Who will come to walk for the saints?
Jameis Winston suffered an ACL injury that ended the season on Sunday, leaving the Saints to look to other options to continue their potential playoff run in 2021.
The good news for the Saints is that there are options, whether it’s in-house or on the street, to take shots under the center. The strongest calls were for free agent Cam Newton, who is all vaccinated and ready to go.
Otherwise, the Saints could probably go for the boring option and stick with the two guys they signed up to make it work for the remainder of the 2021 NFL season. It’s risky, but probably not a playoff winning formula.
Here’s how the Saints might approach their quarterback conundrum:
PLUS: 15 players most likely to be traded by 2021 deadline
Saints quarterback options
Trevor Siemian-Taysom Hill tandem
Trevor Siemian is a strong provisional passer and he performed well in the absence of Winston in Sunday’s victory against the Bucs (16/29, 159 yards, one touchdown). Taysom Hill is set to come back from a concussion for Sunday’s game against the Falcons, missing two games (and the week off) while recovering from the head injury.
So, as the famous little girl in the Old El Paso taco ad once asked: Why don’t we have both?
While the Saints turned to Hill against Winston in 2020 as Drew Brees suffered an injury, that likely won’t be the formula in the weeks to come. Winston is out for the remainder of the season and Hill would be asked to start during that time. Or siémien.
The Taysom Hill 2020 experience went well, but was not a major success. Hill was all over the place with the ball in his hands in 2020 (four touchdowns in five games as a starting QB in 2020, with 834 yards), largely filling as a mercurial passer but not a big passer last season.
The Saints’ offense is at its best with Hill in this regular man role, so don’t expect that to change as they fight for the Division the rest of the season.
Sign Cam Newton?
Early reports indicate that the Saints will be looking internally immediately to resolve the QB issue, but how long will that last?
Unlike 2020 where Brees was due to return, the 2021 season will depend on depth at QB as Winston won’t be making a comeback this season. No one is confusing Siemian or Hill with a franchise QB, and the couple probably won’t draw the Saints to the Super Bowl unless some weird New Orleans voodoo is working.
That’s why, unlike other teams with QB depth needs in the NFL, signing Cam Newton makes a lot of sense to the Saints. If there’s one head coach who can pull off some good football from Newton, it’s Sean Payton and his attacking staff who could help meet Newton’s unique skills the rest of the season.
With Newton’s double-threat ability and Taysom Hill continuing to play a Swiss Army knife attacking role, an attack from Newton and Hill as a 1-2 punch is a tantalizing option, far more than a pair of Hill and Siemian.
Which makes it tough: The Saints’ remaining schedule is tough, with games against the Titans, Bills, Cowboys and Buccaneers, and having to get to grips with a new attack with a QB is a tough one.
To that end, it would make sense to bring in the best possible QB options for the remainder of the season and not let playoff hopes rest on a Siemian-Hill team. It is no longer a question of standing still for the saints.
Search the commercial market?
There are a number of great options available for trading before Tuesday’s NFL trading deadline:
- A meeting with Bridgewater Teddy Bear job? Bridgewater handled the offense well when Brees came out with an injury in 2019, leading to a big payday with the Panthers. There is a world where it could work again, especially with the Broncos seemingly resigned to breaking it.
- The Bear now have a pretty bloated QB room, with Andy Dalton and Nick Foles sitting behind QB1 Justin Fields.
- What about Mike Blanc? The Jets wouldn’t be ready to part ways with a future franchise quarterback, right? (Well, maybe we’re getting a head start here.)
Visit the retirement home
There are a pair of quarterbacks who are currently sitting on the couch who might be able to lock themselves into a role, if that’s the way the Saints could entertain.
– Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported that Philippe Rivers could be an option for the saints. Rivers had made it clear that he might consider returning to the pitch after the high school football season. The high school football season, coincidentally, ended on Friday night.
“I want to make sure I’m very clear: I’m not predicting that I will play in December or January, for that matter”, Rivers said in August. “One, you’ve got to have someone who wants you, and two, that’s got to be fair. But I haven’t completely ruled out (coming back).”
It looks like there might be potential there.
– Could Drew Brees to make a comeback on the sidelines of the Saints? There is a better chance of canonization.
Brees was extremely uncomfortable breaking through the New Orleans offense during “Manning Night Football” and squirmed on Sunday night over host Mike Tirico’s question.
“I’ll be there Saturday to call the Notre Dame-Navy game, and I’ll be there Sunday,” Brees said at halftime of the “Sunday Night Football” game between the Cowboys and the Vikings, apparently crushing any reports that he can come back.
Brees, 42, showed in 2020 that he no longer necessarily had the arm to operate the Saints’ offense, and after sitting on the couch (and getting a new hairstyle) in the six last few months, that’s probably something that won’t change. next week.