Based off all the reports, it seems as if Drew Brees has played his final NFL game for the New Orleans Saints and the team will have to find his replacement at the quarterback position. There are many options available via the NFL Draft or NFL Free Agency, but the goal is still the same, find a reliable replacement.
It’s going to be difficult, and nearly impossible to find another quarterback that can be anything similar to Brees, but they won’t win if they don’t try. Sean Payton believes the future of the franchise is “in house,” but those guys have their concerns as well.
Taysom Hill fumbled the ball 11 times this season and was up and down under center at the quarterback position. Jameis Winston played well in his limited snaps this season, but a season ago he threw 30 interceptions. Winston is the best bet to replace Brees if they keep the job in house, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look elsewhere as well.
The Saints are coming off of a season where they lost in the divisional round of the playoffs and they will need to address the most important position on the field next season. Here’s a look at four potential replacements the Saints should consider next season.
Number One: Deshaun Watson
The New Orleans Saints, along with a handful of other teams, need to be in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes this offseason. Watson, who has been unhappy with the Texans’ front office and the level of disrespect they have given him, has basically requested a trade without specifically saying the words.
The Saints, who have a ton of talent to build around, seem like a very logical option for the Texans to consider trading him to. The Texans likely won’t want him to play in their division or possibly even in the AFC for that matter and the Saints would be able to give Houston a lot for their franchise quarterback.
If the Saints formed a package around 2019 Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas, a 2021 First Round Draft pick, a 2022 first round draft pick, and two third round draft picks, they could very well work out a deal. If that’s still not enough, they could also opt to throw Taysom Hill into the package, who could fill their void at the quarterback position for a season until they find a better option.
The two sides could work something out, and Watson could thrive and be an MVP caliber player in New Orleans.
Number Two: Jameis Winston
After his long touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith against the Buccaneers, many people believe the Saints could opt to re sign backup quarterback Jameis Winston to replace Drew Brees at the helm in New Orleans. Winston, 27, is a very good quarterback who has tossed over 5,000 yards in an NFL season and led the NFL in passing yards, which makes Winston a priority for the Saints to bring back this offseason.
Winston signed a cheeky one-year deal worth just over $1 million to learn behind Drew Brees and Sean Payton, which could pay off if the Saints choose to make him the starting quarterback moving forward. Winston is no scrub, as he’s a former number one overall pick by the Buccaneers and has played in one Pro Bowl.
He has been praised heavily by the entire Saints coaching staff and they could look to bring him back as the full-time starter moving forward. Winston showed flashes of greatness, especially with his deep ball, which could be extremely appealing for Payton and the Saints offense moving forward.
Number Three: Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford could be on the trade block this upcoming offseason and the Saints should be interested in bringing him in. Stafford is coming off another solid season where he completed 64.2 percent of his passes, 4,084 passing yards, and had a touchdown to interception ratio of 26:10.
Stafford is a victim of being the starting quarterback of a team who fails to build around him. The Saints, however, would utilize him the best and already have some serious weapons for him to throw to. The Saints may actually be able to get this deal done as they already have a connection with likely new Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, who is expected to be hired following the Saints’ playoff loss.
If the Saints can use their connection to their advantage and land the services of Stafford, they will certainly be rewarded for taking a chance. Stafford is as consistent as they come and would be able to lead the Saints right back into the playoffs.
Number Four: Mac Jones
Mac Jones could be an intriguing option for Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints to consider if they want to start from scratch. Jones, who recently declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, had a breakout season for Alabama and helped guide them to a National Championship.
The Saints need to bring in a winner, and that’s exactly what Mac Jones is. Jones went 13-0 this past season as the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide and has been shooting up draft boards. The good news for the Saints is that he could be available when they pick in the latter half of the draft due to the insane talent at the quarterback position.
Jones, in his college career, completed 74.3 percent of his passes, threw for 6,126 passing yards, and had a touchdown to interception ratio of 56:7. Those are the kind of stats that jump out on paper and his play style fits exactly what Sean Payton could be searching for. Jones could be a great option for the Saints to replace Drew Brees if they are unsure of what to do come draft time.