We continue a series that will likely span the length of the entire New Orleans Saints offseason where we look a key questions the Saints will face at various points of the year - the 2017 NFL Draft, free agency, and the 2017 regular season. We turn to a issue of concern for Saints fans and the organization: what in the world are the Saints thinking at back-up QB in 2017?
In the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson as a project-QB, to back-up incumbent Drew Brees and potentially grow into a future franchise QB. Grayson has yet to impress, but admittedly has had limited reps to showcase his potential. Even still, he has remained on the Saints roster as a third QB behind Brees and long-time back-up Luke McCown.
After filling in admirably for Brees’s one game absence in 2015, McCown signed a two-year deal in the offseason before the 2016 season. He wasn’t needed as a starter last year, but was still under contract for one more year in 2017. Grayson, McCown and Brees looked to be the QB trio for the Saints again for the start of the 2017 regular season.
After former New Orleans Saints back-up QB Chase Daniel requested and was granted his release from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this offseason, the Saints and Daniel were able to reunite on a one-year deal, with a salary paid primarily by the the Philadelphia Eagles. The signing of Daniel looked to be the beginning of the end for McCown, and McCown was released shortly thereafter. Now the trio would be Brees, Daniel, and Grayson.
And then this week happened.
The Saints signed free agent QB Ryan Nassib, formerly the backup to Eli Manning in New York. Nassib, a former 4th Round pick, has been in the league since 2013, but only has 10 total passing attempts to his name. Now the Saints have a quartet of QBs in camp: Brees, Daniel, Nassib, and Grayson.
So who’s going to back-up Brees? Who, if any, of these Quarterbacks will get the chance to replace Drew Brees as the eventual starter in New Orleans when Drew decides to hang up his cleats?
Daniel has been on-record saying that the possibility of replacing Drew Brees was part of the rationale that brought him back to New Orleans. A third round pick is a high price to pay for Grayson only to cut your losses and move on completely. And why would the Saints sign Nassib this late in free agency if not to be on the roster? Or why would Nassib agree if he wasn’t at least guaranteed the chance to make the Week 1 roster?
At this point, smart money is on the Saints trying to sneak Grayson to the practice squad and rolling with the trio of Brees, Daniel, and Nassib. Even still, would Daniel honestly be ahead of Nassib on the depth chart? None of the three names (Daniel, Nassib, or Grayson) are inspiring names for the future franchise QB of the New Orleans Saints. Are the Saints just going with two capable back-ups in the event of injury in 2017, or does either the Daniel or Nassib signings come with any bit of foresight?
So what says you Saints fans? Who do you think is Drew Brees’s primary back-up in 2017? If the answer is different, who would you prefer the back-up to be from that list? Do you see any of the three as a possible franchise QB of the future? Let us know in the comments.