Sean Payton Responds To Taysom Hill, Saints QB Situation
Sean Payton responded to Taysom Hill and the Saints quarterback situation during a recent interview.
This past week, New Orleans got some excellent news when the greatest player in franchise history, Drew Brees, announced he was returning for one more season.
With Brees in tow, the Saints are poised to take another crack at winning the Super Bowl in 2020-21.
This past year, Brees and Co. put together a very solid run to earn themselves a postseason berth. Unfortunately, they were knocked out of the playoffs early by a Minnesota Vikings group that was peaking at just right the right time.
The hope is that with Brees back, New Orleans will now be in good position to right last season’s wrong.
Perhaps the only real negative of Brees returning is that it further complicates an already complex Saints quarterback situation.
Heading into the offseason, New Orleans’ three active quarterbacks were all set to hit free agency at the same time. Brees and Teddy Bridgewater are both unrestricted, whereas Hill is restricted.
Hill has repeatedly expressed a desire to start somewhere – whether that is with the Saints or not.
“I definitely view myself as a franchise quarterback,” he said a few weeks ago.
“As you look at the other questions, ‘Is it New Orleans, is it somewhere else?’ as you go into free agency, this is the time that you start to find out how people view you.
“There’s no denying that I love my time in New Orleans, it has been an incredible experience for me,” Hill continued.
“The fan base, like, I have loved every second of my time there. Do I want to leave? The fact of the matter is no.
“But as you look at free agency, you have to find the right opportunity for you. You have to find the situation to take care of your family. I want to play quarterback in this league. And if New Orleans doesn’t view me that way, I have to leave.”
Now, with Brees set to return, the 30-year-old faces a scenario where he loses another season off the prime of his career serving as a backup.
During a recent interview, Payton was asked about how Hill fit into his plans.
“If [Hill] was unsigned prior to the league year, I would anticipate us really paying close attention to that and looking at that first-round tender,” Payton said.
“That’ll take some time, relative to his contract because it’s unique in what he’s doing now and what we feel like he can be and what he can do when Drew does retire. So, that will probably take a little more work than the contract that Mickey [Loomis] does with Drew.”
For what it is worth, while Hill is obviously a very versatile player, Payton views him first and foremost as a quarterback.
“He’s (Hill) certainly someone that we evaluate first and foremost as a quarterback, and then secondly he did such a good job and has really grown as that ‘F’ tight end if you will,” he continued.
“He can run, he understands the passing game very, very thoroughly. He’s explosive with the ball in his hands, and then lastly, of course, when he’s coming in the game as a change-up, whether Drew’s on the field or not on the field at the quarterback position, it really gives you a lot of flexibility.
“Quite honestly, it’s fun to work with because you can think of a lot of different things that can help you relative to that game plan and win in that specific game. We’re fortunate that way.”
The Saints quarterback situation will be one to watch in the next few months. Bridgewater leaving is all but inevitable at this point.
What will happen with Hill, however, remains to be seen.