback. When they didn’t get him, they were fine going back to their safe secondary option. Winston seems to get that.
Photos: Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports