In the midst of Drew Brees’ retirement earlier this offseason, the NOLA Saints made the surprising decision to extend quarterback Taysom Hill. They signed him to a four-year deal worth $140 million and while Saints fans love Hill, the deal wasn’t necessary and as a result, is considered the worst contract they currently have in the books by Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus.
Of the deal, Spielberger writes:
"This deal just wasn’t necessary and continues to provide headaches in New Orleans. Whatever position you want to call Hill — and there are many to choose from — the cumulative value of all of them still doesn’t add up to this contract. For starters, Hill was a restricted free agent when he signed this contract after the Saints placed a first-round tender on him, even though there was no chance any team was going to part ways with a second-round pick for the right to pay Taysom Hill."
This wasn’t a deal the Saints needed to strike for all of the reasons Spielberger listed above. While the contract did actually save New Orleans money, it was a four-year deal for a backup quarterback who’s in his 30s. No matter how much Saints fans love Hill, most would agree that he’s not the answer at quarterback for this team, especially not the long-term answer.
The contract the NOLA Saints agreed to with Taysom Hill was a bad one.
Sean Payton loves Hill and he’s made that perfectly clear in seasons past. He started Hill over Jameis Winston last year when Brees missed time due to injury when most people thought Winston would have been the better choice. This is probably why the deal was struck, as according to Spotrac, it keeps Hill tied to New Orleans through 2025.
Spielberger mentions in his write-up how the Saints have even tried to find similar players to Hill (drafting Tommy Stevens in 2020 and then taking Ian Book in the fourth round this year), which he describes as “puzzling”. Why invest all of that money into Hill when Payton is continuing to find other similar players?
Hill is a fun player to watch and has singlehandedly won games for the Saints but signing someone is essentially a backup quarterback to that steep of a contract while the team is already in cap hell is not a bright decision. This deal is going to continue to haunt the Saints as they dig themselves out of their cap situation.
Unfortunately, it’s too little, too late for the Saints when it comes to this deal.