The Saints will soon have to decide once again if it’s worth paying a backup quarterback big money. Let’s hope their answer is different than it was last time.
The New Orleans Saints snagged the NFL’s passing leader in 2019 to be their backup quarterback. Yes, even though you probably knew that, it’s still a bit crazy to believe. This time around, the Saints can’t develop a stud backup just to watch him walk.
Winston packed up his bags after throwing for the most yards and consequently also the most interceptions last season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers replaced him with future first-ball Hall of Famer Tom Brady so no one is complaining there.
The only thing that was crystal clear was that all three were not going to be returning. The team slapped their first-round tender on Hill, re-signed Brees to a two-year deal, and watched Bridgewater walk to Carolina, another divisional rival.
Bridgewater was 5-0 as a starter for the Saints in 2019, stepping up when Brees went down early in the season with a thumb injury. Now in Carolina, the Saints can’t afford to do the same as Brees nears retirement.
Drew Brees is 41.
Rumors have been going around that this may be his last season. If it is, that’s an easy decision for the Saints as Winston should then be their guy, that is, unless Payton truly believes Hill is the future of the franchise.
For Winston, the former No. 1 pick was able to get eye surgery in the offseason and may come back better than ever. If he can correct his turnovers and Payton can play to his strengths, this team may have their next franchise quarterback as Winston is 26.
Even if Brees finishes out his two-year contract, Winston will be just 28. The Saints need to maintain him as their backup, but they’ll have to pay big money if he shows accuracy improvement throughout the season.
The Saints need to not improve a quarterback just to watch him walk. For New Orleans, that may mean paying Winston a starter’s salary for one season.