Drew Brees officially announced his retirement on 3/14/2021. He has had a Hall of Fame career that now has come to an end, and for the First time since 2006, the Saints are on the hunt for a new Franchise QB. Replacing Drew Brees will not be an easy task for New Orleans. In 15 years with the Saints, Drew Brees has led the Saints to nine Playoff appearances and won the Super Bowl in 2009. Brees has not only been their best player, but he was their team leader and one of the most respected players in the league. It’s not only what he does on the field, but the leadership he brings to the team will surely be missed.
The Saints have been Championship Contenders for the past four seasons, and just last year, they were ranked in the top 5 for offense rating (overall). This was in huge part thanks to what Brees did before he was injured. New Orleans is filled with offensive weapons, but you will need someone to get the ball to them. Alvina Kamara is signed with the team through 2026, and Michael Thomas is signed through 2025. They are deeply invested with their current offense, which is led by the two stars now, but they have been used to not having Brees in the past two seasons due to injuries.
Sean Payton does have two potentially starting QuarterBacks in Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, but just days away from the start of free agency, the answer might not be so clear. Let’s take a look at a couple of possible Drew Brees replacements below.
Jameis Winston just signed a 1 year, $12 million contract today to stay with the Saints. The former #1 overall draft pick is coming off being a third-string QB with New Orleans last season. He played five seasons with the Buccaneers and had a very up and down career. In his last season with the Bucs, he threw for 33 touchdowns but also threw 30 touchdowns. Since he was with the Bucs, one of his major concerns were his accuracy and simply turning the ball over. He served as the backup to Taysom Hill when Drew Brees got hurt.
The 31-year-old Taysom Hill is under contract through this season as well. He was the starter while Drew Brees was out, and we were finally able to see him play Quarterback for the first time. It is no secret that he is an important piece of their offense. He has played basically every position on offense since entering the league. He was impressive while Drew Brees was out and seemed to have control of the offense. The Saints seem to want to keep hill, but the question will remain if they plan on keeping him to be their starting Quarterback or remain in his current role where he plays basically everywhere?
As we enter Free agency, there are a lot of rumors as to what could happen. Russell Wilson has named the Saints one of his preferred destinations if he is potentially traded. It is interesting to see what the Saints might want to do, but their offense has been explosive for years thanks to Drew Brees, and surely Sean Payton expects his offense to be one of the best in the league.
Although a trade might be more entertaining for football fans, I personally do not see them going that route. With both QB’s on a one-year contract, it seems that the Saints might have a trial year with both Quarterbacks being evaluated for their worth. Jameis Winston has more experience under center in the NFL, and the Swiss Army knife Taysom hill only has four games as a starter. No doubt the Saints have a difficult decision to make.