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Why I’m now resigned to the fact that Jameis Winston will be our quarterback:


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Why I’m now resigned to the fact that Jameis Winston will be our quarterback:

 

 

I’ll admit, I have flip flopped on Jameis Winston more in the last few weeks than a NBA veteran. I’ve tried to come up with or convince myself of any and every reason why Sean Payton is just smoke screening us with all the talk of the quarterback “being in the building already". I simply cannot get Winston’s poor play in 2019 out of my head, my gut clearly tells me that he’s not the guy and that there are some things that simply cannot be fixed.

 

Having said that… I also can’t get Winston’s good play in 2019 out of my head. I realize he has a very enticing skill set and physical tools. I want to believe that Sean Payton can coach and scheme the INTs out of Winston’s game. I love the fact that he’s been with the team for a year basically redshirting, something he’s never been able to do. I wanna convince myself that his off-season lasik eye surgery can in some crazy way justify his 30 INTs in 2019 and be a reason for optimism moving forward. I ask myself all the time “would the Bucs have moved on from Winston if the GOAT didn’t want to go to Tampa"? So I had a “come to Jesus” moment last night running these thoughts through my head and I decided to jot down the 10 reasons why I feel the Saints appear to be so dead set on bringing Winston back and giving him his shot as the starter…

 

 

Reason 1: They (Saints) know now exactly what Taysom Hill is and what he’s not.

Regardless of why Hill was inserted as the starter in 2020 during Drew Brees absence is irrelevant what is important is what the front office and coaching staff learned during that 4 game stretch. What the Saints learned was that while Hill is a player that can fill in at multiple roles and be the ultimate spark plug for a team, a franchise quarterback he is not. Can he fill in and play good football and win you some games, yes … albeit in a condensed offense but he is not a player you could or should build a franchise around and that’s ok. The Saints still will hope Hill is part of their future, just not as a starting quarterback so they know they must find another option.

 

 

Reason 2: The Saints have very little assets to look outside the organization.

One great thing about Winston that makes Winston very attractive to the Saints… he takes zero assets to obtain outside of a team friendly short term contract. Sure there might be better options outside the organization like DeSean Watson, Matt Stafford or even Sam Darnold but look what a 32 year old Matt Stafford was able to bring in from the Rams via trade, can you imagine what Watson would cost? Even Darnold might cost upwards of the 28th overall pick to acquire. The Saints could turn to the draft but were talking about possibly sacrificing multiple 1st round picks or more via trade in order to get up high enough for a prospect that can make a difference. Even if the Saints were to sit pat at 28 and a player like Mac Jones falls to them, your still investing your 1st round pick into him, is Mac Jones really that much better than Jameis Winston plus a 1st round pick? I don’t think so, the Saints realize that with the cap situation their in they will need to accumulate draft assets not trade them. Mickey Loomis recently stated that he sees no reason why the Saints would not do whatever needed to compete for a championship with the roster they have and stressed that the Saints are not in a rebuilding mode. This has all the vibes of a team looking for a veteran leader at the quarterback position and Jameis Winston is the best available to New Orleans that fits that mold and their needs at their cost.

 

 

Reason 3: Jameis Winston really has no other options better than the Saints.

We all know as fans that there is really only 1 reason that could prevent Winston from resigning with the Saints… and that’s if another team offers him way more money, money they know the Saints can’t offer. Lets take a look at what Winston’s options really are…

 

The Bears? Really, Winston’s gonna hitch his wagon and career in a make or break year for both GM Ryan Pace and HC Matt Nagy? He’s gonna do that on a team about to lose their top offensive weapon in free agency playing outside in the freezing cold? Nagy, remember what Winston said when he first signed with the Saints… he was offered more money elsewhere but choose the Saints because he’s looking at the long term future of his career. Sure the Bears can toss a bunch of money at Winston but will they really and would that even be enough if he knows he has the inside track to start in NOLA?

 

The Colts? At glance this would look to be an attractive option for Winston. The Colts have a good young roster with a quarterback friendly head coach but Colts GM Chris Ballard has shown a tendency to find fill in players at the position while he continues to build  the overall roster. How would Ballard really view Winston other than just that. There is a sense building in league circles that Ballard is biding time for the eventual return of Andrew Luck and does not want to make a long term decision at the position until he knows for a fact that Luck has completely shut the door on a NFL return.

