In a press conference Wednesday, Sean Payton gave a rousing argument as to why he wants the Saints’ to re-sign Jameis Winston.
The New Orleans Saints are faced with a decision that not very many NFL franchises have gone through. They are trying to replace a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback who has been the starter on the team for over the last decade.
When Teddy Bridgewater left last year paired with some comments made by Sean Payton, many thought that it was a lock for Taysom Hill to take over the Saints when Brees’ retired. That was until they went out and signed Jameis Winston.
The former NFL passing leader with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came in and immediately made noise in the Saints’ camp. However, when Drew Brees went down with an injury mid-season, it was Taysom Hill who replaced Brees — not Winston.
Many speculated that Payton didn’t want to “showcase” Winston like he did the previous season with Teddy Bridgewater that led him to sign for more money with a rival team. New Orleans is already up against the cap and can’t afford a “big-name” player to replace Brees.
However, if no other team wants Winston, then they don’t have to pay him that much. Since the news broke of Brees’ possible retirement, Payton has been saying that the next quarterback is already inside of the quarterback room — making reference to Hill or Winston.
According to an article written by Mike Triplett of ESPN, Payton praised the young former No. 1 overall pick.
"“Jameis Winston, we know. We had a year with him. He was fantastic as a leader. He’s got tremendous arm talent. He’s a young prospect that we like a lot.When you have a player for a season, he’s kind of giving you a chance to see what he’s about, and there’s a little bit of an audition there. But the same audition takes place for us. He’s getting a chance to see, ‘Hey, this is how they do it here. Does this fit me? Does this head coach, this position coach? Is this a place I feel comfortable playing?'”"
Triplett went on to quote a segment from Good Morning America where Payton said, “A lot of times you want to hold your cards closer to the vest [with a] free agent. But for him along with Taysom Hill, we’ve said it all along, we’re gonna develop and coach those guys. And Jameis is one of those guys that we have a big interest in.”
That gives us all we need to know about what Payton thinks about Jameis Winston. It seems pretty clear that Payton thinks that Winston could be the future of the team. Next year will be exciting with someone under center other than Drew Brees.