New Orleans Saints training camp quarterback depth chart
By Kristen Wong
In 2021, there will be a new starting quarterback in the New Orleans Saints offensive lineup who won’t be donning number nine on the field.
And so goes the changing of the guard.
Here are the Saints’ quarterback options for next season ranked from most likely to start to least likely to start:
1. Jameis Winston
2. Taysom Hill
3. Ian Book
4. Trevor Siemian
The Winston-Hill rivalry rages on with Winston getting a slight edge due to his youth and experience. Winston threw for nearly 20,000 yards in five seasons at Tampa, 5,000 of which came in his last season when he also threw a career-high 33 touchdowns.
In New Orleans last year, Winston threw for just 75 yards in four games with a measly pass completion rate of 63.6 percent but he wasn’t on the field much. Neither Winston nor Hill can even dream of touching Brees’ pass completion rates – or any of his numbers, for that matter – but these two remain the frontrunners for the starting quarterback job, with Winston just a step ahead.
Yet Winston’s obscenely high interception rate will give Hill plenty of chances to break into the roster. After all, when Brees injured his rib and missed games last season, Sean Payton picked Hill over Winston to start.
Hill’s versatile talents as a kind of all-in-one Swiss army player continue to draw concern over just how well he can fit in a traditional quarterback mold. Keep an eye on how the Winston-Hill battle plays out.
New Orleans Saints: A quick look at quarterback options going into training camp
As for the second-stringers of second-stringers, Ian Book and Trevor Siemian round out the rest of the quarterback depth chart. The fact that the Saints nabbed Book in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft relegates Siemian to the very last, unless-the-other-three-somehow-get-injured-he-won’t-play position.
Rather than pull the trigger for, say, a quality wide receiver, the Saints picked up Book presumably to include him in the franchise’s grand plans for the future. Winston’s short-term deal and Hill’s heavily asterisked contract (it has “three voidable years”) don’t leave the Saints with many stable options at the helm, and Payton might see a little something in Book, too.
At six feet tall, Book is on the smaller side, but so was Brees when he first started. The 23-year-old star for Notre Dame completed 63.8 percent of his passes for nearly 9,000 yards and 72 touchdowns. Remember, he’s just a rookie, but he’s shown promise already by not being as prone to interceptions as Winston is (Book recorded just 20 in four years).
Trevor Siemian, who somehow earned the nickname “T-Money Sizzle” during his career, has seemingly “sizzled” out. The Saints are his fourth team in six seasons: he was signed by the Saints as insurance after Brees’ injury in 2020 but then was waived before the playoffs.
New Orleans recently signed the veteran on a reserve-futures contract, but his below-60 percent completed passing numbers will keep him on the bench. And competing with a rookie for the No. 3 quarterback spot? That’s got to wound his ego a bit. Pride aside, Siemian is on the New Orleans roster for a reason and will be happy to help in any way he can.
Are any of these four signal-callers worthy of claiming Brees’ throne? The answer is probably not…not yet, at least. It’ll be interesting to see how Payton makes the most of this Saints quarterback group this season.