NFL Rumors: Jameis Winston In Line For Saints Starting Job After Drew Brees Retires

The New Orleans Saints may be ready to roll with Jameis Winston at quarterback, a new report from the NFL Network indicates.

With Drew Brees expected to retire this offseason, the Saints face a question mark at quarterback for 2021. Taysom Hill was tapped to replace the injured Brees, but reportedly didn’t do enough during his starts to seize the job. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, backup QB Winston may have edged out Hill during the few times he was on the field.

Rapoport reported that Winston’s performance in practice was enough to earn him the nod going into 2021, even though it was Hill who was expected to get the job. Although the Saints went 3-1 under Hill’s signal calling, his unsteady play allowed Winston to potentially have the upper hand going into next season.

Winston’s prior experience could have played into the decision to start him over Hill as well. The former No. 1 overall pick started 70 games in his career, leading the league in passing in 2019 with 5,109 yards. For his career, he has completed 61.3 percent of his passes with 121 touchdowns, though he has struggled with turnovers, throwing 88 interceptions and fumbling 50 times during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sports analytics writer Seth Walder told ESPN back in January that Winston could still be the strongest candidate to take over behind center for the Saints, even if it is a more short-term role while New Orleans searches for the next franchise signal-caller. He added that Hill failed to show he could be a consistent starter.

“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.”

Winston was also able to stay out of trouble during his time in New Orleans, moving beyond the off-the-field problems that had plagued him through his college years and during his time with the Buccaneers.

Financial considerations could be at play as well. The Saints are expected to have salary cap issues in 2021 and choosing to start the former top overall pick could allow them to avoid spending on a free agent.

Share this article: NFL Rumors: Jameis Winston In Line For Saints Starting Job After Drew Brees Retires
More from Inquisitr