Ever since the 2020 NFL Season ended for the New Orleans Saints, rumors circulated about Drew Brees’ impending retirement. On Sunday, March 14, Brees officially announced his retirement, ending his era in New Orleans.
Now, the attention turns on to his successor: will it be Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill? When Brees was injured in 2020, it was Hill who assumed the New Orleans Saints starting quarterback job. There’s no telling if history will repeat itself, however, BetOnline is leaning towards Winston at -175.
New Orleans Saints Week 1 Starting Quarterback Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Monday, March 15
- Jameis Winston -175
- Taysom Hill +175
- Other +300
Winston the Favorite to Land New Orleans Starting Job
At -175, Jameis Winston is the favorite to start at quarterback for the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL Season. While Winston’s time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a rocky one, he still showed that he’s capable of being a starting quarterback. In 72 games for the Buccaneers, Winston threw for 19,737 yards, 121 touchdowns and 88 interceptions. Although, in his first year with the Saints, he saw minimal playtime and logged just 11 pass attempts as a backup.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said he believes that Winston can be “that guy” for the team on the Great Dane Nation podcast on March 10. While the team still needs to re-sign Winston, the Saints give him the best opportunity to be a starter. If he fails to impress in training camp or he goes back to his interception-throwing ways, the Saints can always replace him with Hill.
Hill Looking to Regain Starter Status for New Orleans Saints
When Brees was injured in the 2020 season, a lot of people thought Winston would takeover. Instead, Taysom Hill got the nod for the New Orleans Saints. He wound up starting in four games at QB, going 3-1-0 with 928 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. However, Hill did most of his damage on the ground. In the 2020 NFL Season, Hill recorded 457 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.
During his time starting for the Saints, Hill showed that he was capable of performing as the starter, even if it was unorthodox. Shortly after Brees retired, Hill signed a four-year, $140 million deal with the Saints. However, the contract is voidable and is being used to save the team some money. Still, it gives the New Orleans Saints some security knowing that they can rely on Hill for the next few years.
Could An Option Emerge From Elsewhere?
While it’s looking like Winston or Hill will start in Week 1 for the New Orleans Saints, BetOnline listed any other option at +300. Maybe Winston doesn’t work out for the Saints. Perhaps the team wants to move Hill back to a tight end/running back role again. If that’s the case, they’ll have to look somewhere else for their new starting quarterback.
For starters, the Saints have been listed as a potential landing spot for quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson via trade. There are also decent QB options in free agency this offseason, like Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick. At the same time, most free agent options aren’t that big of an upgrade over Hill or Winston.
Finding a quarterback who’s ready to start right out of the 2021 NFL Draft could be difficult. The New Orleans Saints have the No. 28 pick, which means most “NFL-ready” options could be off the board by then. Unless they trade up, their starter in Week 1 probably won’t be a 2021 draftee.