New Orleans coach Sean Payton struggled to pick the Saints’ starting quarterback for Sunday’s game before finally deciding to go with Taysom Hill, but several players and people within the The organization believed Jameis Winston should have been the starter against the Atlanta Falcons, sources told ESPN.
Payton knew which quarterback he chose – Hill or Winston – would lead to a specific and different kind of game plan. The longtime coach accompanied the quarterback the Saints assured last spring – as he signed his two-year extension – that he would have a chance to start if Drew Brees was injured.
The Saints see it as a chance to get Hill’s quarterback assessment now and into the future, with Brees still likely to retire after this season, sources say.
Going with Hill on Sunday still doesn’t stop Winston from succeeding Brees as Future Saints quarterback. Winston has impressed Saints coaches and players alike, and he remains a potential part of New Orleans’ long-term plans.
It’s still expected to be Brees’ last season, according to league sources. Hill’s two-year, $ 21 million contract pays him like he’s the starting quarterback next season, and Winston is on a one-year contract.
Many people familiar with the situation operate as if the 2020 season is Brees’ last season, although the Saints also thought that 2019 would be the last Hall of Fame season. After the Pro Bowl ended last January, Brees and Saints coaches shared an emotional moment, believing it was the end before Brees decided to return for the 2020 season.
There is no concrete timeline for how long Brees will be sidelined while recovering from fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, but the phrase “four to five weeks” has popped up repeatedly. last week from various sources. Brees was placed on the injured reserve last week, which means he will miss at least three games – starting with Sunday’s game against Atlanta.
Brees told ESPN’s Ed Werder on Sunday that medics were encouraged by his progress, particularly the improvement in lung function and the continued dissipation of pneumothorax suffered in the first half of last Sunday’s victory over the 49ers of San Francisco. The 13-time Pro Bowler has told Werder he hopes to be ready to play as soon as he becomes eligible in Week 14.