What does the Saints' QB situation look like heading into 2020?
The New Orleans Saints have been guided by veteran Drew Brees at quarterback for the past 14 seasons and have found much success with him at the helm, but must prepare for a future after his retirement.
The teams seems to be doing just that, making two significant moves at quarterback this offseason.
The Saints like the role Taysom Hill plays on offense that other teams could try to replicate moving forward, and that has a lot to do with them taking former Mississippi State signal-caller Tommy Stevens in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
New Orleans also signed ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston in late April, giving him a chance to develop in a new environment.
Here's a look into the quarterbacks the Saints have on the roster ahead of the upcoming season.
The Saints couldn't ask for much more from Brees, who recorded the second-highest completion percentage of his career (74.3%) last season, just shy of his personal record of 74.4%, set in 2018.
Brees holds NFL career records for completions, completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns.
At 6-foot, 209 pounds, Brees has never really impressed anyone with his size. So, what makes the quarterback so legendary?
There's a lot to like about Brees, but it mostly boils down to his nearly unmatched mechanics, decision-making, ability to throw the deep ball and overall accuracy.
Former UCLA quarterback and coach Rick Neuheisel commended Brees for his ability to get receivers open.
"He has invented throwing people open," he said in a report from the Los Angeles Times. "The back-shoulder throw should be called the Brees Shoulder."
Brees will undoubtedly go down as one of the best players to ever take snaps in the NFL, and he'll continue to prove that in 2020.
Winston received a good bit of slander in his time with the Buccaneers, and it wasn't totally unwarranted.
Throwing for a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 33:30 tends to do that to a quarterback.
The Bucs took Winston at No. 1 overall in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and made the decision to give up on him this year after five years of inconsistent play. Winston also had issues with his vision, undergoing LASIK eye surgery.
He has a good mentor in Brees, and landed in a good spot for quarterback development.
Winston compared the opportunity to an Ivy League education, calling the Saints' quarterback room "a Harvard education at quarterback school."
Only time will tell how he fares, but Winston has probably the best chance he'll ever have to re-establish himself in the Big Easy.
Hill may never fall into the role of a traditional quarterback, but he plays his own unique role in the offense better than anyone else the league could.
He's essentially functioned as a gadget player with the ability to play quarterback for the Saints, and has thrown just 13 passes over a three-year NFL career.
One of those was an important one that went for 50 yards in a wild-card loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Hill also carried the ball four times for 50 yards, and recorded two receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown, proving just how much of an impact player he is in this offense.
Hill is personally confident in his abilities, telling reporters that he views himself as a franchise quarterback, but he lacks the resume on paper to back it up for now.
Sean Payton didn't take the acquisition of Stevens lightly.
He called Stevens to see if he was interested in signing with the team as an undrafted free agent, and after Stevens said he felt he had a better opportunity elsewhere, Payton made the move the draft Stevens at No. 240 overall.
Stevens gives the Saints another Hill, functioning as "The Lion" for Penn State before transferring to Mississippi State.
He put up impressive numbers at his pro day in Tampa, Florida, recording the best 40 time (4.49 seconds) and shuttle run (4.19) compared to quarterbacks and tight ends at the NFL scouting combine.
There's obviously no disputing Brees' place as the team's starter until he ends his career, but what happens behind him will be nothing short of interesting to watch.
Payton is high on what Hill can do.
"We got a ton of confidence in him and there's a big reason why he was tendered with a first-round pick and then paid accordingly," he said.
He also said that he sees Hill as a guy who can come in and "become that quarterback" after Brees is gone. In that scenario, Stevens could take Hill's place in the offense.
But a lot of that is going to depend on both how things shake out in the competition for backup with Winston, and what Stevens shows he is capable of purely in terms of quarterbacking ability.