Figuring out how the Saints would navigate the current salary cap situation was nothing compared to the next question they have to answer.
How do you value Jameis Winston?
Starting quarterbacks typically get paid well. Most quarterbacks aren’t entering a starting situation one year after signing a $1.1 million deal to sit behind two other players. This synopsis is lacking nuance and overly simplistic, but the extremes are illustrative.
Winston is an extremely talented player, a former No. 1 pick who is as talented as just about any quarterback in the league. If things go right, he could emerge as a top-tier starter.
The flipside: He threw 30 interceptions the last time he served as a starter, didn’t draw a ton of interest on the open market the last time he hit it, and was just OK when he entered in emergency duty after Drew Brees got hurt. That was the only look anyone else got of him in a Saints jersey.
So, what do you pay Winston? Where and how do negotiations start? Who has the leverage?