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Matthew Stafford trade shows why Saints must retain Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

His Style of Play

I have alluded to this multiple times, but overall, Winston plays a less replaceable style of football.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, he ranked in the top three in average depth of target in every season from 2016-2019, so it comes to no surprise that he consistently ranked near the top in air yards.

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What this means is that he is yardage numbers are more of his doing than the production of his receivers after the catch, and as we’ve seen with how Jared Goff was valued, relying on yardage after the catch clearly makes you more replaceable.

Remarkably, though, despite consistently throwing the ball down the field, Winston’s 2.77 time to throw actually was the 15th-lowest among qualified quarterbacks in 2019.

The issue with having a short time to throw is that it often means you’re leaving big plays on the table, but the fact that Winston can not hold onto the ball for too long AND is a consistent big-play threat is incredibly impressive on his part.

It certainly helped an offensive line that ranked 20th in protection rate, according to Player Profiler.

In New Orleans, I’d expect Winston to benefit more from yardage after the catch, as that is a major strength of head coach Sean Payton’s play-calling abilities. Add that into the number of air yards he is able to produce, and the results could be exceptional.

This line of thinking almost is practically a clone copy of the intrigue surrounding Stafford to the Rams.