New Orleans Saints name Jameis Winston starting quarterback for Week 1, sources say

Rob Ninkovich believes Jameis Winston is capable of leading the Saints to a successful year if he reduces the turnovers. (1:11).
METAIRIE (La. Jameis Winston has been officially granted his second chance.

Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Winston, 27, will be New Orleans Saints' starting quarterback during Week 1.

Winston will make his first start since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers let him go following the 2019 season. It will also be an opportunity for Winston, the former Heisman Trophy winner who was also the 2015 No. After being hampered by Tampa turnovers, he will be the No. 1 draft pick to revive his career.

The Saints will continue to try to be a playoff contender after Drew Brees' retirement. It will be the 16th time that Brees has been the starting quarterback in New Orleans.

Winston stated earlier this year that he would love to take the torch from Brees when he was getting emotional talking about how important it was to him to be Brees' backup. "I would love the opportunity to bring this city the joy, excitement, and resilience he gave."

This opportunity was earned by Winston outperforming Taysom Hills in the preseason. They split first-team reps evenly during training camp and the first two exhibition matches. Winston was able to make the decision easy with his dynamic performance in Monday's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed 9 of 10 passes for at least 123 yards and two touchdowns to Marquez Callaway.

Hill, 31, decided to go all-in this offseason in order to be a full-time starter quarterback. He went 3-1 last season as a starter while also filling in for an injury Brees. Hill trimmed down and tailored his offseason training to the position of quarterback. It seems likely that Hill will be used by the Saints as a read-option QB/RB/WR/TE, despite his exceptional performance in this role the past three seasons.

Winston was 28-42 when he was a Buccaneers starter from 2015 to 2019. He completed 61.3%, 19,737 yards, and 121 touchdowns, while also completing 88 interceptions. He had some highs and lows, especially during his first year as coach Bruce Arians. Winston was the league's leader with 5,109 yards passing, and he also became the first quarterback to throw at least 30 touchdown passes as well as 30 interceptions during the same season.

Winston's greatest hurdle was turnovers, which grew to a league-high 111 between 2015 and 2019.

Winston, however, has made decision-making his top priority for the past two year. That is his number one priority. Brees taught him one thing: he focuses on making the right decision for each snap, rather than forcing a big outcome.

This approach appears to be paying off so far. Winston has not had an interception in four weeks of practice. However, he did receive one that bounced off Lil'Jordan Humphrey's hands on a slightly overthrown deep ball during the preseason opener.

Winston signed a 1-year contract with the Saints in 2020 worth $1.1 million plus incentives. This was because he wanted to be able to learn from Payton, Brees, and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr.

He signed a new one-year contract this year, worth $5.5million guaranteed. Plus, he has an additional $7 million in potential incentives which he now has a greater chance of reaching.

Winston made his Saints debut in New Orleans' preseason 2nd game. This was his first ever start since last year's preseason. He later acknowledged how special that opportunity was to him.

"I was simply thankful. These opportunities are rare. Winston stated that it had been a whole year since Winston last started a football match. Winston said, "That's what he said in the team prayer. Like, "Lord, thank You for this chance." ... He is the one who did it. The lord did the same for me. It was too much for me. It was a great feeling to be out there leading the charge. It's great fun.