The battle will take place between Brees’ two returning backups: Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston. On Mar. 15, Hill signed a four-year, $140 million contract extension with the team. Winston followed soon after, signing a one-year, $12 million deal the next day.
When Brees suffered multiple broken ribs late in the 2020 season, Hill took over as the New Orleans starter. Through a four-game stretch as QB1, the versatile offensive weapon led the Saints to a 3-1 record behind 834 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and two interceptions.
While Hill was the primary backup in 2020, Winston is considered the favorite to take over as starter in 2021. But, according to head coach Sean Payton, there will still be a competition for the position during this offseason.
Winston says he welcomes that challenge.
“I embrace every competition and I know Taysom is a competitive guy as well,” Winston said, per John DeShazier of neworleanssaints.com. “I’m excited to be getting back with this team and being around him, being in that room with him again, competing and challenging each other and leading a team to where we want to be. Because I know that’s what we both want. We both want the Lombardi Trophy. We both want that. I think that’s something that I experienced last year that will impact me forever, is being able to play in those meaningful games, being in the playoffs, competing with your teammates to a deeper level. And that’s what I’m about, competing and winning games. And that’s what we’re gonna do.”
After leading the NFL in passing attempts (626) and passing yards (5,109) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019, Winston saw a massive decrease in playing time as the Saints third stringer in 2020. Through time in just four games, the former Pro Bowler threw 7/11 for 75 yards and zero touchdowns during the regular season.
With uncertainty surrounding the new-look Saints, the franchise certainly hopes Winston can return to his peak form.
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