Taysom Hill’s contract named the worst on the Saints roster

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints will head into 2022 with the least amount of salary cap space in the league, owing more than 70 million dollars. Taysom Hill’s contract isn’t helping the team at all.

Hill’s salary takes up a little over five percent of the team’s overall cap space, but if NOLA wants to cut down its salary cap mountain for next season, the team will need to chip away every single cent.

After five seasons in New Orleans, no one really knows what position Hill plays. Payton has been developing Hill as some kind of mad-scientist pet project ever since 2017 when he was claimed off waivers by NOLA (he went undrafted that year).

Hill’s swiss-army versatility and athletic run game have bailed the Saints out in a few occasions — did someone say “trick play” — but at what cost?

Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine listed every NFL team’s worst contract heading into the offseason based on three main criteria: money owed, performance relative to cost, and player mobility.

Per Ballentine, Hill has the worst deal on the Saints, which also happens to be one of the most complicated given Hill’s unique skillset:

"The Saints essentially signed him to a deal that will pay him like a running back or wide receiver but has the potential to be more in line with a franchise quarterback.On March 19, the contract will become guaranteed through 2023, meaning the Saints are essentially locked in to be paying a 33-year-old quarterback who still feels like a project. That’s a scary proposition given how much of his success has been dependent on his athleticism."

New Orleans Saints will keep Taysom Hill for at least one more year

We’re not afraid to say it: Sean Payton swung and miss on Taysom Hill, and at this point Payton is just trying to salvage his own pride.

Hill recently signed a four-year, $40 million dollar contract that could be worth up to $94 million based on incentives. These incentives would only kick in if Hill plays at quarterback in future seasons.

From 2022 to 2025, if Hill records 3,250 passing yards, he’ll earn a bonus of half a million dollars. If he throws 25 or more passing touchdowns, he’ll earn $750,000. If he records a 65 percent completion rate on at least 224 attempts, he’ll earn a million dollars. And so on and so forth.

You can see how the money would start to add up, but only if Hill starts producing at quarterback.

Which he won’t because he’s 32 years old, he had his chance in 2021 and didn’t perform well, he’s been crippled by injury after injury, and…oh yeah, he’s just not a natural quarterback.

In 12 games this season, Hill threw for 978 yards and recorded four passing touchdowns against five interceptions. Somehow, he has a 4-1 starting record, but his quarterback play does not inspire any ounce of confidence in this Saints offense.

Even if Payton wants to keep Hill as a backup quarterback for 2022, his roughly $12 million dollar salary is hard to justify. The Saints badly need that money to make their current cap space more manageable and to re-sign regular starting players like Terron Armstead or Marcus Williams.

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Hill is grossly overpaid for how little he contributes to the team, but Payton dug his own grave. Now he has to lie in it.