The New Orleans Saints will almost certainly have a new starting quarterback next season. Although Drew Brees continues to slow play his inevitable retirement, the writing is on the wall. He’s done.
For the last few years, Saints head coach Sean Payton has suggested that Taysom Hill would serve as Brees’ eventual successor. Surely enough, when Brees got hurt in 2020, Hill got the nod over Jameis Winston – despite it causing a mini mutiny in the locker room.
If New Orleans does opt to go with Hill as the starter, it’s unlikely that Winston will want to return. And him departing in turn raises two important questions: 1. Where would he go, and 2. Who will the Saints replace him with?
This week, Seth Galina of Pro Football Focus aimed to answer both of those questions, plus address the Patriots’ notable quarterback woes.
First, he pointed out that Winston has a natural home in New England.
“With [Jameis] Winston, Bill Belichick might believe he can be the one who molds him into a real NFL quarterback,” he wrote. “The tools are already there. Winston finished fourth in big-time throws in 2019 with 31, but he also led the league in turnover-worthy plays with 40. Someone is going to pay big money to try to fix this man.”
In his last full season as a starter back in 2019 Winston threw for more than 5,000 yards. That’s the good. The bad, however, is that he also led the league in interceptions with 30. And he did it while working with the skeleton of this year’s Super Bowl-winning squad – a far superior group to the one he’d end up with in New England.
Assuming Winston does land with the Patriots, though – what happens to New Orleans?
“If Winston does leave — and Drew Brees retires — the Saints will say all the right things about loving Taysom Hill as their starting quarterback, but they will need a veteran backup,” Galina continues.
“Between Newton and Andy Dalton, there are two interesting, and very different, ideas. Dalton looked like the perfect backup when he signed with Dallas last season, and he had some moments when he looked competent after he was thrust into duty. With Cam, who did not look great in New England, at least there is some carryover on offense between what he can do and what will be in the playbook for Taysom Hill.”
Although Newton certainly carries a certain amount of name recognition, his time with the Patriots this past year was not particularly impressive. He does not look to have the throwing ability to be a dominant quarterback in the NFL anymore.
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If the logic here is to bring him in so that Hill, the full-time starter, has a veteran behind him, then sure. But if there is any expectation whatsoever that he can actually be a credible contributor to a team with postseason aspirations, that bubble should’ve been burst once and for all this past season.
Payton’s recent comments on Winston and his future with the organization were telling.
What that will ultimately mean for the futures of all parties involved remains to be seen, though.
One way or another, final decisions on both Winston and Newton should come in the next few weeks.
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