Sean Payton Says Saints Very Interested In Bringing QB Jameis Winston Back

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If there’s one quarterback who is expected to get plenty of looks on the free agent market this offseason, it’s New Orleans Saints backup Jameis Winston.

Winston didn’t have much of a resume to go off of in 2020. He appeared in just four games and threw just 11 passes.

With the future of Drew Brees very much up in the air, there’s a lot of questions about who will be the starter at QB for the Saints in 2021.

Coach Sean Payton has been vocal about how much he likes Winston and has said more than once that he would like to bring back Winston to the roster in 2021.

“We didn’t have a normal offseason, but we had enough time to see what we had with him as a player, as a leader, as an athlete,” Payton said Wednesday via NFL Network.

“I really like what we had a chance to see. He was a tremendous leader for this team, and that’s hard to do when you come in new in free agency your first year as a backup quarterback. So that’ll be an important checkmark for us.

“A lot of times you want to hold your cards closer to the vest, and he is a free agent, but him along with Taysom Hill, who’s in the building, we’ve said it all along, we’re going to develop and coach those guys. Jameis is one of those guys that we have a big interest in.”

The Saints feel they are in a good spot at QB, even if Brees eventually decides to retire. They have Hill, who started eight games this past season when Brees was injured, and they are hopeful that Winston will be willing to come back, despite being a free agent.

The Saints are not the only team that have interest in Winston, as there’s a lot of NFL clubs that need a quarterback.

Look for the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots are just a few teams that are looking around for a quarterback either as a starter or as a backup.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."


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  1. He didn’t reveal any new information with those generalities. Yes, obviously he’s “interested” in any player on his roster, because it’s his job. That doesn’t mean he’s the starter or even has a roster spot. It would surprise me if they handed the keys over to Winston, because when Brees went down Hill got the call. They want a QB who’s consistent and takes care of the ball.

    • I mean I’m not a NFL GM but I saw that…plus the 30-30 season he had. Sure he’s probably better than Dan Overlsky or Elvis Grbac…but I wouldn’t tie my season to that bet.

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