Jameis Winston Rumors: Saints 'Intrigued' by QB for 2021 Amid Drew Brees Buzz

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2021

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) warms up before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Chicago Bears in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints are reportedly "intrigued by a potential re-signing" of veteran quarterback Jameis Winston amid the uncertainty surrounding Drew Brees' future, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Fowler added that "Taysom Hill's $16 million cap hit is a drain if he's not the starter. New Orleans can win with either option, but questions would persist."

The Saints weren't intrigued enough with Winston to start him over Hill when Brees was injured this season, however. Hill went 3-1 as the starter and in total threw for 928 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in 16 games, completing 72.7 percent of his passes. 

He additionally rushed for 457 yards and eight scores and caught eight passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. 

Hill didn't play poorly as the starter, though his wins came against the Atlanta Falcons (twice) and the Denver Broncos, teams that combined to post a 9-23 record. The Saints also lost his start against the 4-11-1 Philadelphia Eagles. It's fair to question Hill's ability to lead a team as a full-time starter, though his $16.1 million cap hit for next season makes it likely he'll play some role for the team. 

Winston, 27, spent his first five seasons as the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an inconsistent run that saw him throw for 19,737 yards, 121 touchdowns and 88 interceptions while completing 61.3 percent of his passes. 

His ups and downs were on full display in 2019, when he threw for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns under head coach Bruce Arians but also threw 30 interceptions while taking 47 sacks. The Bucs went from 7-9 with Winston, missing the playoffs, to 11-5 this season and a berth in the Super Bowl behind Tom Brady.

There's a strong argument to be made that acquiring an outside option, like perhaps Matt Stafford in a trade, would be a better option for a talented veteran team like the Saints. They'd have some cap space issues to resolve in such a scenario—and would assuredly need to part with at least a first-round pick—but if the Saints are truly in "Super Bowl or bust" mode, well, they need to upgrade over Hill and Winston.