Now that Drew Brees has decided to return for another season with the New Orleans Saints, the future of two backup quarterbacks on the roster is up in the air.
Former first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater is slated to leave in free agency and could receive up to $30 million annually on the open market. The future of former BYU quarterback and undrafted free agent Taysom Hill is more up in the air. Seen by some as a gimmick quarterback, Hill believes he’s a franchise quarterback and has been backed up by some around the league.
Set to become a restricted free agent, Hill could very well remain with the Saints. There’s also a chance they place a high restricted tender on Hill in hopes of recouping draft picks via a contract offer from another team or a trade.
Here’s the deal: At 29 years old, Hill has thrown a grand total of 13 regular-season passes without a single touchdown in his career. Despite this, some believe he’s a legitimate starter in the NFL.
- Hill’s playmaking ability has been renowned since he started taking a regular part in the Saints’ offense back in 2018. We’ve seen him make elite-level play after elite-level play.
- In an NFL that continues to struggle with solid quarterback play, Hill could offer another team a breath of fresh air. A dual-threat quarterback in a league that’s valuing pure pocket passers at an all-time low clip. Think Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Josh Allen and Russell Wilson.
- In no way does this mean Hill will turn out to be a top-end starter in the NFL. He doesn’t have the experience. The pedigree is lacking. However, at least one team will view him as a potential starter this coming March.
It’s in this that we look at the best potential fits for Hill should the Saints decide to let him walk in free agency or trade the signal-caller. The number of teams are limited.
Las Vegas Raiders: We already know that Jon Gruden is looking to make a splash. If option A is not available, Hill makes sense.
- Las Vegas is going after six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. In fact, it is preparing a $60 million offer to the quarterback.
- If the Raiders can’t land Brady, Hill becomes a viable option in Gruden’s offense. The head coach has raved about dual-threat signal-callers in recent years and Hill fits that to a T.
- He’d be a much bigger threat in Las Vegas’ offense than incumbent starter Derek Carr, who is likely on his way out of town quicker than a fraud attempting to count cards.
- Given the Saints are considering placing a high-round tender on Hill, the Raiders could offer up one of their three first-round picks and change in a trade.
New England Patriots: Bill Belichick and Co. will be stuck between a rock and a hard place should Brady decide to leave in March.
- The Patriots are not going into full-scale rebuild mode with the 67-year-old Belichick leading the charge. This means 2019 mid-round pick Jarrett Stidham is not an option.
- Outside of the obvious options, in that of Philip Rivers and the like, Hill could be a wildcard for New England. He has already been linked to the team.
- This would be a way for the Pats to try their hand with a multi-faceted quarterback after relying on the immobile Brady for the past two decades. Would it be a fit? We’re not too sure.
Miami Dolphins: Even if the Fins were to draft a quarterback this coming April, it stands to reason that they need a stopgap option under center.
- Hill could very well be that guy. He’d energize the fan base a lot more than what we saw from Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen during the 2019 season.
- The great news here for Miami is that it has five selections within the first two rounds of April’s draft. The team could acquire Hill in a variety of ways without delving too deep into its draft-pick collection.
- Of all the teams I mention here, Miami makes the most sense. It has the draft capital and the cap room. It has the need. Why not take a chance on a dynamic signal-caller after the disaster we’ve seen under center in South Beach since Dan Marino’s retirement?
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger plans to be completely healthy for the 2020 season. If so, he’ll be the starter. However, there’s a lot more to look at here.
- There’s absolutely no reason to believe Mike Tomlin will go into the 2020 season with Devlin Hodges or Mason Rudolph as the top backup to Big Ben.
- Neither quarterback did a darn thing with Roethlisberger injured last season. In short, the Steelers need both a short-term backup and a long-term option.
- Hill could provide the best of both worlds. In comparison, it would be cheaper than the Steelers paying a bounty for a young quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. They are also without a first-round pick by virtue of the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade.
There’s a reason Hill has been bandied about as a potential starter since the end of the season. He’s intriguing to teams in need of an upgrade at quarterback.
Now that New Orleans will have Drew Brees under center next season, there’s a good chance the team will look to move Hill for draft pick assets.
If that’s the case, s of teams will be interested. It won’t be limited to the four we have listed here.