Will Saints groom Jameis Winston to replace Drew Brees?

The Saints made headlines on Sunday when there was buzz about Jameis Winston coming to New Orleans to backup Drew Brees. Is this Sean Payton’s plan for life after Brees?

Aside from a few games that he missed due to injury, Drew Brees has been the starting quarterback of the New Orleans Saints since the 2006 season. During that time, he’s thrown for 65,068 yards and 467 touchdowns.

Brees has been a Hall of Fame quarterback during his time with the Saints, but at age 41, it’d be foolish for us not to think his career is coming to a close in the next few years. The Saints had a conundrum this past offseason when it came to the quarterback spot, previously having Brees, Taysom Hill, and Teddy Bridgewater all hitting free agency.

Brees and Hill are back in the Big Easy for one more season and it appears they’ll be joined by another big name in 2020: former number one pick in 2015 Jameis Winston, who is no longer quarterbacking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This is an intriguing signing by the Saints. One might look at the depth chart of Brees, Hill, and now seventh round pick Tommy Stevens and think the unit could have called it good. Instead, Sean Payton made the decision to bring in Winston and it’s a good move.

No, Winston didn’t pan out in Tampa, but it wasn’t because he was (that) bad. Winston can throw the ball like nobody’s business, but the problem is that he also can throw it to the other team a lot too and that’s not something the Saints are used to with Brees under center. A year with Payton and Brees in New Orleans could do a lot of good for the turnover-prone Winston.

Now, as far as the future goes, Winston is a better option as the starter when Brees calls it a career than Hill, who is 30 years old. Winston is only 26 years old and has five years of starting experience under his belt. He threw for over 5,100 yards in 2019 and if it weren’t for the 30 interceptions, it’s doubtful Tampa would have moved on from him (even if Tom Brady was interested at that point).

Most teams find their next starter in the draft because they can turn him into what they want and that’s probably what New Orleans will decide to do. Having both Winston and Hill on the roster in 2020 isn’t surprising because they did that the past two seasons with Hill and Bridgewater. It’s a Payton thing and he does so because he likes to use Hill in various ways.

The Saints will probably go after a quarterback early on in next year’s draft, but if Winston gets a chance to play in 2020 and impresses, who knows? Perhaps he will be the heir to Drew Brees in the Big Easy.

Next: Saints signing Jameis Winston is great

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