Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill Will Compete for Saints' Starting QB Job, Per Payton

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

New Orleans Saints quarterbacks Jameis Winston (2) and quarterback Taysom Hill (7) go through drills during practice at their NFL football training facility in Metairie, La., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Pool)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints appear comfortable heading into the 2021 season with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill as their top options to replace Drew Brees at quarterback.

Head coach Sean Payton told Dan Patrick on The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday that "there are a few things that may still be out there, but I see those two competing" to be the starter.

Dan Patrick Show @dpshow

"There's a few things that may still be out there, but I see those two [Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill] competing for the position." -Sean Payton (@SeanPayton) if the #Saints are set at the QB position. https://t.co/SNpPtufZWV

On Sunday, Brees announced his retirement after 20 seasons, including the last 15 with the Saints.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Monday that Winston was re-signing, and ESPN's Adam Schefter added the deal has a maximum value of $12 million.

Hill received an extension from the Saints, though the move was more about creating cap space than anything else. Schefter reported the pact is worth $140 million over four years but that "all years are voidable and it's a mechanism to free up cap space this year."

Even though Payton gave Hill the keys to the offense last season during the four games Brees missed with a rib injury, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Winston would "likely" be the starter.

The 30-year-old Hill went 3-1 as a starter and in 16 games completed 72.7 percent of his passes for 928 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for 457 yards and eight touchdowns on 87 carries.

Winston, who joined the Saints last year after spending five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, attempted 11 passes in four games. He did throw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Tre'Quan Smith in an NFC divisional round loss to the Buccaneers.

As a member of the Bucs in 2019, Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards. He also became the first quarterback in history to throw 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions in the same season.

The Saints have won four consecutive NFC South titles.