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After Further Review: The good, bad, ugly & unknown of Saints reported signing of Jameis Winston

Saints host Bucs
Oct. 6, 2019
Saints host Bucs Oct. 6, 2019(Mark Lagrange)
Updated: Apr. 26, 2020 at 10:32 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The Good:

The good is pretty obvious. The Saints needed a veteran quarterback given how much Taysom Hill plays on Sundays. Winston was arguably the best available in the veteran market.

Winston is hopefully humbled and motivated from his experience in Tampa Bay. For the first time in his pro football career, he goes into a season knowing he won’t be the starting quarterback and won’t have the pressure of being the face of the franchise. He’ll have a chance to watch and learn from the best in Drew Brees and get a look at how an efficient, stable operation runs. By choosing to come to New Orleans, he understands the circumstances.

It’s also reportedly a one year deal and likely won’t cost the Saints much to have him around. Overall, it’s a pretty low risk move by the Saints that will likely have a bigger impact in outside chatter than it does inside the facility.

The Bad:

The numbers don’t lie. Winston felt like a roller coaster on every play last season. Though there situations may be similar, Winston couldn’t be more different than Teddy Bridgewater is on the football field.

Talent has never been an issue, but his decision-making has always been suspect. It’s been said he has the unique ability to keep both teams in a game. He’s the founding member of the NFL 30/30 club, by being the first quarterback to throw for over thirty touchdowns and thirty interceptions in a season. He’s had flashes of greatness but also remarkable moments of terrible football. And that’s with a slew of talent around him throughout his time in Tampa Bay, Winston.

Dirk Koetter couldn’t figure it out. Bruce Arians, the quarterback whisperer, couldn’t do it. Sean Payton is the master at catering to a player’s strengths so perhaps it’s different with him. But the good news is, if he can’t, Winston is a backup not the starter, and the Saints are not married to him the way the Bucs were.

The Ugly:

Let’s not pretend that Winston doesn’t have his share of baggage. He doesn’t strike me as a bad guy just someone who struggled with maturity.

That brawl in 2017 in the Superdome was the perfect example. Winston instigated that whole thing by talking and tapping Marshon Lattimore on the helmet. Mike Evans came over and blindsided Lattimore. Then the whole thing erupted.

He also was suspended to start the 2018 season for an alleged sexual assault incident involving an Uber driver.

This part of Winston’s career must be over if he wants to fit in this locker room.

The Unknown

  • So where does Taysom Hill fit into all of this? Well in 2020, he’s pretty much in the exact same scenario he was in last year. He knew the team was going to sign a veteran quarterback, he just didn’t know it would be a former number one overall pick. Hill will still be on the field a whole lot for the Saints.
  • The real debate is if faced with the exact same scenario as last season and Drew Brees has to miss an extended period of time, who does Sean Payton turn to Winston or Taysom Hill? Hopefully they won’t have to make that call, but should it happen, it will be very interesting to see who that player is.
  • Payton has been steadfast in his belief that Hill is a franchise quarterback. In fact, they reportedly signed him to a one-year extension, just hours after the Winston news broke. However, Winston is a wild card that can’t be completely ignored for the future at the position as well. There’s also the business side, should Winston develop and sign somewhere else as a starter in 2021, the Saints could be in the mix for a compensatory pick in 2022.

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