The biggest storyline with the New Orleans Saints this offseason is their quarterback situation, which isn’t something they’ve been able to say for quite some time. The job is between former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston and offensive weapon Taysom Hill with Winston being the favorite to land the job.
Chris Rolling of Bleacher Report said that the Saints failing to name Winston as their official starting quarterback is one of the worst decisions in the NFL since the NFL Draft took place in late April. Here’s more from Rolling’s article:
"There are facets to the problem, too. A quarterback controversy could be a distraction. More importantly, it could harm both if Hill takes first-team reps from Winston, never mind the offense as everyone tries to adjust to two different players. Splitting critical first-team reps over the summer could do more harm than good. If the Saints let this drag on, the transition from Brees could face-plant."
It’s hard to argue with this, but we all know that Sean Payton loves him some Taysom Hill. This is exactly why he shocked the NFL world by letting Hill start in Drew Brees’ absence last year despite Winston essentially being brought in for that very reason.
The Saints should have named Jameis Winston as their starter already.
Winston previously played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for five seasons before being allowed to leave in free agency and joining the Saints in 2020. Winston was coming off a season where he threw for over 5,100 yards and 33 touchdowns but the 30 interceptions are why he was no longer in Tampa’s future plans.
Meanwhile, Hill has been with the Saints organization since 2017 and transformed into one of the most intriguing players in the league with the role he’s carved out for himself. He throws the ball, runs with the ball, catches the ball, and plays special teams as well.
Hill honestly can do it all and while it’s unfair to use his strengths against him, being the swiss army knife is exactly why Winston needs to be the quarterback. When Hill is taken out of his offensive weapon role, the Saints’ offense becomes a lot less dangerous.
Also, Winston is an experienced starter and while yes, the interceptions need to be trimmed down a lot, he’s shown he can be a reliable quarterback and keep his team in games with his arm. The Saints should have named Winston as their starter but Payton isn’t going to do that. He wants both guys to battle for the job and give them each a fair shake at winning it.
While I agree with Rollins’ assessment for the most part, if the Saints don’t get much out of either of these guys in 2021, they can turn to next year’s draft and try to add one of the quarterbacks entering the league. That’d be their best play at that point.
For now, however, Winston should be the team’s starter and hopefully, Payton doesn’t drag this out longer than needed.