 

The Patriots? Granted this might end up as the Saints top competition for Winston as Jameis could see an easier path to starting and playing for legendary coach Bill Belichick could be tempting. The issue comes when Winston and his agent begin to compare the rosters between the Saints and Patriots, it wouldn’t take long for Winston to realize that his career rebirth as a starter would be at the mercy of a depleted roster and a offensive coordinator that could leave to be a head coach at any moment.

 

The Steelers? Playing for Mike Tomlin could be an attractive option but is Winston willing to do the same thing he did this season with the Saints with the Steelers in 2021 as he awaits Big Ben to retire? Nagh, why would he not take his shot with the Saints and be a starter this year with the opportunity to play the team that tossed him aside twice a year for the rest of his career.

 

The fact is that while Jameis Winston may have other options in free agency, the really only smart option for him is to return to New Orleans in 2021.

 

 

Reason 4: Physically, Jameis Winston is exactly what the Saints need at quarterback.

Winston was the #1 overall pick for a reason. His size and arm talent is evident and he’s got the intangibles the Saints covet at the position. If his decision making can improve, Winston could actually realize his enormous potential under Sean Payton in New Orleans but that’s a big “if". On the huff, Winston looks like a #1 overall pick and a NFL starting quarterback. He has actually played like one as well. As a freshman at Florida State Winston completed nearly 67% of his passes for over 4000 yards, 40 touchdowns and 10 INTs and won a National Championship as well as the Heisman Trophy. Two years later he was the #1 overall pick and in his rookie season on a bad team Winston completed 58% of his passes for over 4000 yards with 22 touchdowns and 15 INTs. This was with a defensive minded coaching staff. Winston has talent… he’s a dam good quarterback he just needs better direction. Its exciting to imagine what Winston can become under Sean Payton’s tutelage, could it be a disaster… sure but is it worth finding out in 2021, absolutely!

 

 

Reason 5: Jameis Winston has already developed a good relationship with Taysom Hill.

Why would this be important? Taysom Hill is a Sean Payton favorite and that’s not going to change and Hill will be on the Saints roster in 2021. Both players will be the vocal point in the quarterback room moving forward and regardless who is the starter, Hill will have a role on offense and a package of plays Payton will utilize at times during games. I also feel Payton will try to convince Hill in 2021 to return to New Orleans beyond next season in his do it all gadget role instead of looking for opportunities to start elsewhere. Therefore Winston’s relationship with Hill will be vital to his success moving forward. Hill has the respect of the football team and if Winston earns Hill’s respect and acceptance it will go a long way towards Winston winning over the rest of the team.

 

 

Reason 6: Where would you draft Jameis Winston compared to other quarterbacks in the draft?

This reason happens to be a question. Imagine Winston could reenter the draft this year, compare him to other quarterbacks and where would you draft him in relation to those guys? Winston has about an average of 4 years on each prospect at 26 years old but Chris Winke was once a 28 year old 1st round pick. He’s got a National Championship and Heisman Trophy under his belt along with 5 years of NFL experience under his belt one in which was a redshirt year sitting annealing behind a future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and learning under one of the best offensive minds in Sean Payton. On top of that his physical traits stand out, he’s still 6’5” 230 lbs with incredible arm talent. Your gonna try and tell me Winston doesn’t go in the 1st round? I’m at a loss at how quickly the NFL and teams cast these young guys aside. What if the Saints viewed Drew Brees like that in 2006? Oh well he didn’t work in San Diego so why bring him here? Its ridiculous.

 

 

Reason 7: Jameis Winston’s arm talent opens up the entire Sean Payton playbook.

Its been hard at times watching the Saints offense over the last 3-4 years. Yes I know that statically they have always been up there but their limitations were evident and it always reared its ugly head in the postseason where the defenses are better, refs hold their flags and teams force you to do what they know what you don’t want to. Its here where Brees diminishing arm strength was becoming more and more of an issue until it culminated in what we saw vs the Buccaneers a few weeks ago.

