The New Orleans Saints are entering unfamiliar territories this season. It will be the first time in 20 years that Drew Brees is not their starting quarterback. As a result, New Orleans brought back quarterback Jameis Winston on a one-year, $12 million deal to keep him with the Saints.
The New Orleans Saints also kept their utility quarterback Taysom Hill. HC Sean Payton did something that no one realized during the 2020-2021 NFL season; when Drew Brees went down with injury, he started Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston.
Let's take a look at the potential reason why Taysom Hill started over Jameis Winston while Drew Brees was out with an injury.
Why did the New Orleans Saints start Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston?
Sean Payton ran into this situation during the 2019-2020 NFL season. Drew Brees went down with an injury and then back-up quarterback Teddy Bridgewater came in and went (5-0). This led to Teddy Bridgewater signing a massive contract with the Carolina Panthers.
Let's not forget that Jameis Winston threw 33 touchdown passes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before they signed Tom Brady. It's also important to remember that Winston threw 30 interceptions. If there is one thing that Sean Payton does well, it's develop quarterbacks.
Payton knew that the end was coming with Drew Brees and he needed to find a replacement. Jameis Winston could potentially be that replacement like Teddy Bridgewater was supposed to be last season. Coach Payton knew if he started Jameis Winston and the QB showcased his improvements the Saints could potentially lose him like they did Bridgewater.
This led to Sean Payton starting Taysom Hill because teams were not going to throw a ton of money at Hill if he did well. The New Orleans Saints have re-signed Jameis Winston and we will now see how a season sitting behind Brees paid off. We will also see if Sean Payton has worked his magic by improving Winston's turnover problems.
If Jameis Winston comes out and puts together a 33 touchdown season with less than 20 interceptions, the New Orleans Saints and Sean Payton will look like geniuses for hiding Winston. Regardless of whether the Saints make the playoffs or not in 2021, if Winston shows a massive improvement, Payton's plan paid off.
Jameis Winston will have the same, if not more, talent on offense than he did with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When healthy, Michael Thomas is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Alvin Kamara is one of the top three running backs in the NFL and Jameis Winston can throw the football.
Ultimately, only time will tell if Sean Payton made the right decision by bringing back Jameis Winston.
Also Read: What is Drew Brees’ Contract Breakdown?