Three years, $7,100,000, through 2018
Josh Hill has long been a guy Saints fans expect to breakout. When the team shipped Jimmy Graham off to Seattle, most fans and media outlets pegged Hill as the man to step up. Payton had repeatedly gushed over Hill’s athletic ability, which seemed a sure sign that he was due for a promotion. Instead, Hill took a backseat to veteran Benjamin Watson, who went on to have a career year as a receiving TE.
Then, when Watson jumped ship for Baltimore, the Saints brought in Fleener. Hill’s contract was up, and after a workout with Ryan Pace and the Bears, Chicago signed him to an offer sheet. This seemed like the end of Hill’s career with the Saints who had plenty of holes left to fill.
Instead, the Saints matched the offer sheet worth over $7 million. For a player who’s always been more potential than production, $7 million seemed high. Hill is an adequate blocker, and by all accounts a phenomenal athlete, but he’s never had the agility or route running skills to produce in this league. Most of his value comes on special teams.
Hill’s now missed most of the season with an ankle injury, but he looks to return this week against Carolina. In his defense, he’s not yet played a full game under his new contract, and may very well still show his value as a hybrid blocking-receiving TE. But after years with the team, it feels like we know what sort of player he is.