 

All that changes when Sean Payton inserts Winston into the starting lineup. Admit it, when Winston threw that 60 yard bomb to Tre'Quan against the Bucs you thought “about frickin time" right? That’s what this offense has been missing. I realize it was on a trick play but just the threat of a quarterback that is capable of pushing the ball down field like that does wonders for both your passing and running game. Make no mistake about it, if Winston is the Saints starter in 2021 opposing defensive coordinators will remember that throw, it will be in their minds and the field will open up for Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply by Winston’s presence alone. It will also boost the vue of a player like Tre'Quan Smith who caught that bomb. Smith has mostly been viewed as a disappointment  during his time in New Orleans but even during his time at Central Florida, he has been a deep threat and lately he’s been a deep threat on a team with a starting quarterback that couldn’t  throw deep.

 

 

Reason 8: Winston’s risk vs reward favors the Saints

If Winston returns and hits, the Saints now have their next franchise quarterback at 26 years old on a talented roster. If he falters then what are the Saints really losing? Now Winston won’t resign for free and he will have some suitors so the Saints will have to at least be competitive with their offer but no team will be willing to go all in with Winston on a long term deal. Now the Saints will need 2021 cap relief so odds are it will be a 2 year deal similar to the one Taysom Hill signed last off-season where Hills cap hit in year one was 4.8 million and 16.1 million this year. So the Saints could offer Winston say a 2 year 25 million dollar deal with a 5 to 6 million dollar cap hit in 2021 with the rest coming in year two with voidable money if released or traded just like Hill has in his deal. This gives Winston a sizable increase in pay and his shot as the starting quarterback of the New Orleans Saints while the Saints get the quarterback they need at the cost they need him at. It also keeps Winston signed through 2022 on a manageable cap number if he was to impress and become the future of the franchise.

 

 

Reason 9: Sean Payton’s ego

Its becoming more and more clear to me that the thing Sean Payton covets more so than drafting and developing a quarterback to succeed in the NFL is taking someone else’s cast-off and succeeding where those teams have failed. It no doubt strokes his ego, he did it with Drew Brees, he did it with undrafted Tony Romo and Taysom Hill and now he’s looking at this physically gifted crazy talented former #1 overall pick cast off from a division rival Jameis Winston and he’s drooling at the idea of turing him into the 2021 comeback player of the year. Payton has been here for 15 years now and if you haven’t caught on to the fact that Payton’s ego is one of the biggest in the NFL then you haven’t been paying attention.

 

 

Reason 10: Drew Brees retirement

Make no mistake about this… Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton fully understand what Drew Brees did for their careers. With Brees now gone, Loomis and Payton no longer have that built in protection plan any longer making them vulnerable if the loses start to pile up. Now because of what Loomis, Payton and Brees were able to accomplish during their time together in New Orleans they have built up some built in equity with the fan base and ownership so they know that they have a few years to stumble before expectations better start becoming reality. The gamble on Winston in 2021 has the potential to set these two up for another 10 year run in the Big Easy at their high salaries if it works out and if it doesn’t they still have a year or two to get it right beyond 2021. Either way, Winston is kinda like house money for this Saints front office and they'll use that up and see what happens before they get desperate and push all their chips to the middle of the table on someone else.

 

 

 

WHODAT

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Payton's interview went straight to Winston, with no hesitation.

I can't help but to think of what our team would look like if we had a guy who could stretch the field. Even look at what Brady did to Green Bay last weekend. That changes the entire defense. Whereas we've not had that ability, and then when we did put in the big gun, things changed.

Winston needs to get a chance. I hope they can figure out how to pay him.

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This interview was 5 days ago... Winston mentions what he wants in his next team but if you really listen to his demeanor he comes off as if he already knows what team that will be, just for his agent sake he does not mention returning to the Saints but its clear through his praise of Brees and Payton that this is where he wants to be.

 

That comment on free agency... "it comes down to winning, I wanna be somewhere that wants to win thats committed to winning".

 

What better option is he gonna get outside of the Saints???

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For Winston his best case scenario is resigning with us given he had a year to learn the playbook/team culture, then add in we have one of the most talented rosters in the league...This is undoubtedly the best situation for him if our organization wants to go that route.

At this point, I'll be surprised if our 2021 QB isn't one of 2 players...Either Jameis Winston or Mac Jones. Sean Payton's comments today can be interpreted a couple different ways here. He obviously at face value in his interview was very high on Jameis Winston and I have no doubt he views him as the guy over Hill out of those 2 QB's.

