Taysom Hill isn’t going to be New Orleans’ starting quarterback in 2020, but that isn’t keeping him from wanting to return.
Tuesday’s news of Drew Brees‘ intent to return to the Saints means Hill won’t ascend to the role of franchise quarterback for the Saints, at least not in the upcoming season. The book is far from shut on their future together, though, because Hill “would love to play with Drew again.”
“At the end of the day, I look at Drew coming back and maybe I’m not playing quarterback, which is ultimately where I want to have an opportunity to play in the NFL,” Hill said during an appearance on Adam Schefter’s podcast, “but there are still going to be opportunities for me to make plays. I can tell you a unique experience for me that most backup quarterbacks don’t get is I’m in the huddle with Drew on game day. … That to me is invaluable.”
Hill has undoubtedly learned plenty and experienced even more during his time with the Saints, in which the quarterback has also been used as a pass-catcher and as a special teamer, as well as the occasional signal-caller. His role is a unique and valuable one to coach Sean Payton, who is tasked with devising gameplans that often include Hill in unorthodox positions.
Hill helped inject some life into the Saints during Wild Card Weekend, displaying his value in a short amount of time in a game they ultimately lost to the Vikings. He’s headed to restricted free agency, though, leaving open the possibility for another team to sign Hill to an offer sheet that could put the cap space-strapped Saints in an uncomfortable position.
That’s for the suits to handle, though, at least right now. Hill isn’t packed and ready to leave New Orleans for greener pastures, even with Brees returning.
“I think there’s a process of being a restricted free agent,” Hill said. “My agent and I are going through the process, and we’ll see what happens. But I’m in no hurry to leave New Orleans. As I look at my career, I have goals, and I have a vision for myself as to what I can do in the NFL, and there has been nothing that has been said, or I’ve never been treated in any way that would lead me to believe that the vision I have for myself is not the same vision that coach [Sean] Payton has for me, as well as the other guys on the staff. So I’m in no hurry, but I also think that there’s an important element of being a free agent. You finally have the opportunity to sit down and say, ‘What are my goals? What are my visions for myself?’ And then see who shares those same thoughts as you do.
“We’ll go through that process. It’s super early, so I have no idea what is going to happen. But we’ll go through that process and see what happens.”
Projecting Hill’s suitors and potential fits elsewhere is difficult, because he doesn’t have a significant body of work to evaluate as a traditional quarterback. He’s played the position in spots, but his value to the Saints is about more than playing quarterback — for now. We’ll see if he returns for more of that or gets a better shot elsewhere. We know he’ll be happy to remain in New Orleans if that’s what ultimately happens.