Signed to “Prove It” Deal at Quarterback, Taysom Hill Will Play Tight End for Saints
Hill started nine games at quarterback over the last two seasons for New Orleans
Hill, who has started nine games at quarterback over the last two seasons for the Saints and compiled a 7-2 record as a starter, signed an incentive-laden contract in November that could have been worth as much as $95 million with escalators related to the 31-year-old becoming the full-time starter at quarterback in New Orleans. In limited time under center last season, Hill completed 58.2% of his passes for 978 yards with four TDs and five INTs. For his career, Hill has completed 64.2% of his passes.
A starting role under center does not appear to be in the cards for Hill, who has thrown for just eight touchdowns in his career but caught seven and rushed for 16, as the Saints re-signed former top pick Jameis Winston to a two-year deal with a base value of $28 million ($21 million guaranteed) last week.
Winston led the Saints to a 5-2 record last season after beating out Hill in training camp but a torn ACL in Week 8 ended the 28-year-old’s season. Despite competing with Winston for the starting gig before the season, Hill watched Trevor Siemian assume the starting role with Winston out for the year. After that, it was fairly obvious that the team didn’t view Hill, who was limited by a concussion and a foot injury last season, as a legit starting QB despite the contract he signed.
A talented runner, receiver and special teams player, Hill can still be a valuable piece for the Saints and is a player that opposing defenses have to account for. But his chance of being a full-time QB, which was an experiment former New Orleans coach Sean Payton was interested in exploring, appears to be gone with current Saints head coach Dennis Allen in charge.
Originally a do-it-all gadget player under Payton, Hill will be returning to that sort of role under Allen. “If Jameis is out there playing quarterback, I don’t like Taysom standing next to me on the sideline,” Allen said this week, per The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell. “I think you’ll see him more in that type of role.”
Ultimately that may make the most sense for New Orleans as Winston, who was a legit gunslinger before coming to New Orleans, completed 59% of his passes for 1,170 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions before getting injured last season. In a shaky NFC South, that sort of production this season would be a score for the Saints.
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