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What’s next for Saints after Drew Brees? Exploring 2021 QB options, from Taysom Hill to NFL Draft

It is trying extra like Drew Brees is headed into retirement after the Saints’ 2021 playoff run. Brees, who turned 42 on Friday, already has a post-playing profession lined up with NBC Sports activities and there is not any doubt New Orleans officers are already excited about quarterback succession plans.

Brees has confirmed bodily decline tied to his arm power the previous two seasons and for being one of many league’s most sturdy QBs for a very long time, he has missed 9 of the previous 32 regular-season video games due to damage. The Saints have gone 8-1 with different quarterbacks beginning in his place, so there’s some promise for Sean Payton’s offense even with out Brees for good.

Here is a take a look at the place the Saints could be headed at QB for subsequent season, beginning with Plan A in home:

MORE: Sean Payton’s Taysom Hill man crush, explained

Will the Saints change Drew Brees with Taysom Hill full time?

When Brees needed to miss 4 video games in 2020 due to an damage to his ribs, Hill made probably the most of his sturdy audition to indicate he can greater than a gadget participant, higher suited to run and catch the ball. 

Hill was snug making all of the throws with good effectivity. He hit on some nice-looking deep throws together with his underrated arm at 6-2, 221 kilos. He additionally supplied the dynamic speeding aspect to enrich Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray properly.

So the Saints have already got proved they’ll tailor Payton’s offense with Hill’s dual-threat ability set to maximise him as an athletic passer. They invested lots in Hill to increase him by the 2021 season. He acquired $16.3 million and New Orleans to set to take a cap hit that nearly matches that cash in 2021.

What’s attention-grabbing is that Hill will likely be 31 subsequent season and is unsigned for 2022. The Saints have arrange an prolonged take a look at Hill to see if he can grow to be greater than a mid-career bridge QB. Payton’s offense provides Hill a excessive ground as he is properly indoctrinated within the offense. Hill is the simplest, most pure transition the Saints could make and the cash says he is the almost definitely short-term answer (at worst) for no Brees.

(Getty Photographs)

Does Jameis Winston have a shot to interchange Drew Brees?

There was hypothesis that Winston would the get the primary likelihood to fill in for Brees as a substitute of Hill. However he did not come near getting that chance, because the Saints took benefit of a positive schedule in Brees’ absence and acquired greater than what they wanted offensively to win all however a type of video games with Hill.

Winston signed a bargain-basement one-year deal to attempt to resurrect his profession after the Buccaneers, who took him No. 1 general within the 2015 draft, locked into Tom Brady to interchange him. Winston was helped most by absorbing ideas of a brand new offense behind Brees vs. reside reps, as he noticed mop-up responsibility in solely two video games.

There is a honest likelihood the Saints re-sign Winston as an inexpensive, high-end backup. However Winston, figuring out Hill has the quick inside observe to succeed Brees, may attempt to discover a state of affairs the place he has a greater potential of beginning in 2021.

What different free-agent QB ought to enchantment to the Saints?

The Saints are dealing with the worst salary-cap state of affairs within the NFL and though Brees’ retirement would convey some aid in that space, after they determining who they’re reducing and holding, they merely cannot be energetic spenders in free company.

Philip Rivers had a stable season with the Colts however he like fellow former Charger Brees, might not return to play in 2021 and made $25 million in 2020. The Cowboys needs to be locking up Dak Prescott quickly. In order that leaves the basic bridge QBs at $10 million or much less, led by Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

When weighing all that, Hill, already below an inexpensive contract in relation to beginning QBs across the league, is the Saints’ most cost-effective veteran choice, too.

MORE: Why did Drew Brees leave the Chargers in 2005?

Can the Saints discover a QB within the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Saints are taking a look at one other late first-round draft choose. The Saints needs to be amongst these groups within the combine for the second wave of QB prospects in a powerful 2021 class. There is a good likelihood, nonetheless, that BYU’s Zach Wilson, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones are all gone earlier than their flip, however Florida’s Kyle Trask can be an intriguing choice who will be molded properly in Payton’s offense.

With the cap points, nonetheless, the Saints may want that choose to assist Hill (or the protection) vs. changing him. Due to Hill exhibiting what he can do and doing it moderately properly, QB now appears extra like a luxurious choose New Orleans — not less than earlier than the second spherical.

For now, it could be surprising for the Saints to roll with anybody apart from Hill at QB after Brees. It would additionally make sense to draft a high-upside developmental choice outdoors of Day 1 Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett?) given Hill’s one-year contract standing.

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