The identity of the New Orleans Saints’ next quarterback is one of the biggest questions in the NFL following Drew Brees’ retirement on Sunday.
Coach Sean Payton said last month that he believes the Saints’ next quarterback was “in the building.”
That would mean Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston, who is a free agent after playing on a one-year, $1 million contract last season.
Winston, who appeared in four games but did not start when Brees was hurt, has been installed as the early 3/2 favorite by SportsBetting.com to take the Saints’ first snap at quarterback in Week 1 next season. He saw significant action in only one regular-season game last season and threw a 56-yard touchdown pass in the playoff loss to Tampa Bay.
Hill is a close second at 3/1. He started in Brees’ place and was credited with three wins last year, but is also 31 and takes a significant pounding with his physical playing style.
If New Orleans’ next quarterback was not on the roster last year, the story takes on a far more intriguing plot line.
Could Saints Make Major QB Splash?
The Houston Texans continue to insist that Deshaun Watson will not be traded. However, their star quarterback has requested a trade and New Orleans is not an AFC rival. Watson is being offered at 7/1 by SportsBetting.com to be the Saints’ next starting quarterback.
That’s just ahead of Russell Wilson (10/1), who is reportedly open to being traded by the Seattle Seahawks. Alex Smith (15/1) is also a free agent after being released by the Washington Football Team last week, although his injury history would be a significant concern.
Teddy Bridgewater (15/1) revived his career in two seasons as Brees’ backup. He signed with Carolina as a free agent last offseason, but the Panthers have been knocking on the door of other teams about potentially acquiring another veteran this offseason. Bridgewater threw for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2020.
There are numerous other potential veteran targets at quarterback. Complicating that scenario, however, is that the Saints are still $17.2 million over this year’s salary cap according to OverTheCap.com.
Hill signed a four-year, $140 million extension on Sunday, according to ESPN, that will help provide additional salary cap relief. But there would still be several hurdles to jump in order to acquire a veteran currently on another NFL roster.
Saints are restructuring QB Taysom Hill’s contract to create cap room. Details are great: it’s a 4-year, $140 million contract extension – but all years are voidable and it’s a mechanism to free up cap space this year, per source. It saves Saints over $7.5M against cap this year.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2021
Saints’ Week 1 Starting QB Odds
- Jameis Winston 3/2
- Taysom Hill 3/1
- Deshaun Watson 7/1
- Russell Wilson 10/1
- Alex Smith 15/1
- Teddy Bridgewater 15/1
- Andy Dalton 20/1
- Marcus Mariota 20/1
- Jimmy Garropolo 25/1
- Ryan Fitzpatrick 25/1
- Sam Darnold 30/1
- Tyrod Taylor 30/1
- Jacoby Brissett 35/1
- Colt McCoy 35/1
- Matt Barkley 40/1
- Joe Flacco 40/1
- Blaine Gabbert 40/1
- Drew Lock 40/1
- Mitchell Trubisky 40/1
- Mike Glennon 40/1
- Brian Hoyer 45/1
- Blake Bortles 45/1
- Robert Griffin III 45/1
- Geno Smith 45/1
- Matt Ryan 50/1
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)