The New Orleans Saints are poised for a Super Bowl run this year in what might be Drew Brees final NFL season. While plenty of attention is on the present, though, head coach Sean Payton has reportedly already picked out his starting quarterback once Brees retires.
New Orleans was busy this offseason, bolstering its roster with the likes of Cesar Ruiz and Emmanuel Sanders. But the team also signaled its plans for the future with one specific move.
Saints view Taysom Hill as ‘the guy’ for the future
Sean Payton has never been shy about his appreciation for Taysom Hill. While the 29-year-old quarterback doesn’t get many opportunities as a passer, he is the most unique weapon in the NFL. After three seasons in New Orleans working under Payton, the organization seems to have decided on Brees’ successor.
“No smokescreen, he’s the guy. Sean Payton loves him but it’s not just him, the whole team loves him, not just Sean Payton,” Jay Glazer said, via The Athletic. “Watch a Saints game. When he’s in the game, watch the other players on the sideline, watch their reaction.”
While Brees is coming back for the 2020 season, it looks like this will be his final season in the NFL. The future Hall of Famer already made plans for his post-playing days, further signaling this will be his last year in New Orleans.
Can Taysom Hill be a starting quarterback
For all the highlights Hill produces on offense and special teams, there are some lingering questions outside of New Orleans about his ability to be a starter. He didn’t even draw a hint of consideration from other teams when the Saints placed a first-round tender on Hill.
Entering his age-30 season, Hill hasn’t exactly been productive as a passer in limited opportunities. He completed just 6-of-13 attempts with 119 passing yards, one interception and a 46.6 quarterback rating in 37 games. When Brees went down during the 2019 season, New Orleans made Teddy Bridgewater its starting quarterback.
Hill excels as an offensive weapon with game-changing speed and the ability to make plays all over the field. He rushed for 156 yards this past season with 234 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns.
Based purely on passing talent, Jameis Winston is superior to Hill and could be a viable starter for the Saints in 2021 and beyond. However, if the Saints view Hill as a bigger Lamar Jackson, which is how he was described by Glazer, the decision might already be made. Only time will tell if the Saints’ confidence in Hill as their long-term quarterback of the future is proven to be justified.