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#pounditSunday, October 24, 2021

Sean Payton hints at Saints’ QB plans for 2021

Sean Payton

There has been talk about the New Orleans Saints potentially trading for a quarterback this offseason, but head coach Sean Payton seems perfectly content sticking with what he has.

Payton discussed his team’s quarterback situation during an appearance on “Good Morning Football” on Wednesday. He had particularly high praise for Jameis Winston, who is set to become a free agent.

“He was a tremendous leader for this team,” Payton said. “That’s hard to do when you come in new in free agency in your first year as a backup quarterback. … He is a free agent. But him alone with Taysom Hill, who is in the building, we’ve said all along we’re gonna develop and coach those guys. Jameis is one of those guys we have a big interest in.”

Payton said teams typically like to keep their intentions “close to the vest” with impending free agents, but he made it clear that the Saints want to re-sign Winston. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that New Orleans did not inquire about Matthew Stafford, which is a good sign for Winston.

Hill started several games when Brees was out this season, and he played well overall. He clearly has limitations in the passing game, however. Hill is the type of hybrid quarterback that tends to struggle in the NFL once defenses compile enough film on him. That’s why it would make more sense for Payton to continue using him as a change-of-pace option going forward.

Winston appears to have support from his teammates as well. There was reportedly some frustration within the Saints locker room earlier this year when Payton named Hill the starter.

Unless something rapidly changes, it appears Winston is the favorite to start for the Saints in 2021.

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