The 2021 offseason is unprecedented because there are many teams with question marks at the starting quarterback position.
Among those teams is the New Orleans Saints.
No one really knows if the Saints in fact need a replacement for Drew Brees.
There was a lot of pomp and circumstance around Brees’ departure from the Superdome after losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Drew Brees playing with his kids and chatting with Tom Brady — last ones on the field — after what might be his final game in the Superdome. pic.twitter.com/l45pViDTi9
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) January 18, 2021
The postgame gathering on the field with Brees’ wife, kids, and Tom Brady fueled the retirement rumors, but Brees himself has not announced anything.
Drew Brees: "I'm going to give myself an opportunity to think about the season, think about a lot of things, just like I did last year and make a decision." pic.twitter.com/GIlLBMRqn9
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 18, 2021
Saints Coach Sean Payton believed Brees would be making an announcement over two weeks ago.
Drew Brees' announcement for 2021 could be coming in the next week; it's widely-expected he will retire. https://t.co/ayWDJxN1Be
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 3, 2021
Payton also said he believes the future Saints quarterback is already in the building.
Let’s be clear, Drew Brees is the starting quarterback for the Saints unless he decides to retire.
If he retires, these would be three of the best options to replace him.
1. Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston is the logical choice, but he’s technically not in the building anymore because he is a free agent.
Winston signed a one year deal with the Saints for the 2020 season for a paltry $1.1 million.
The Saints can expect to pay him more if he is their man.
Sean Payton has always talked positively about Winston.
Shortly before the Super Bowl, Payton said:
“Jameis Winston, we know. We had a year with him. He was fantastic as a leader. He’s got tremendous arm talent. He’s a young prospect that we like a lot. When you have a player for a season, he’s kind of giving you a chance to see what he’s about, and there’s a little bit of an audition there. But the same audition takes place for us. He’s getting a chance to see, ‘Hey, this is how they do it here. Does this fit me? Does this head coach, this position coach? Is this a place I feel comfortable playing?’”
2. Taysom Hill
The Saints have a lot of money tied up in Taysom Hill.
His 2021 contract payout is expected to be $16.1 million.
Would they be willing to roll the dice and see if their resident trick play guy can play 17 games under center, series after series?
Maybe they would.
Hill has played well in the situations the Saints have used him for; only Payton knows if his true capabilities extend beyond that.
.@Saints HC Sean Payton on @gmfb @nflnetwork on QB situation: "We had great exposure for one year w/ Jameis Winston. He along w/ Taysom Hill. We're gonna develop & coach those guys & Jameis is one of those guys that we have a great interest in."
— Will Selva (@WillSelvaTV) February 3, 2021
3. Mitchell Trubisky
Maybe the Saints do venture out of the building to Chicago and get Mitchell Trubisky.
He appears to be on the verge of unemployment.
Trubisky has shown flashes of greatness in Chicago, but it just seems like he is not a good fit with Nagy’s offense.
Payton is regularly called an offensive mastermind so if anyone can give Trubisky the tools and situations to excel, it would be Payton.
He is a young player with a lot of upside in the right situation.
The question is whether the Saints who have not shopped for a starting quarterback in over a decade want to take the risk of finding out if Trubisky fits their situation.
One way or another, Brees will have to let the Saints know what his plans are very soon.
Free agent signings can begin at 4 pm on March 17.