That said, his comments in regards to Patrick Mahomes in that interview got my attention a little bit. Sean Payton went on to discuss how teams need to do their best to mask their intentions in these situations in reference to when the Saints were really close to drafting Mahomes and had met with him before the draft. After giving Winston a glowing review...He made no mention of talented QB prospects in the draft during the interview. We know the Saints met with Mac Jones at the Senior Bowl and that it apparently went pretty well according to sources. Very well could be a smokescreen here by Payton to hide his intentions...Or maybe we really just go with Winston. Either way my money is on Winston or Mac Jones as our 2021 QB.

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55 minutes ago, tyler735 said:

For Winston his best case scenario is resigning with us given he had a year to learn the playbook/team culture, then add in we have one of the most talented rosters in the league...This is undoubtedly the best situation for him if our organization wants to go that route.

At this point, I'll be surprised if our 2021 QB isn't one of 2 players...Either Jameis Winston or Mac Jones. Sean Payton's comments today can be interpreted a couple different ways here. He obviously at face value in his interview was very high on Jameis Winston and I have no doubt he views him as the guy over Hill out of those 2 QB's.

That said, his comments in regards to Patrick Mahomes in that interview got my attention a little bit. Sean Payton went on to discuss how teams need to do their best to mask their intentions in these situations in reference to when the Saints were really close to drafting Mahomes and had met with him before the draft. After giving Winston a glowing review...He made no mention of talented QB prospects in the draft during the interview. We know the Saints met with Mac Jones at the Senior Bowl and that it apparently went pretty well according to sources. Very well could be a smokescreen here by Payton to hide his intentions...Or maybe we really just go with Winston. Either way my money is on Winston or Mac Jones as our 2021 QB.

Might be a scenario where if they don't find a way to keep Winston he's going to try and get Mac Jones, but if he does keep Winston then Jones is out of the picture.  Either way there is a plan in motion to have their next QB.  Only problem would be if Winston signs elsewhere and then Mac Jones is drafted higher than expected.

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58 minutes ago, Raves said:

Might be a scenario where if they don't find a way to keep Winston he's going to try and get Mac Jones, but if he does keep Winston then Jones is out of the picture.  Either way there is a plan in motion to have their next QB.  Only problem would be if Winston signs elsewhere and then Mac Jones is drafted higher than expected.

Yeah definitely looks like they have a plan in motion here

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2 hours ago, Raves said:

Might be a scenario where if they don't find a way to keep Winston he's going to try and get Mac Jones, but if he does keep Winston then Jones is out of the picture.  Either way there is a plan in motion to have their next QB.  Only problem would be if Winston signs elsewhere and then Mac Jones is drafted higher than expected.

I personally feel people will be shocked at how high Jones goes... NFL scouts are high on him and despite being less mobile I have him as a better prospect than Daniel Jones whom the Giants drafted 6th overall.

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1 hour ago, tyler735 said:

Yeah definitely looks like they have a plan in motion here

Either way... its kinda clear to me that Hill isn't thought of as an option to start unless we miss out on Winston and the draft. When Payton said they have a clear vision for both quarterbacks, I see Winston as the starter with Hill resuming his multi task role with a package here and there at quarterback  just like he did with Brees.

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Also... anyone else feel like it was calculated with Payton going on all these national media outlets confessing his love and want for Winston?

 

It's like he's doing all he can to make sure Winston knows how serious he is about him.

 

Either that or he's using Winston to throw up a major smokescreen. 

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So Sean Payton comments that... "I'd like to get Winston signed sooner rather than later"

 

Winston makes the comment that... "free agency to me is all about winning, I want to win and I want to be somewhere thats committed to winning".

 

So heres my theory... Sean Payton has tremendous respect for Drew Brees, he fully understands what Drew means and has ment to the city of New Orleans. He knows how beloved Brees is here. Winston also has great admiration and appreciation for Brees as well.

 

They both know that once the Superbowl has come and gone, Brees and the Saints organization will have a press conference where Brees will formally announce his retirement sending him out properly and with respect, the organization will give Drew his moment and allow the city to say goodbye the right way.

