Instead, Sean Payton will likely be choosing between two of the most disparate quarterbacks that the league has to offer. There’s Taysom Hill—the bruising rusher with very limited NFL passing experience—and Jameis Winston—a former No. 1 pick who has proven that he can sling it, but is perhaps the league’s most mistake-prone quarterbacks.
The Saints briefly shocked the NFL world with a contract for Hill that, when given a bit of scrutiny, is actually a pretty small deal. He was given a four-year, $140 million deal but in reality, he’s going to make about $11 million for a year. The vast majority of the deal is voidable, made the way it is for salary cap purposes, as the Saints look to get out of one of the most grim salary cap situations we’ve seen for a team this offseason. Many believe that Winston will be the true QB1 for the team, after signing his own one-year deal worth up to $12 million, while Hill may expand on the role he’s had with Brees under center, though it sounds like there will be a legit quarterback battle.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity that both Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston have,” Brees told the New Orleans Saints team website. “I can’t tell you how much fun we had together as a quarterback room, really a great group of guys, a great group of human beings, guys that really love the game of football, love their teammates. We loved to work hard, we loved to push each other. It was highly competitive (but) at the same time, we were all there to support one another and help one another because we just wanted the team to win.”
— NFL (@NFL) January 18, 2021
“As you saw last year, there were moments where Taysom had to start and did a phenomenal job for four games,” Drew Brees continued. “There was a moment where Jameis had to come off the bench in the second half of the 49ers game when I had the ribs and the lung injury. He came in and did a phenomenal job. I’ve seen so much growth and maturity from both of those guys, over the last few years for Taysom and then last year for Jameis. We’ll see how it plays out. It sounds like there’s going to be a pretty good quarterback competition, but it’s going to bring out the best in both of them.”
As Brees said, Hill made four starts when he was out due to injury, going 3-1. He completed 88-of-121 passes for 928 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. He was dangerous as ever on the ground last year, rushing for 457 yards and eight scores, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He also caught eight passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. He was held to just four rushes for 15 yards in the playoffs, though.
Winston was 7-of-11 for 75 yards last season. He did complete his one playoff pass attempt for 56 yards and a touchdown, as shown above.
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