Jameis Winston is in the “driver’s seat” for Saints 2021 starting quarterback

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints will have options as to who will start at quarterback next season, but it’s apparently Jameis Winston who is in the “driver’s seat.”

After a three-interception game in the Saints’ Divisional Round loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Drew Brees looked retirement in the face again. It isn’t the first time that Brees has mulled over the decision.

We do not know if the 42-year-old quarterback is planning to retire, but Brees restructuring his salary to save the team $24 million in cap space is an important move that may signal he’s going to call it a career.

If he does, the Saints will be in an interesting predicament. They have Taysom Hill under contract, and he did go 3-1 as a starter this past season. But, it doesn’t seem like Hill is the top option for the Sean Payton-led franchise.

Winston, who didn’t get a single start in 2020, may be who the Saints want to bring back as the starter. The problem is that Winston is an unrestricted free agent and should be looking at several big-time offers from Chicago, Indianapolis, and even New England.

However, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Winston is also in the “driver’s seat” for the Saints’ starting quarterback gig.

The Saints may not be able to match other offers though as they’re still around $75 million in the red when it comes to the salary cap, and that’s even with the higher-than-expected cap movement.

Winston did have one pass that turned into a crucial 56-yard touchdown against Tampa Bay. It was an accurate bomb down the middle of the field, but Payton will likely have seen much more than just that to feel confident about bringing him back full time as the starter.

After leading the NFL in interceptions in 2019, Winston turned to New Orleans to help fix the problems he had. If he can fix those, Winston has proven his arm is among the best in the NFL.

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That said, let’s hope the Saints have the money to retain him if that’s who Payton wants taking over in the post-Drew Brees era.