Sean Payton: Jameis Winston will have opportunity to win starting job post-Drew Brees

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Mike Florio
·2 min read
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The Saints have three quarterbacks on the roster. Only one of them won a Heisman Trophy, secured a college national championship, and entered the league as the first overall pick in the draft.

And he’s currently on the bottom of the depth chart.

Jameis Winton, thrown overboard by the Buccaneers and coach Bruce Arians after a full season of adopting Arians’ no-risk-it-no-biscuit mantra, currently serves as the backup to the backup with the Saints. Coach Sean Payton recently said that Winston eventually will have a chance to become the starter.

“He’s going to have that opportunity the minute Drew [Brees] leaves,” Payton said on the Huddle & Flow podcast.

Payton, who said in the offseason that 2020 will be the last of Brees’ career before backtracking by calling himself what Fred Sanford always called his son Lamont, strongly hinted again that Brees won’t be back in 2021. Of course, before Winston can compete for the starting job, he’ll need to extend a contract that currently expires after 2020.

The truth is that Winston already is competing for the post-Brees starting job. Payton made it clear during the interview that he made Taysom Hill the starter after Brees suffered umpteen broken ribs primarily because Payton previously promised Hill that he’d get that chance, even before Winston joined the team.

Payton, to his credit, made good on his promise to Hill. It seems that Payton also has promised Winston that he’ll have a chance to supplant Hill in 2021.

The fact that Winston signed with the Saints for 2020 suggests that Winston accepted and relied upon Payton’s promise, and that Hill will re-sign with the Saints. Next year, then, the competition between Hill and Winston will continue, if as expected Brees retires.

Whether Winston can win the competition is a different issue. Hill has much more equity with Payton than Winston, and Hill has played well in four starts. This weekend’s game against the Chiefs could go a long way toward Hill cementing, or jeopardizing, his post-Brees standing.

Sean Payton: Jameis Winston will have opportunity to win starting job post-Drew Brees originally appeared on Pro Football Talk