METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — Despite the signing of four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr in the offseason, former Saints starter Jameis Winston decided to forego the free agent market and remain in the New Orleans for another season.

The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, who originally signed a two-year deal with $28 million last year, agreed to a one-year deal worth $4 million with incentives that could double that amount.

After returning last year from a season-ending knee injury sustained against Tampa Bay in Week 8 of 2021, Winston rallied the Saints in a 16-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in the season-opener last fall.

But various injuries, including fractures in his back, eventually sidelined Winston for the remainder of the season following Week 3.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) runs through drills during an NFL football practice in Metairie, La., Tuesday, May 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

While Winston is relegated to second-string status, the 29-year-old Alabama native, who led the NFL in passing with 5,109 yards while with the Buccaneers in 2019, admits he still feels he’s capable of starting in the National Football League.

Winston talked with reporters during an open locker-room interview session following Tuesday morning OTAs (Organized Team Activities).

“I’m still preparing for whatever opportunity presents itself because I still believe I’m a starting quarterback in this league,” explained Winston. “But right now my role is to serve Derek and be the best teammate I can what my role is on this team.”

According to Winston, a series of unfortunate setbacks has not stopped his drive or desire to once again assume a starting role.

“Everyone has different journeys in this league, but, you know, this is challenging to be an NFL quarterback,” said Winston. “And when you have an opportunity to be a starting NFL quarterback, you want to make the most of it.

“You know, I’ve just had some unfortunate injuries over the past three years,” he continued. “So this is where I’m at, you know, But this is not where I visualize being in the near future.”

Carr’s contract is a four-year deal worth $150 million.