This NFL off-season for quarterbacks is sure to be tumultuous. The New Orleans Saints await the retirement decision from Drew Brees. This decision should come quickly, as the scramble for quarterbacks has already started. Even though he is a free agent, the Saints starting job appears to be within grasp for Jameis Winston. Winston spent the 2020 season behind Drew Brees and Taysom Hill. If Brees does retire, it is likely that Winston gets the starting job over Hill if both are on the team in 2021. Winston has never quarterbacked an offense as the Saints have. The Jameis Winston prospects for the New Orleans Saints remains high.
Projecting the New Orleans Saints Offense With Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston has never had the opportunity to quarterback an offense as prolific as the New Orleans Saints. Year after year Sean Payton has led the Saints offense to top of the league finishes for the overall offense. In Sean Payton’s 14 years as the Saints head coach, the offense has finished within the top 10 points scored 12 years. Remarkably, Payton’s offense with the Saints has never finished below 12th in points scored. Sean Payton’s offense could surely elevate Jameis Winston’s game to equal the Saints success. Payton’s offensive statistics directly contrasts with the coaches Jameis Winston has previously played for.
Dirk Koetter was the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Jameis Winston’s rookie year. Koetter was promoted to head coach in Winston’s second season. In Koetter’s entire 14-year career as a coordinator and head coach, his offense finished in the top 10 just twice. One of those seasons was in 2012 with the incredibly talented Atlanta Falcons. That team was made up of Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones, and Matt Ryan. Outside of those two seasons, Koetter’s offense ranked in the bottom half of the league in eight of his 14 seasons. When Todd Monken took over as offensive coordinator after Koetter’s promotion, the Tampa Bay offense was not much better. Monken and Koetter had the 12th and 18th(twice) offense by points scored in their three seasons together. The Saints offense is much better than any Winston has played for previously.
Quarterback Availability for 2021 Season
The New Orleans Saints did not sign Jameis Winston to a 2021 contact yet. Winston signed a one year contract in 2020 but spent the year learning behind Drew Brees. Taysom Hill, not Winston, started the games that Brees missed due to injury. It was Winston and Brees though that shared a moment in the closing seconds of the Saints playoff loss. Brees seemed to endorse Winston’s future as a starter in the NFL. In an interview with NFL on Fox, Winston shared that Brees told him “you got it” in regards to Winston’s future. Winston also stated, “I want to be part of an organization that’s ready to win, that’s willing to win because all I’m focused on is winning.” These facts together would seem to indicate the likely return of Winston to New Orleans.
Other potential scenarios do exist for the New Orleans Saints. Taysom Hill is already under contract with the Saints for 2021. Marque names also have the potential to move this off-season. Dak Prescott is not under contract currently, but likely to be franchise tagged. Deshaun Watson has expressed his desire to leave the Houston Texans. Sam Darnold could be shown the door by the Jets who have the number two draft pick. Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz have both expressed frustration with their organizations. With Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff already swapping teams, this quarterback situation will give the NFL off-season great interest. Even with these available names, the Jameis Winston prospects for the Saints still remains high.
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