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Saints' Winston: 'I'm still a starting quarterback in this league'

Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston believes he can still be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

"The main thing is the opportunity, and I'm just grateful every chance I get an opportunity to step into a building and play a sport I love," Winston said Tuesday, according to Katherine Terrell of ESPN. "However, I know that I'm still a starting quarterback in this league."

Winston re-signed with the Saints in March on a reworked one-year deal worth up to $8 million. The contract represented a pay cut, as Winston was due to make more money in the final season of a two-year contract he signed in 2022.

The 29-year-old began last season as New Orleans' starting quarterback but was dealing with a back injury that ultimately sidelined him after the Saints' Week 3 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Winston was inactive for two weeks and never regained the starting job when he returned. Andy Dalton started 14 games for New Orleans, finishing with a 6-8 record.

The Saints signed Derek Carr to a four-year, $150-million contract in free agency earlier this offseason, seemingly locking him in as their starter for the foreseeable future. Winston, for his part, is willing to be patient.

"There's some Hall of Famers that made their big break at 30," Winston said, per Terrell. "So I'm still young, I'm still 29, but right now, my role is to serve this team in the role that I'm in. And I'm all-in to doing that. Because again, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to still wear a Saints uniform or to be in the NFL in general."

Selected first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, Winston has thrown for 21,840 yards with 139 touchdowns and 96 interceptions across 86 NFL games.

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