NFL Saints add ex-Bucs passer Winston as Brees backup

New York (AFP) –


Jameis Winston, the former Tampa Bay quarterback who lost his starting job to six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, is the newest recruit for the NFL's New Orleans Saints.

The deal, confirmed in a league Twitter posting and expected to be signed later Sunday, ends Winston's month-long search for a new team, finding one with an NFC South division rival of his former club.

Winston, the top pick in the 2015 NFL draft, led the league with 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes last season, but also threw 33 interceptions, becoming the first NFL passer with 30 TDs and 30 pickoffs in the same year.

When the Buccaneers signed Brady, a 42-year-old NFL legend after 20 years with the New England Patriots, Winston was sent packing.

The Saints needed a backup to 41-year-old quarterback Drew Brees, who has signed a two-year contract extension through the 2021 season.

Teddy Bridgewater, who went 5-0 directing the Saints' attack last season when Brees was sidelined by injury, left, signing three-year deal with Carolina last month. The Panthers having parted ways with former league Most Valuable Player Cam Newton, who remains a free agent.

Winston, 26, will still have to fight to become the number two to Brees.

Taysom Hill, a versatile reserve, signed a two-year contract extension worth $21 million through 2021 with the Saints on Sunday.

Hill completed 3-of-6 passes for 55 yards but ran 27 times for 156 yards and a touchdown while making 19 catches for 234 yards and six touchdowns in multiple roles that kept opposing defenders guessing.

Also in the mix will be rookie quarterback Tommy Stevens, who was drafted Saturday by the Saints in the seventh and final round of the NFL Draft.