Jameis Winston’s first season with the New Orleans Saints was going pretty well until he was taken down from behind by Buccaneers linebacker Devin White. Winston’s fall resulted in a torn ACL and some MCL damage in his left knee. After much speculation about where he would land this offseason after signing a one-year deal with the Saints prior to 2021, Winston re-upped with New Orleans on a two-year, $28 million pact.
Up until the injury, Winston had thrown for 14 TDs and only three interceptions in seven starts. Less impressively, he piled up only 1,170 passing yards and completed only 59 percent of his throws.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported in March that Winston is expected to be ready for this summer’s training camp. The start of the regular season will come a little more than 10 months after his injury. The Saints certainly seem comfortable with Winston as their starter as they didn’t draft a quarterback, are moving Taysom Hill to tight end, and brought in only Andy Dalton, who said upon his arrival that he is not expecting to compete with Winston for the starting gig.
2022 Fantasy football outlook
Gone are the days when Winston put up 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns in an air-it-out offense. Sean Payton really reined Winston in as a QB last year, and don’t expect that to change under new head coach Dennis Allen. The team is keeping its longtime offensive coordinator, Pete Carmichael, as well. That means more safe, dependable passes from Winston, which is probably best for the Saints. When Winston tries to force throws, things often go awry. Winston has said he’s working on his intermediate-area accuracy, and that should be put to good use with star WR Michael Thomas finally expected to return to the field for the first time since December 2020. There should be more highs than lows for Winston in his age-28 season, but the highs won’t be as statistically robust as they were before. Winston should be a serviceable QB2 in 2022 fantasy leagues.