The quarterback carousel is spinning. And now that it’s turning, some clarity is coming our way.
Clarity comes in the form of a Shams-bomb from The Athletic’s
NBA NFL insider Shams Charania:
Breaking NFL Free Agency news: Free agent QB Jameis Winston has agreed to a deal to re-sign with the New Orleans Saints, per sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 16, 2021
One day after handing Taysom Hill a $140 million extension to create some cap space, the Saints are re-signing Jameis Winston. There was a brief moment when the Bears were viewed as a possible landing spot for Winston, but he is staying put in New Orleans. Retaining Winston sets up a quarterback battle between Drew Brees’ backups now that the future Hall of Famer is retiring and taking his talents to the NBC broadcast booth.
More importantly, the Saints committing to Winston and Hill essentially takes them out of play in the Russell Wilson Sweepstakes. Remember, the Bears, Saints, Cowboys, and Raiders were on Wilson’s list of teams he’d OK in a trade. Since that report dropped, the Cowboys and Saints have made financial commitments to the quarterbacks already on their rosters. This leaves the Raiders and the Bears as the only two teams standing.
For what it’s worth, the Raiders have come out strongly in support of incumbent Derek Carr. And if the words from GM Mike Mayock are true, then we can cross them off the list, too. Thus, leaving Bears GM Ryan Pace sitting across the negotiating table with his Seahawks counterpart John Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll.
Let’s dance, gents.
UPDATE — The Bears were reportedly interested in Jameis for their own quarterbacking position:
The Bears were a suitor for Jameis Winston before he signed with the Saints, per source. Chicago exhausting all options.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 16, 2021