There were myriad the explanation why I draw Saints coach Sean Payton signed Jameis Winston as a help-up quarterback for 2020. Winston most attention-grabbing currently grew to turn out to be 26 years worn. He’s a inclined Heisman Trophy winner. He led the NFL in passing yards in 2019, and become once second in touchdown passes to MVP Lamar Jackson. Winston badly wished to exercise the season with Payton, a QB maestro who helped revive Teddy Bridgewater’s occupation. Oh, and at $1M for one season, the payment is appropriate.
There become once moreover but any other ancillary a part of the Saints assessment that I had never pondered, nevertheless. One thing that had never crossed my ideas but that become once amongst the elements Payton weighed this spring in deciding whether or now to no longer tag Winston, who had spent the principle five years of his occupation with NFC South rival Tampa after being the principle overall pick in 2015.
“You assert, ‘Well, throw Winston into this draft – because we can all keep in mind him coming out and I become once there at his Pro Day and sat appropriate actually five yards on the help of him as he threw 80-some, 90-some passes,” Payton said on my radio point to, Inside Access on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore. “How would he grade? And I contemplate he’d fare extremely nicely in this class, and a preference of classes, enough to the set up any person draw that significant of him that they chosen him with the principle pick in the draft.
“Heck, they lost a sport on cause to us on the pause of the season prior with (head coach) Lovie Smith. They forced Lovie to capture his starters out of the game in declare that they’d per chance well win the one role to draft Jameis. So we’re excited to work with him, and he is gentle a young player – most attention-grabbing 26 years worn I judge – and I do know he is got an ideal work ethic and I do know he is competitive. So we’ll gaze how that unfolds, but we’re excited that he is joined our team and he’ll be a a part of what we’re looking for to enact.”
Turns out Payton become once correct getting started. He went on to precise his dismay with how the NFL dealt with its “Bountygate” investigation into the Saints years previously and made it clear he doubts the NFL will pursue fresh allegations by inclined Steeler James Harrison with the the same vigor (Harrison claimed on a podcast that Mike Tomlin handed him an envelope, ostensibly of money, after incurring a $75,000 gorgeous in 2010). The Steelers non-public since issued a observation denying Harrison’s disclose.
Payton’s candor and transparency are uncommon qualities amongst football coaches and his visceral responses had been greatly appreciated.
As for that sport in ask from Week 17 of the 2014 season, the Saints (7-9) had been trailing the Bucs (2-14), 20-3 at half of time, and certainly, into the fourth quarter, earlier than Original Orleans produced the final 16 parts of the game, assuring Tampa of getting the worst dispute in the league and thus the prospect to capture from Winston or Mariota atop the 2015 draft. The Bucs did certainly initiate to yank key starters off the field late in that sport no topic the lead.
After that sport, Smith said the following: “The fellows you saw in the principle half of, the game draw become once for them to be in there. The second half of, we wished to peek at some extra football gamers. I contemplate that’s no longer out of the realm of prospects, to peek at every other guys. We’re no longer going to the playoffs and now we non-public a pleased lead and we’ll flee the football.
“One employ haven’t got helped an awful lot. We’re going to feel greater when we’re winning our division. Unless then, we make no longer feel correct about loads excluding for fascinating our roster loads greater and fascinating the route we’d like to hurry. If we had won this day, we’d’ve felt greater about this sport, but the season as a total, that’s no longer the set up we’d like to be.”
It didn’t pass many sniff checks on the time, and it clearly hasn’t passed muster with Payton now five years later. Especially when excited by that Payton become once levied one of many steepest penalties in the historical previous of the league for his team’s alleged bounty program, charges that the final dispute on the topic, by inclined Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, didn’t moderately help up. Regardless, Payton become once banished from the league for a one year and lost his total salary. So no one must be stunned if he retains a stop survey on how self-discipline is meted out other cases; with the Steelers one of many sport’s hallowed franchises he would no longer await Harrison’s claims main to even a slap on the wrist.
“If folk are expecting the league to analyze that, they mustn’t preserve their breath,” Payton told us (your total interview might per chance per chance per chance moreover moreover be found right here). “I contemplate what took web philosophize with us help in 2011, in so many ways become once a sham. And but there wasn’t loads shall we enact with it. The gamers had been vindicated, but from a league or coaching standpoint, there might per chance be no union. There just isn’t the kind of thing as a illustration.”
Payton and Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had been both suspended for a one year earlier than reinstatement and Original Orleans moreover lost second-spherical picks in 2012 and 2013. Payton just isn’t always banking on us seeing that again.
“That’ll be something that’s tucked away or under the rug at (NFL headquarters) at Park Avenue. They are going to peek into it in brief. Hear, make no longer win me started on that. I treasure $6M in salary and honestly, it become once something that I’ll never if truth be told win over because I do know how it become once dealt with and the draw in which it become once flee and the explanations on the help of it. That is correct the truth.”
Payton become once moreover a riding pressure on the help of the owners opting to alternate the principles a one year previously and attain a replay assessment of pass interference after the Saints lost a possibility to hurry to the Enormous Bowl thanks to a blown call in the 2019 NFC Championship Recreation. And now, a one year later, that become once scrapped, too.
“I contemplate the speculation on the help of it, and what the league voted on – and when I assert the league, all 32 teams – completely it had a possibility to set success,” Payton said. “But moderately honestly, we weren’t willing in Original York (in the relay grunt heart) to handle it. I do know that sounds serious, but that’s correct a fact … And if we’re no longer there, then we haven’t got it. I contemplate that is the feeling that all of us non-public appropriate now, in conjunction with myself.”
Payton, who battled Covid-19 and continues to donate plasma and boost consciousness about examine toward a vaccine, has been one of many extra modern coaches in the NFL in facing this hazardous native weather we’re in. He got playbooks to his inexperienced persons and fresh acquisitions but in any other case just isn’t always partaking in what looks to some to be a farcical “digital offseason,” with on-line conferences and such. His gamers non-public identified for weeks that they make no longer need to distress about reporting to the flexibility till working in direction of camp no topic what the NFL ends up permitting teams to enact.
It has been thoroughly got by his gamers, and once extra Payton and his Saints are amongst a cramped handful of Enormous Bowl favorites. With so significant else going on on the planet, he is philosophize to wait till July, or at any time when working in direction of camps open, to initiate that push.
“I desire them to focal point in on their households and the advise approved guidelines and native guidelines … and merely about working in direction of camp in the precise form of their lives willing to hurry. Now we non-public a extinct team with significant management and I make no longer need to create these extra distractions of uncertainty. … and or no longer it is worked out nicely to this point.”