When the New Orleans Saints added unrestricted free agent Drew Brees in 2006, it was with the clear understanding that Brees would be the starting quarterback.
The next starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints won't inherit such a clear-cut role. Saints Coach Sean Payton said Tuesday that he foresees a quarterback competition this offseason between Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston.
On the "Dan Patrick Show," Payton was asked if he felt New Orleans was settled at quarterback after restructuring Hill's contract, seeing Brees announce his retirement after 20 NFL seasons and agreeing to terms with Winston on a one-year contract.
"I think we are. I think we are," Payton said. "And look, there'll be a few calls we make but our goal coming into the offseason was to obviously re-sign Jameis, Taysom played for us in four games last year – and let those guys go to work. And I'm excited about it. I'm excited about those two.
"Now, there are a few things that may still be out there, but I see those two competing for this position."
Hill started four games last season when Brees was injured, and the Saints were 3-1 during the stretch as he completed 82 of 114 passes (72 percent) for 834 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions, and ran 39 times for 209 yards and four touchdowns.
Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, played in a limited capacity in his first season as a Saint. He finished out the game in which Brees was injured, completing six of 10 passes for 63 yards against San Francisco, and he threw a 56-yard touchdown pass against Tampa Bay in New Orleans' Divisional playoff game loss.
"I like Taysom because he loves football, and I like Jameis because he loves football, and those guys are fun to be around," Payton said.
Payton added that having Winston on the roster last season was a valuable evaluation tool.
"I've told both of them, 'The two of you are going to compete for this position,' " Payton said. "And they understand it. We've already had a chance to see both of them to some degree.
"I think last year was important for us relative to Jameis – we had had Taysom in the building, but it gave us a year to evaluate (Winston) and it also gave him a year to evaluate us. And I think that was important."