January 18, 2021
NFL Rumors: Saints Could Tap Jameis Winston As Starting Quarterback With Drew Brees Retiring

The New Orleans Saints are reportedly moving into a new quarterback era, but some insiders believe the starter who will take over for retiring Drew Brees could already be on the roster.

As NBC Sports reported, Brees is widely expected to retire in the upcoming offseason. The Saints had a disappointing finish to the year, losing in the divisional round against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and failing in the attempt to bring Brees to the Super Bowl for a second time before he exits the NFL. Speculation had been building throughout the year that the 42-year-old signal caller would be finished after this campaign.

As the report noted, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports confirmed that Brees has reached the end of the line.

"Drew Brees, tonight will be the last game he plays at the Superdome," Glazer said, adding that he had already decided it was the end no matter how far the Saints would advance this year.

His retirement could bring the Saints to a crossroads, as ESPN noted that the team will have massive salary cap issues going into next year, and many speculate that they could move into a rebuild and a search for the next franchise quarterback. While some have speculated that Taysom Hill is in line to take over the starting role, sports analytics writer Seth Walder told ESPN that Winston may be a stronger bet based on his career performance.

The Saints signed the former Buccaneers starter and first-overall draft pick to a one-year deal, but Walder believes that New Orleans could bring him back as a placeholder until a permanent replacement is found. He said that Winston may be a smarter choice to take over starting duties.

"At least to start, Winston is about as good of a stopgap as a team is going to find," he said. "I was surprised the Saints went to Hill when Brees was injured earlier this season; but even still, I'm not sure Hill's performance -- he recorded a 41 Total QBR -- gives me reason to think he is a better option than Winston going forward. Even in his 30-pick season in 2019, Winston recorded a 56 QBR."

Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill in an NFL game.
Getty Images | Jared C. Tilton

He led the team to a 3-1 record during that stretch as Brees was injured.

Neither Brees nor the Saints have made any official announcement about his retirement. As The Inquisitr reported, reports indicate that he will move into the broadcast booth after hanging up his cleats.