While those will be hard shoes to fill, the Saints are confident they can maintain a winning culture.
Mainly because they will be solving their problem in house.
But, the question that remains is, who should really be starting for the Saints in 2021?
Has Jameis Winston Earned The Starting Job?
Jameis Winston, who is also known as 30-for-30 for his 30 touchdown, 30 interception year in 2019 certainly has the talent to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
In fact, in that 2019 season, he threw for over 5,000 yards, which is pretty rare.
The questions surrounding Winston are two fold.
One, can he make better decisions with the football?
Many believe, that post LASIK eye surgery, he can.
Secondly, is he mature enough to be the face of a franchise?
Well, those questions can only be answered if the Saints turn to him as a starter.
But, in order for that to happen, they must first re-sign him — which appears more likely than not to happen — as he an unrestricted free agent.
It's no secret in New Orleans they like Jameis Winston and want to bring him back. The two sides are working on getting a deal done, per sources. This would not mean Winston is the starter if it gets done, it was explained to me, this will be a quarterback competition at camp.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 15, 2021
As crazy as it sounds, this Saints offense has the potential to be more explosive with Winston under helm.
What I mean by that is, over the last couple seasons of Brees’ career, he couldn’t get the ball down the field like he used to.
Instead, the Saints did what they did best, death by a thousand cuts.
Meaning, they would slowly march down the field while Brees would pick apart the defense with the short, intermediate stuff.
A talent like Winston will be able to incorporate that into his game with his already established big arm.
Jameis Winston is the likely starter for the Saints, per @RapSheet
PFF Grade/rank by season:
🔹2015 – 67.3 (19th)
🔹2016 – 72.0 (18th)
🔹2017 – 73.7 (15th)
🔹2018 – 69.9 (26th)
🔹2019 – 68.4 (22nd) pic.twitter.com/qegGCx70tC
— PFF (@PFF) March 14, 2021
Sean Payton — the QB guru — can help groom Winston into a better decision maker with the football.
He can also open up his playbook more and allow Winston to take more shots down the field.
Of course, none of this matters if the Saints decide to give Taysom Hill the starting job.
New Orleans Saints Re-Sign Taysom Hill
Outside of the Brees’ retirement, the Saints made many Sunday headlines after they resigned Taysom Hill.
Saints are restructuring QB Taysom Hill’s contract to create cap room. Details are great: it’s a 4-year, $140 million contract extension – but all years are voidable and it’s a mechanism to free up cap space this year, per source. It saves Saints over $7.5M against cap this year.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2021
Now, this isn’t as sweet as it sounds as New Orleans will have ample opportunities to get out of this contract if they wanted.
This was more of a savvy move on behalf of New Orleans in an attempt to free up more cap space with free agency now underway.
It is no secret that Sean Payton loves Taysom Hill and believes in him as a starter.
But, if I had to pick between the two, I would choose Jameis.
With Winston as the starter, the New Orleans Saints can still use Hill as a gadget guy.
After all, that is what he’s best at.
His versatility will still allow this team to get fancy in play calling and keep the opposing defense on their toes.
While this decision will not be made until training camp, it is in the best interest of the Saints to make Jameis Winston their starting quarterback.