Browns QB Jameis Winston Sends Strong Message on Backup Role

New Cleveland Browns QB Jameis Winston is ready to team up with Deshaun Watson.

Getty Images New Cleveland Browns QB Jameis Winston is ready to team up with Deshaun Watson.

Jameis Winston has aspirations of being a starter again one day but is ready to be the model backup for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.

In a somewhat surprising move, the Browns inked Winston to a one-year deal in free agency. Winston is a former No. 1 overall pick and spent the previous four seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

The Browns appeared to be leaning towards bringing Joe Flacco back to sit behind Watson. But things developed quickly with Winston.

“I’m a firm believer that nothing happens by coincidence,” Winston said on March 20 while being officially introduced. “So, when this opportunity came about, we locked in and we communicated, we collaborated on it, and this just felt like a great fit for me.”

Winston eventually wants to be a starter again. However, he’s taking his role as Watson’s backup seriously and believes he brings a lot to the table.

“The most important thing, I believe, is the relationship between me and Deshaun is in a place where it will continue to grow and flourish. And I just admire him as a person and definitely as a football player,” Winston said. “I look forward to allowing him to lean on me for anything that he needs and also encouraging him and providing him with different resources that he probably hasn’t gotten for people that have been in the same room as him … just serving him and this team, the best way that I can.”

Jameis Winston Has Super Bowl Aspirations With Browns

Winston said he and Watson first crossed paths in 2014 while still in the college ranks, and they’ve remained in contact since. Winston has a lot of respect for Watson but stressed that everyone — including himself — has a role in the Browns’ success.

“One of the biggest things that I’m bringing to Deshaun is just really support and encouragement,” Winston said. “Because he has achieved so much, and that’s why he is this organization’s franchise quarterback. But as a lot of us know, we all make this ship go.”

Winston has proven to be a great locker-room presence over the years, bringing some levity with his personality. He proved that on Day 1 in the Browns’ facility. A video emerged of Winston taking snaps in a full suit in the Browns’ weight room with backup center Luke Wypler.

But make no mistake. Winston’s goal is to help the Browns win a Super Bowl.

“Every team’s mission should be, at the beginning of the year, to win football games and win the Super Bowl right now. So, I think that is our main focus, Winston said. “And long as we got that same eye-to-eye determination to go bring this city what it deserves, I know we’re going to be great, and I know we’re going to bond well.”

Browns Also Added Tyler Huntley to QB Room

Winston isn’t the only new face in the Browns QB room. The team recently added former Baltimore Ravens passer Tyler Huntley.

Huntley started some games for the Ravens when reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson was banged up. He joined the Ravens as an undrafted rookie from Utah in 2020 and has a record of 3-6 as the starter.

Overall, Huntley has completed 64.6% of his passes for 1,957 yards, with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He has a career quarterback rating of 79.0.

It’s unknown what the Browns’ plans are for Huntley. He may compete with Winston and Dorian Thompson-Robinson for the backup role. Or he could be another offseason arm for the Browns to work with as Watson continues his recovery from shoulder surgery.

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