Drew Brees announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday after playing in the league for 20 seasons. With Brees under center, the New Orleans Saints had a lot of success, winning the Super Bowl in 2019 and reaching the NFC Championship game three times in a 15-year span. Saints fans will miss Brees but are wondering who will be the new starting quarterback?
When Brees suffered multiple injuries last year, Taysom Hill took his place in the starting lineup. In Hill's four starts, he led the Saints to a 3-1 record while completing 71% of his passes and throwing for 834 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 209 yards and four touchdowns during the span. Hill can also line up in multiple spots on offense which led to the Saints giving him a big contract extension - a four-year, $140 million deal that is voidable.
While Hill likely won't get $140 million, the deal shows the Saints are committed to him. However, the team also re-signed Jameis Winston to a one-year contract extension with $12 million. He signed with the Saints before the 2020 season after spending five years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During his time in Tampa, Winston threw for 19,737 yards, 121 touchdowns and 88 interceptions. In 2019, Winston threw for 5,109 yards but also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season.
"We've gone through the quarterbacks; of course, we've read all of those players Taysom Hill is in the building, Jameis who's now a free agent that we hope to sign here, sooner than later, Saints coach Sean Payton said in February per Sports Illustrated. "We've got pretty good vision with those players. But I think within the next week, we'll know a little bit more."
The Saints wanted to bring Winston back as he has a strong arm and could be a better fit in the offense. But Hill has been with a team longer and has shown he can win games as a quarterback and not a wide receiver or fullback. With the 2021 season not starting until September, the Saints have plenty of time to figure out who will be the successor to Brees who leaves the game as the NFL's all-time passing leader.