Saints Players Unhappy Over Jameis Winston Snub?

Saints Players Unhappy Over Jameis Winston Snub?

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton elected to start backup Taysom Hill this week in place of an injured Drew Brees. The decision appears to have rankled some in the locker room who would have preferred that backup Jameis Winston get the starting nod.

According to NFL ESPN insider Adam Schefter, multiple Saints players have expressed frustration over Winston not being named the starter.

“Multiple players and people within the organization thought Jameis Winston should have been the starter against the Atlanta Falcons,” Schefter reported.

The decision to ultimately go with Hill was based on the fact that New Orleans wanted to assess whether he would ultimately be able to take over long-term once Brees retired.

“Of all the reasons to start Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston, one stands out: Saints coach Sean Payton ‘just wants to know,’” reported NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

“Is Hill the next franchise QB? The evaluation starts today.”

This past offseason Hill signed a two-year, $21 million contract that essentially pays him as if he will be the starting quarterback for New Orleans next year.

Of course, that rationale doesn’t appear to be making many in the Saints locker room feel better. At least a segment of those players still would have preferred to have gone with Winston this weekend.

Interestingly enough, even though some Saints personnel was surprised by the decision to go with Hill over Winston, FOX NFL broadcaster Troy Aikman was not.

“Yeah, I’m not surprised by that,” Aikman said on The Rich Eisen Show this week. “Because when we talked to Sean early in the season, they did sign Taysom to a pretty good contract coming into this year. And Taysom wants to play quarterback.”

As far as Aikman is concerned, the whole point of signing Hill this offseason to begin with and letting Teddy Bridgewater walk was the idea that he would step in should something happen to Brees.

“The idea was, they were paying him this money in the event something happens to Drew, he can take over,” Aikman continued.

“And when Drew retires. What Sean had said to us was, that if Drew Brees went down in-game like he did last week, then Jameis Winston would be the guy who would come in off the bench, because they game-planned for Taysom Hill to be the ‘Swiss Army knife’ and do all his different things.

“But then going forward if Brees was going to miss games, multiple games, then Taysom would be the guy because then they would game plan with him as the quarterback.”

Many are expecting 2020 to be Brees’ final season. If that is the case, then the organization will need to determine who its quarterback of the future will be. Whether Saints players like it or not, that takes priority over a largely meaningless outing against a 3-6 Falcons group that would probably lose to New Orleans even if you lined Alvin Kamara up at quarterback.

Related: Tom Brady Reveals Buccaneers’ Biggest Weakness

Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.

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