Sean Payton gave hints about the New Orleans Saints' quarterback situation for 2021.
What a difference one year makes in New Orleans. Last Super Bowl, Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and Taysom Hill took "Radio Row" by storm with their interviews. Payton was touting Hill as the future. Hill was lobbying for a starting role and new contract in New Orleans, and Drew Brees was still avoiding the neverending question - "Are you retiring or not?"
This season, a few of the same characters, but one new entry is backup quarterback Jameis Winston.
Sean Payton's two interviews with Will Brinson of CBS Sports and NFL Network's GMFB crew members gave us a snippet of loaded information on Brees and Winston.
Payton told Brinson about the Brees retirement decision, "Well, look, I think that's coming in the next week or two. And in the last season, there was a lot of time spent; he [Brees] spent a lot of time. You know there's a wear and tear in these type of years, especially at that position. But, I think that's something that within the next week, week and a half, that he's going to address and announce."
Payton continued, "We've gone through the quarterbacks; of course, we've read all of those players Taysom Hill is in the building, Jameis who's now a free agent that we hope to sign here, sooner than later. We've got pretty good vision with those players. But I think within the next week, we'll know a little bit more."
The dominos will fall into place once Brees decides whether it's time to hang up his cleats after 20 seasons or not. The Saints' "hope to sign" [Jameis Winston] statement clarifies Payton's expectation for the Saints quarterback situation in 2021. Does having Winston onboard become essential for Payton and his offensive strategy to advance towards the free agency period? And, long-term future at QB?
BIG INTEREST IN JAMEIS
On NFL Network, Payton remarked on Winson to Kay Adams, "We had a great exposure for one year, with Jameis Winston. And we didn't have a normal offseason. But, you know, we had enough time to see what we had with him as a player, as a leader, and as an athlete.
I really like what we had a chance to see. He was a tremendous leader for this team, and that's hard to do when you've come in, new in free agency your first year as a backup quarterback."
Payton reinforced his positive impressions of Winston as a quarterback and leader. His belief in Jameis and Taysom could explain why New Orleans did not pursue a Matthew Stafford trade. Developing the quarterback position from within the organization seems to be the focus for the Saints.
"He [Winston] is a free agent, along with Taysom Hill who's [also] in the building. We've said it all along, and we're not going to develop and coach those guys. And Jameis is one of those guys that we have a big interest in."
Drew. Taysom. Or, Jameis. Sean Payton will have a myriad of decisions to make this offseason. Nonetheless, the quarterback, the most important professional football position, New Orleans will need an impact player. Based on Sean Payton's demeanor and affirmations, could Winston be his player of choice?
We shall see.