Jameis Winston (New Orleans Saints)
Jameis Winston is the epitome of all of nothing. He has been such a polarizing quarterback in the NFL because of his large passing numbers and high turnover rates since entering the league. He was off to a strong start in New Orleans as the starting quarterback in 2021 before tearing his ACL early in the season.
Now, Jameis is a free agent with no real reason to stay in New Orleans. The Saints are way over the salary cap, Taysom Hill is set to make a ton of money himself, and Sean Payton is no longer the head coach.
Winston stuck around in New Orleans on cheap deals to re-establish himself as a starter in the NFL, but an injury in 2021 now has him searching for a new opportunity. If the Vikings decide to move on from Kirk Cousins, Jameis would be a cheaper option that has the upside to lead a playoff run.
Winston is another quarterback who has the strong arm and “wow” factor, but his lack of ball security will always be a concern. He pulled off a seemingly miraculous feat of throwing 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions in one season back in 2019.
The best part about targeting Jameis is the number of directions they could go with a deal. He could be a one-year candidate with a chance to earn a long-term deal after 2022 if things go well. If he is attainable for a cheap deal, the Vikings could also sign him to a multi-year deal out of the gate and use him as trade bait after 2022 if things do not work out.
Lastly, Jameis can simply be a one-year bridge quarterback if the Vikings want to draft someone else in 2022 or 2023. This is an option that can go in so many directions without strangling the Vikings in terms of their long-term money.