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ESPN’s latest predictions have Deshaun Watson going to the NFC South

Two NFC South teams have new quarterbacks in this prediction piece from Field Yates.

NFL: Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve already predicted all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL in our free e-newsletter, The Who Dat Herald (sign up here if you haven’t already), but now ESPN’s Field Yates has made his predictions (Insider required).

Like in the predictions in the Who Dat Herald, Field thinks the New Orleans Saints are able to retain Jameis Winston in 2021 to be the team’s starting quarterback:

Projected 2021 starter: Jameis Winston

With Drew Brees’ retirement announcement imminent, the Saints will have to turn to a new full-time starter for the first time in what feels like forever. While Taysom Hill was the player to fill in for Brees this past season, Winston is a part of the team’s plans for 2021, per head coach Sean Payton, and there’s reason to believe the team will feel more comfortable with him heading into 2021 than it did when Brees got hurt last year. With more time to develop and build chemistry, Winston has a chance to revitalize his career. He’s a free agent, but we suspect he’ll get signed.

What’s interesting, is while Field also predicts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons to keep their 2020 starting quarterbacks this season in Tom Brady and Matt Ryan respectively, he predicts a new starter for the Carolina Panthers:

Projected 2021 starter: Deshaun Watson

I’ve been on record forecasting Watson to Miami, but recently my tenor has changed with more support from the Dolphins for Tua Tagovailoa and the Panthers’ previous aggressive pursuit of Matthew Stafford. Carolina’s roster on defense took shape relatively quickly in 2020, opening its window to be aggressive sooner. New GM Scott Fitterer has the eighth pick as one of his chips to play in a deal to acquire Watson.

Houston has no interest in trading him away right now, but we know this has already been ugly. If you ultimately trade away a franchise quarterback, moving him to a team you play once every four years is preferred to an in-conference foe (assuming the offers are comparable).

What’s interesting about this move for Saints’ fans - other than the fact that the Saints would have the luxury of facing Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson four times in 2021 - is that this quarterback prediction piece leaves no starting job for former Saints and Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater.

If the Panthers indeed add Watson and Bridgewater is not a piece heading to the Texans in return but is instead released, could the Saints choose to sign Bridgewater back to the Saints instead of Jameis to be the starter in 2021?


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