Saints: The Taysom Hill experiment at quarterback is over

Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has his share of regrets during his tenure (the Ninkovich debacle comes to mind), but signing Taysom Hill should rank high on the list.

Five years after Payton first brought Hill onto the team, the Hill hype has fizzled out — his potential stifled, the experiment failed. Throughout his time on the Saints, Hill made valuable contributions at wide receiver and on specials teams, but Payton had also sunk his faith (and a considerable amount of money) in the BYU product as a Lamar Jackson-type quarterback.

Payton may not be able to swallow his pride now, but he can definitely eat some of his words, including one instance when he compared Hill to Steve Young. Talk about a bad take.

In Payton’s absence, there’s almost no hope for Hill to fight his way to even a rotational quarterback role. He was hand-fed those opportunities by Payton in the past two years, but no one in Saints camp has his back now.

New Orleans Saints hope the short-lived Taysom Hill quarterback era is over

In five starts under center last year, Hill scraped his way to a 4-1 record, and he owns a 7-2 starting record overall. On the surface, that stat seems palatable enough, but on the field Hill’s quarterback play proved inefficient and painful to watch all last season. His ceiling as an accurate passer is as low as that of a dog house, and it’s time for the Saints to move on.

NOLA experienced a brief scare when it was reported that the franchise were going after the ever controversial Deshaun Watson, but Saints fans can breathe a sigh of relief. The Browns now have to deal with all that muck — the only thing on New Orleans’ mind should be prepping Jameis Winston to take over starting quarterback duties in 2022.

What exactly should the Saints expect moving forward? For one, fewer offensive packages featuring Hill as a dual-threat QB. Hill had his moments of glory, such as his touchdown run against the Jets late last season or his jaw-dropping mid-game hurdle of a Cowboys defender, but his situation-dependent success shouldn’t serve as a crutch for the Saints, not if they want to develop strong offensive rhythm this season.

Stability will be the name of the game for NOLA as they usher in the Dennis Allen era, and that starts with having a dependable and trustworthy quarterback.

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Hill’s Swiss Army utility and spryness may have served him well in backyard throw-arounds, but in an era marked by high-paid, top-performing quarterbacks across the league, serving as a franchise quarterback has become a privilege, not a right.

And Hill lost those privileges a long time ago.