If this is Drew Brees’ final season, the New Orleans Saints will have to make an interesting decision as to who will start in 2021. Sean Payton commented on that situation during an appearance on the ‘Huddle & Flow’ podcast.
Brees is currently out of action due to 11 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. Starting in his place right now is Taysom Hill, who owns a 3-1 record as the starter of the Saints.
While the Saints will absolutely give Hill a chance to start next season if Brees retires, the same can be said about Jameis Winston.
During his appearance on the ‘Huddle & Flow’ podcast, Payton said “He’s going to have that opportunity to start in New Orleans the minute Drew leaves.”
Winston signed a one-year deal with New Orleans that’ll pay him $1.1 million. He described the Saints’ quarterback room as a “Harvard education,” which is why he decided to join the franchise in the first place.
Interesting comment from Payton re Jameis: “He’s going to have that opportunity (to start in New Orleans) the minute Drew leaves.” Said Taysom would have the same. There’s an expectation that this likely will be Brees’ final season.
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) December 15, 2020
So, why would the Saints start Hill in Brees’ absence when Winston is also on the roster?
Hill has far more experience in Payton’s system than Winston. Instead of rushing Winston’s progression, the Saints are seeing what they have in Hill, who received an extension this past offseason.
This doesn’t change how Payton views Winston though. When asked if Winston is a starting quarterback, he said “Jameis is definitely a starter. He’s performed exceptionally well considering the amount of time we’ve had, or haven’t had, since we’ve signed him.”
It’s worth noting that New Orleans will need to sign Winston to a new contract this offseason.