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Browns add Jameis Winston to back up Deshaun Watson, AP source says

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Deshaun Watson has a new backup in Cleveland.

The Browns agreed to a one-year deal Tuesday with Jameis Winston worth up to $8.7 million, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the decision cannot become official until the new league year begins on Wednesday.

Joe Flacco, who went 4-1 and helped the Browns reach the playoffs last season after Watson was sidelined with a shoulder injury, did not received a contract offer from the Browns, said his agent, Joe Linta.

“Yes, I still see myself as a starter. However, the Lord has also called me to lead by impacting and increasing the men around me. Having the opportunity to work with Deshaun and help him give his best is my main mission,” Winston told CBS Sports.

“Now, if Deshaun needs to heal for whatever reason, and I need to take a few games off him, I'll be willing to do that; but I must first accomplish God's purpose before my own heart's desire. Because at the end of the day, I want to win Super Bowls, and this roster that Cleveland got looks like it could do that.

Also Tuesday, defensive tackle Shelby Harris announced on social media that he would re-sign with the Browns.

Winston spent the last four seasons as a starter in New Orleans, going 6-4. This follows five seasons in Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers made him the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2015. Overall, Winston is 34-46 as a starter.

Second-year quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is also on the Browns roster.

Also Tuesday, the Browns agreed to a one-year contract with former Buffalo Bills running back Nyheim Hines worth up to $3.5 million, a person with knowledge of it told the AP negotiations.

Hines, who is also a kick return specialist, was released by the Bills earlier this month. The seventh-year pro missed all of last season after a boating accident in which he suffered a torn ACL when he was struck by a jet skier in North Carolina.

He joined the Bills in a mid-season trade from Indianapolis in 2022, and while he was not an impact player on offense, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against New England in the regular season finale.

Hines was a fourth-round pick of the Colts in 2018.

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AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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