The first quarterback dominoes in what is expected to be a wild offseason have started to fall.
On Monday night, Jameis Winston agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Saints, a year after he spent the entire season backing up the now-retired Drew Brees and Taysom Hill. The deal has a $5.5 million base salary but could be worth up to $12 million with incentives, according to Tom Pelissero.
Not long after, Ryan Fitzpatrick agreed to a similar deal with the Washington Football Team – one-year, $10 million that can get up to $12 million with incentives.
Winston and Fitzpatrick were arguably the top two options available in free agency at the quarterback position. After being taken with the first overall pick in 2015, Winston largely underwhelmed in Tampa Bay, throwing 88 interceptions over five seasons. However, he did throw for over 5,000 yards in 2019, his last full season as a starter, and is still only 27.
ESPN reported that the Chicago Bears were also in on Winston before he decided to re-sign with New Orleans. Other reports state that the Bears may be turning their attention to Andy Dalton, another QB on the market.
Fitzpatrick will join his ninth team in 17 seasons when he suits up for Washington in the fall. The journeyman quarterback, 38, was an effective starter for much of two seasons in Miami, and despite losing his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa, he ended up relieving the young QB on multiple occasions.
The free agent market continues to dwindle at the quarterback position, but several signal callers – Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Sam Darnold – could be available via trade.