Taysom Hill Excited For An Off-Season Like No Other He Has Experienced Before
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Taysom Hill, otherwise known as the “swiss army knife” is anticipating an off-season like he has never experienced before. For the first time in the 29 year old’s career, he will have a decision to make. Will he stay? Or will he go? What position will he play? Those questions, and others, will be answered over the coming months.
Hill sat down with NBC New Orleans sports anchor Fletcher Mackel and answered questions regarding his future.
Talked with #Saints QB/WR/TE/RB/FB Taysom Hill on Tuesday about his pending free agency (he's a restricted free agent) and about his future in the NFL — how badly does he want the opportunity to play quarterback full time?
— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) January 8, 2020
“Look this is the first time that my wife and I have been in this situation, going into free agency, but I think that there is already a structure in place in terms of when free agency hits. So I think for me, my wife and I are going to enjoy this offseason and we are going to make sure that I continue to take care of my body and give myself the best situation to be successful looking ahead to next season,” Hill said when asked about what this off season looks like for him. “We will certainly have conversations with my agent and see what he is hearing but it is kind of one of those things where you just have to sit back and see what happens.”
Hill enters free agency as a restricted free agent, meaning that Hill and his agent may shop around the league for adequate compensation. If another club offers Hill, the Saints will have the right to match that offer and keep Hill on their roster as they have the right of first refusal. Starting March 18, Hill will officially become a free agent, Hill, and his agent will then have until April 17 to sign any offers that have come their way. The Saints will then have until June 15 to determine whether they plan on keeping Hill around or letting him go.
“I want to play quarterback, I want to have an opportunity to compete for a quarterback spot. But, I do not know what that means as I am yet to have preliminary conversations with New Orleans and I certainly have not had conversations with other teams,” Hill responded when asked about what position he would like to play moving forward. “I do not know how people are viewing me but at the end of the day I realized that I love competing and I love playing football.”
The swiss army knife is coming off his most impressive professional season to date. During the regular season, Hill threw the ball sparingly, ending the season with a 50 percent completion percentage on just 6 attempts. However, he added 156 yards on the ground averaging 5.8 yards per carry while also snagging 19 receptions from 22 targets (he only dropped three balls!) averaging 12.3 yards a catch and scoring a combined seven touchdowns.
On top of all of that, Hill also contributes in multiple ways that do not affect the box score. He participates in every special team’s unit and frequently blocks punts and returns kickoffs. He is placed in the backfield as a lead blocker for Alvin Kamara and blows up opposing linebackers trying to fill their gaps.
The Wildcard loss to the Minnesota Vikings was heartbreaking for a team that had ambitions to lift the Lombardi Trophy in 2019-20, however, Hill’s performance was impressive. His only pass of the night went 50 yards that ended up in the lap of wide receiver Deonte Harris that put the Saints on the two-yard-line as well as adding 4 carries for 50 yards on the ground. He was a beast and could not be stopped.
TAYSOM HILL WENT BEAST MODE 😤
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 5, 2020
During head coach Sean Payton’s final press conference following the disappointing wildcard loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Payton spoke about the impact Hill has had on the 2019-20 season.
“The more we kept watching, the more and more we [coaches] realized that he is one of our better players and needs to be on the field…He is an exceptional football player and he does a lot of things well, I am glad he is on our team.”
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 7, 2020
Hill is not the only quarterback on the Saints roster whose future seems uncertain. Both Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater are unrestricted free agents, meaning they can sign with any team they like and the Saints will not be able to do anything about it. Unlike with Hill who is a restricted free agent, the only difference being that the Saints can match any offer given to Hill.
Both Bridgewater and Brees have not given any indication of what their future holds.
“I’m not making any comments on that other than as I’ve told you guys the last couple of years, I always take it one year at a time. I kind of re-evaluate each offseason, find the things I want to get better at and move along,” Brees told reporters after the Saints’ loss to the Vikings on Jan 5.
Although if the past is any indication of where Bridgewater would like to spend his future, one would imagine that he will continue to be a Saint next year. During the 2019 off-season, Bridgewater declined a two-year deal from the Miami Dolphins and instead opted to sign a one year deal with the Saints, despite being a Miami native. Bridgewater seems comfortable and content in New Orleans.
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