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Jameis Winston Says He Can Read License Plates, Street Signs After LASIK Surgery

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIApril 29, 2020

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 29:  Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Jameis Winston underwent LASIK eye surgery in February to improve his efficiency as a quarterback. 

The 26-year-old said during an introductory teleconference with New Orleans Saints reporters on Wednesday that he is benefitting from better vision off the field, too:

Greg Auman @gregauman

Full quote from Jameis Winston on LASIK surgery, and how one example of how it helps him now is that he can read license plates if an uninsured driver hits him and drives off: https://t.co/OJEfnvwinn

"He didn't want to count out any options that he had that could possibly help him with the game he loves so much," Denise White, Winston's publicist, told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport at the time of the procedure. "He doesn't want to miss out on an opportunity that presents itself. This is the game he loves and he wants to be the best at it and if there are any options that can improve his game he is willing to do it."

Winston officially signed with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday:

New Orleans Saints @Saints

The #Saints have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with QB Jameis Winston! Story: https://t.co/ZWHx3u1PJz https://t.co/KhLXJrK2g1

Field Yates @FieldYates

Jameis Winston’s one-year contract with the Saints carries a base value of $1.1M, per source. He got a $148,000 signing bonus, a base salary of $952,000 and $3.4M is available in incentives. Jameis prioritized the chance to learn and grow as a player.

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Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson first reported the move on Sunday:

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

Sources tell Yahoo Sports the #Saints are finalizing a 1-year deal with free agent QB Jameis Winston. New Orleans hopes to continue maximizing Taysom Hill's versatility on gameday while mitigating some risk in exposing Drew Brees' backup to injury. Story: https://t.co/srblaQWfhI https://t.co/D2jNWL2446

Winston had been unsigned since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers let him walk as an unrestricted free agent after landing Tom Brady on a two-year deal in March:

Jameis Winston @Jaboowins

It's been a great 5 seasons as a Buccaneer. All love and respect, I love Tampa and I look forward to seeing y'all again in February. #SBLV #2020Vision #Dreamforever https://t.co/MIPiCfreXW

The 2015 No. 1 overall pick's accuracy has always been somewhat concerning, but it came under fire last season as he threw an NFL-most 30 interceptions. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians admitted that Winston's interceptions did him in:

CBS Sports Network @CBSSportsNet

"For Jameis, for me, it was the last two ball games. The regression back to the interceptions... It was disheartening because he had made progress then regressed." @BruceArians tells @TikiandTierney about the decision to move on from Jameis Winston. https://t.co/wTDhYocmU9

The reason Winston is such an anomaly, though, is he also led the league last season in passing yards (5,109) and attempts (626) while also throwing 33 touchdowns.

Winston's decision to sign the Saints rather than take a "larger deal elsewhere" was likely with improvement in mind:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From NFL Now: The focus for free agent QB Jameis Winston was never the money this year, it was always about the next 10 years. The #Saints set him up for that. https://t.co/0b7FJG4cQa

Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland believes the right choice was to come and learn behind future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, as he said on The Matt Mosley Show on Monday:

"Look, there's no better teacher. If Drew never said a word to him, he would observe more than he'll ever learn in football just by learning how Drew does things. He's an incredible leader. He's an incredible studier of the game, how he breaks down his opponents.

"And then you throw in [offensive coordinator] Pete Carmichael, [quarterbacks coach] Joe Lombardi and [coach] Sean Payton on the offensive side of the ball and those creative minds, Jameis Winston will learn more football in a year than he has in his lifetime."

Winston will compete for backup repetitions with hybrid player Taysom Hill, who agreed to a two-year extension over the weekend.

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