Both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill signed new contracts on Monday, sparking the QB1 battle debate early into free agency. Here are the cases for both QB’s and the Saints other options to start after the retirement of New Orleans legend Drew Brees.
Taysom Hill restructured his contract to include 4 automatically voiding years at $140M. This may sound like a big deal, but in reality, Taysom didn’t get any new money and this move was purely for the Saints to come under the salary cap.
Jameis on the other hand signed a new 1 year $12M contract. Neither of these contracts are great for the players. What’s great, however, is the opportunity to become Drew Brees’ heir and play for one of the best rosters in the league, under one of the leagues greatest offensive minds in HC Sean Payton.
— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) March 15, 2021
The case for Jameis Winston:
“Jameis Winston, we had a good year to work with, and he’s someone — I said it on record already — we’d like to sign back.” That’s what HC Sean Payton had to say for Jameis on the Great Dane Podcast last week. “I’d like to see him competing to be that guy.” Payton had also said previously that he believed Winston was “fantastic as a leader” and had “tremendous arm talent”.
Jameis Winston isn’t a sure thing to light up an offence. However, he is younger than 30 year old Taysom Hill. The 27 year old also lead the league with 5,109 yards in 2019 as a Buccaneer so we know his ceiling his sky high. Also, with Taysom Hill’s versatility as rusher and a receiver, Jameis Winston could have the edge to start over Taysom Hill.
Being the former No. 1 pick in 2015, and having shown glimpses of absolute magic over his first 5 seasons, it’s a surety that Jameis Winston probably has as much potential as any QB coming up in the loaded 2021 draft.
But there are huge thorns in Jameis’ game. In his league leading 5000+ yard season as a passer, he also led the league with a mammoth 30 interceptions. He has an accuracy issue and is a turnover waiting to happen. But to his credit, Jamies Winston made major moves to improve his game including a LASIK surgery on his eyes.
“Lets rock and roll, baby.”
With Drew Brees announcing his retirement, do you believe Jameis Winston will start Week 1 in New Orleans? pic.twitter.com/uvbu4hAia4
— GMFB (@gmfb) March 15, 2021
The case for Taysom Hill
Taysom Hill is stud no doubt. But he is often feared more for his outstanding rushing ability than his arm talent. He did go 3-1 as a starter and completed an impressive 72% of his passes. Hill threw for 834 yards, 4 scores and 2 interceptions in his 4 starts but that doesn’t cement his place as the starter for 2021 and here’s why:
Taysom needs to improve his anticipation and decision-making once he gets past his first or second read. He was sloppy with the ball, fumbling it 10 times in 2020, losing 5 of them. Taysom Hill was also caught in the pocket often because he held onto the ball for too long, a surprise for a star rusher like him. But all of those issues can be resolved by calling more run plays for him to exploit defences.
Taysom Hill signed a 140 million dollar contract worth 20 million dollars https://t.co/cyKiCy0zOK
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) March 14, 2021
What about the draft?
It would take an absolute mammoth effort for the Saints to move up from 28 on the draft board and get one of the 5 stud quarterbacks expected to go in the first round. Draft analysts have all the 5 quarterbacks going within the first 15 picks so the Saints would have to trade quite a few picks if they wish to move up. Other options in the draft could be Heisman finalist Kyle Trask or Jamie Newman out of Wake forest.
2021 NFL Mock Draft (@PFF_Brad):
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence
2. Jets: Zach Wilson
3. Falcons (via MIA): Trey Lance
4. Dolphins (via ATL): Ja’Marr Chase
5. Bengals: Penei Sewellhttps://t.co/jDPDuD4GLr
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 16, 2021
The 2 five star QB’s on the market are Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. The problem, however, is that the Saints were a projected $60M over the cap before free agency and would have to make major moves to be able to compete with other teams in the QB market.
Other QB’s in the market are Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo, Marcus Mariota, Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa.
The Saints obviously like Bridgewater after he spent two years in New Orleans, and they liked Garoppolo when he was coming out in the draft. But Bridgewater is due $39 million over the next two years, while Garoppolo is due more than $50 million over the next two years which would be unaffordable.
For right now, Jameis Winston & Taysom Hill seem like the most likely options.