 

Payton and Winston both do not want to do anything that overshadows that.

 

Once that day has passed, I expect the Saints to announce that they have resigned Winston. Even before free agency opens. The reason is this... Payton has now done went on every national podcast professing his love for Winston and how much he wants him back. Also Winston himself has now stated free agency is only about winning for him so its not about money so why then would Winston have to wait for free agency is the Saints are willing to strike a deal?

 

The only reason to hold out till free agency is to extract the most amount of money as you can and if you do that then its not just about winning and you then run the risk of pricing yourself out of the Saints price range. 

 

So here's my outlook... once Brees announces his retirement, as much as the Saints would love to retain Winston. If Winston isn't willing to hammer out a deal before free agency opens then the Saints will move into whatever their plan B is. I'm sure Winston and the organization has already had these conversations and with Payton already willing to speak so openly about Winston returning, I personally feel the deal has already been struck and their just waiting till after the Brees announcement to announce Winston's new deal. I feel Payton spewing all this love for Winston on national media is to begin the process for everyone outside the organization to begin to accept the fact that Jameis Winston will in fact be the next starting quarterback of the New Orleans Saints and heir to Drew Brees moving forward.

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15 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

Also... anyone else feel like it was calculated with Payton going on all these national media outlets confessing his love and want for Winston?

It's like he's doing all he can to make sure Winston knows how serious he is about him.

He's done this in the past, and ultimately signed the player in mention. With MT's hold out, with Kamara, even with Drew a few years ago. I don't think this is smoke screen talk.

To boot, Payton also talks about their culture and transparency. He's developing quite the reputation with his team that he can be taken at face value. 

And yes, the comment of "holding the cards tight to the vest" didn't go unnoticed. Sign Winston, and take what you can get in the draft. THAT is the smoke screen. If they sign Winston, NOBODY will be looking for him to make a move to get Jones, or whatever QB he may be targeting, if any.

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5 hours ago, Mid Iowa said:

He's done this in the past, and ultimately signed the player in mention. With MT's hold out, with Kamara, even with Drew a few years ago. I don't think this is smoke screen talk.

To boot, Payton also talks about their culture and transparency. He's developing quite the reputation with his team that he can be taken at face value. 

And yes, the comment of "holding the cards tight to the vest" didn't go unnoticed. Sign Winston, and take what you can get in the draft. THAT is the smoke screen. If they sign Winston, NOBODY will be looking for him to make a move to get Jones, or whatever QB he may be targeting, if any.

I don't know man... I feel as if Payton has very little interest in developing a highly drafted quarterback. Yes he wanted Mahomes but Mahomes was different, Payton has said that Mahomes was the highest graded QB he's ever scouted. I don't feel the Saints will draft a QB just for the sake of drafting one. With Jameis back I would look more so at a mid-tier guy that he can develop behind Winston and Hill who has zero pressure to start anytime soon. 

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On 2/3/2021 at 5:54 PM, Raves said:

Might be a scenario where if they don't find a way to keep Winston he's going to try and get Mac Jones, but if he does keep Winston then Jones is out of the picture.  Either way there is a plan in motion to have their next QB.  Only problem would be if Winston signs elsewhere and then Mac Jones is drafted higher than expected.

Just a hypertethical here... what if Payton has already decided to go with Hill as the Starter and draft a rookie to back him up but is doing all this Jameis talk and hype to help drive his price and interest up in free agency as a favor to him for signing with us last season and providing depth but actually in reality has no intentions of actually resigning him???

 

Sounds like a long shot but could it be possible???

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45 minutes ago, whodatworm23 said:

Just a hypertethical here... what if Payton has already decided to go with Hill as the Starter and draft a rookie to back him up but is doing all this Jameis talk and hype to help drive his price and interest up in free agency as a favor to him for signing with us last season and providing depth but actually in reality has no intentions of actually resigning him???

 

Sounds like a long shot but could it be possible???

I mean why not?  I'm a firm believer that Payton either wants Winston or someone that they draft this year as the QB going forward and having Hill to be the defacto starter to make the rookie have to fight for the starting job isn't a bad situation either.  At worst we have a solid starter in Hill who can win some games while the rookie gets to learn the system more and at best the rookie beats out Hill meaning we should expect big things from them.

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