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Who Will Be the Saints Starting Quarterback in 2021?

Isaiah De Los Santos
The New Orleans Saints face a major question at quarterback heading into the 2021 offseason.
The New Orleans Saints face a major question at quarterback heading into the 2021 offseason. / Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints' 2020 season ended with a whimper in the Divisional Round, as the team collapsed in the fourth quarter. Veteran quarterback Drew Brees struggled, and now observers wait to see if Brees hangs his cleats up after a storied NFL career.

Given Brees' possible retirement, one major question that headlines the Saints 2021 offseason is: Who will be their starting quarterback next season?

Saints Quarterback 2021

Brees would retain his role as starter if he staves off retirement for one more year, but the noise around him exiting is getting louder by the day. It seems like a new era is on the horizon.

The most likely candidate to replace Brees as starter is Taysom Hill, who started four games at quarterback following Brees' rib and lung injury that sidelined him from Week 11-14. Hill has made his starter aspirations known, and head coach Sean Payton seems intent on letting that possibility become a reality.

One other possible candidate is Jameis Winston, who was benched in favor of Hill when the Saints needed a fill-in for Brees. That decision could prompt Winston to move on as a free agent this offseason.

However, if Winston sticks around, he has a shot to at least compete for the starting gig on a team likely to contend if they don't opt for a rebuild. He's only one season removed from leading the league in passing yards with 5,109 and throwing 33 TDs. It's absolutely possible that he could beat out Hill in any QB competition, especially considering the latter has only thrown 134 career passes.

Winston likely has a better shot at winning the 2021 starting gig in New Orleans than he would anywhere else around the league, so it makes sense for him to stay put.

In all likelihood, this decision will come down to one of those two players. New Orleans isin salary cap hell, so finding a starting QB in free agency doesn't seem like an option. And that lack of financial flexibility could limit the Saints' options in the NFL Draft as well, as New Orleans will likely need to use its draft picks to replace players it lost at other positions due to cap concerns.

Still, don't rule out a surprising move from GM Mickey Loomis, who has a knack for making splashy acquisitions.

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