The quarterback battle in New Orleans has come to an end, and former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston is the new starter for the Saints.
After 15 seasons of Drew Brees at quarterback, the franchise is heading in a new direction led by the former Tampa Bay gunslinger — who manages to make a splash play out of every snap. For better or worse.
“I am rooting for James to actually not be awful,” stated OutKick’s Clay Travis, examining the prospect of having Jameis’ tenacious throwing style within a Sean Payton playbook. “Jameis Winston might be the most exciting player to watch in all of the NFL.”
The sole member of the infamous 30-30 club (30 TDs, 30 INTs in a season) and one of 12 QBs in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 yards through 16 games, Winston’s volatile style of football presents a new upside to the New Orleans offense — which has long been a calculated system for quarterbacks.
From Drew Brees, to interim QBs such as Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill, Sean Payton has helped ease the decision-making process for all of his play callers, and his strength on offense caters to Jameis’ greatest flaw with reflexively throwing the football. Which is normally a coin flip between throwing a 30-yard touchdown or giving an easy pick 6 to the defense.
Though the loss of Michael Thomas handicaps Winston in his first season as the Saints starter, young, explosive skill players such as wideout Tre’Quan Smith and the dynamic Alvin Kamara are still around to help Winston build a groove and keep New Orleans as a tier 1 offense in the NFC.
It’ll be a long road to recovery for the franchise after a departing Brees, but the Saints maintain a worthy successor in Winston.
Jameis’ opportunity for a career revival — akin to Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee — with the Saints will make their games must-watch television in the upcoming season.
“You have no idea what might happen from one moment to the next with Jameis Winston at quarterback. He can drop back, throw a touchdown. Or he can drop back and throw an interception.
“Every time Jameis Winston drops back to play, there is no telling what the actual result might be, and I can’t wait to watch and see what might happen there.”
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