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New Orleans Saints Need a Future Franchise Quarterback This Off-Season

After some injuries and inconsistencies with Drew Brees, it is time for the New Orleans Saints to looks for a new franchise quarterback.
Saints franchise quarterback

The New Orleans Saints were thrilled to have their franchise quarterback Drew Brees back after missing four games due to 11 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. Having a hurt Brees was supposedly better than having Taysom Hill as their starter as they needed to make a serious run for the top seed in the NFC. This past game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Brees and the Saints struggled to consistently drive the ball. Brees passed for 234 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, and a quarterback rating of 84.7 on 15 completions (out of 34 passing attempts). The Saints lost the game on Sunday afternoon with a 32-29 in a key game. Even before the injury to Brees, it was evident throughout the season that Brees doesn’t have much time left. The Saints will need to make this offseason a priority to find their new franchise quarterback.

New Orleans Saints Need a Future Franchise Quarterback This Off-Season

Jameis Winston Resigns with New Orleans

The Saints needed to sign a backup quarterback to support Brees after Teddy Bridgewater took a large contract to start for the Carolina Panthers. Last season, Winston threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions. After a disappointing season last year, Jameis Winston needed a new outlook to compose himself. Learning under Brees and head coach Sean Payton would help do the trick. He has not gotten the chance to lead the Saints this season as Hill started in the four games in Brees’ absence. Winston signed only a one-year deal worth $1.1 million during the offseason. Payton has confidence in Winston to lead the Saints’ offense which may indicate he may re-sign to be the future of New Orleans. Winston would be the least expensive but talented free-agent quarterback for the Saints this offseason.

Saints Trade for Sam Darnold

The New York Jets are likely looking for a new franchise quarterback despite having problems from the coaching staff. This will leave third-year quarterback Sam Darnold on the trade block needing a new and better opportunity. In the three years with Darnold as the quarterback of the insignificant Jets, Darnold has thrown for 7,656 yards, 42 touchdowns, 37 interceptions, and 362 first downs on a completion percentage of 59.8%. He has been sacked 93 times in those three seasons. With New Orleans trading a potential second-round pick and maybe more, Darnold would significantly improve under the offensive system under Payton. Darnold is a young but highly-talented quarterback with a strong arm. He is a significant running playmaker as well which will make him highly reliable in the schemes of Payton.

Saints Create a Package for Carson Wentz

This has been a difficult year for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as he has regressed significantly. In 12 games this season, Wentz has thrown for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions on 251 completions (out of 437 passing attempts). The Eagles have turned to rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts to be the starter for likely the remainder of the season. If Wentz wants a trade, it will take a lot for both the Eagles and the team trading for him. Wentz is set to earn $15.4 million next year with a potential out in 2022. After that, he has three years left for an average of $22 million. That is a lot for a quarterback who lost support from many NFL personnel.

Payton may be one of the only few offensive coaches that can fix Wentz’s mindset and his problems next season. Wentz has the potential to become the quarterback in 2017 (his second year) that was selected to his first and only Pro Bowl despite tearing his ACL in game 13. That season, Wentz threw for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions on 265 completions (out of 440 passing attempts). The Saints could create a package for Wentz, which might upset Saints Nation. The Saints have a more talented and consistent set of receivers and offensive lineman than Philadelphia does. Wentz would succeed in Payton’s system and could be a multiple time Pro-Bowl selection for New Orleans.

Saints Trade Deeper Into the 2021 NFL Draft

With New Orleans potentially going to the 2021 NFC Conference Championship, they are not going to be in a great position to draft their future franchise quarterback. They will be too high for Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or Zach Wilson. In Payton’s system, Wilson would be perfect due to his dual-threat and high-caliber passing abilities. This upcoming NFL Draft is loaded with first round potential quarterback as most experts believe there will be six selected. There are two more quarterbacks that stick out in terms of how well they will adapt to being in Payton’s system.

Those two quarterbacks are Florida’s Kyle Trask and Alabama’s Mac Jones. Both players have played in a dynamic, high-caliber set of offenses in their own programs. Trask is a consistent playmaker in the mid-range to deep passing game with some surprising athletic attributes. Jones has surprising arm strength and is a great reader of defensive coverage schemes. New Orleans will need to trade up near the beginning of the ’20s or late teens to select either one of those quarterbacks. Under Payton, Trask or Jones will be a great playmaker under center and a potential Pro-Bowl caliber quarterback.

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