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NFL Free Agency Profile: QB Jameis Winston

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By: Thomas Moore

Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images

Browns are in the market for a veteran backup quarterback, but Jameis Winston is not the answer.

The Cleveland Browns navigated the most unexpected quarterback journey in 2023.

Injuries, and in some cases ineffective play, led the Browns from Deshaun Watson to Dorian Thompson-Robinson, P.J. Walker, Joe Flacco, and, for one forgettable Sunday afternoon, Jeff Driskel.

The Browns remain optimistic that Watson will be fully recovered from his shoulder injury and ready to go in September, while Thompson-Robinson will fill one of the other quarterback slots.

After that, it is anyone’s guess at the moment. The one certainty is that the Browns need a veteran quarterback on hand in case Watson goes down with another serious injury. That could mean that Flacco returns, or the Browns could look elsewhere in free agency.

But whatever they decide to do, it would be best if it did not involve signing veteran quarterback Jameis Winston.


Jameis Winston, Quarterback


6-foot-4, 231 pounds

2023 Team

New Orleans Saints


2023: 7 games, 53.2 completion percentage, 264 passing yards, 2 touchdown passes, 3 interceptions, 2 sacks, 57.4 quarterback rating

Career: 93 games, 61.2 completion percentage, 22,104 passing yards, 141 touchdown passes, 99 interceptions, 195 sacks, 87 quarterback rating

PFF Grade

2023: 56.3 overall, 55.8 passing

4-year average grade: 58.5 (overall), 57.1 passing

2023 Contract

$1.165 million base salary, $4.5 million cap number, per Over the Cap

Fit with the Browns

The best thing that happened to Jameis Winston is that he signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2020 and only played in 21 total games since then, providing people with the opportunity to forget that he is not a very good quarterback.

Supporters will point to his final season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Winston threw for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns as proof of Winston’s validity while overlooking his 30 interceptions and the fact that passing yards are easy to accumulate in garbage time of a losing season.

There is little to no reason to believe the Browns should look to bring Winston on board, no matter how desperate they may get as they fill the veteran quarterback role behind Deshaun Watson.

Browns player signing could impact

Cleveland needs another quarterback on the roster so they are not forced to play Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the event that Deshaun Watson is injured. The roster hole is already there, so no matter which way they turn in free agency it will not displace anyone currently on the team.

How signing could impact the NFL Draft

The Browns picked up their future backup in last year’s draft by selecting Thompson-Robinson. Again, they need a third quarterback but that player needs to be a veteran. So unless there is a player they absolutely fall in love with late on Day 3 of the draft that would be a practice squad developmental quarterback, whatever they do in free agency will likely not impact their draft plans.


High: Cleveland has true playoff aspirations for the 2024 season and they can’t risk having DTR be the only option on the roster behind Watson. It’s just that Winston should not be the option they turn to in free agency.

Projected Contract

One year at $4 million, fully guaranteed, per PFF

What would you like to see the Browns do at quarterback this offseason? Join your fellow Browns fans in the comment section below to have your say.

Originally posted on Dawgs By Nature – All Posts