LOCALS IN THE NFL

Saints Head Coach: Taysom Hill Is ‘Absolutely’ An NFL Starting Quarterback

Jan 31, 2020, 11:45 AM | Updated: 11:46 am
Sean Payton - Taysom Hill - New Orleans Saints...
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton talks to New Orleans Saints Quarterback Taysom Hill (7) during warmups before the NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons on November 28, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, La. – New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton proclaimed that Taysom Hill will “absolutely” be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Payton joined Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis on his show “Outkick The Coverage” on Thursday, January 30, a few days prior to Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida.

Travis asked the Saints head coach if he thought that Hill had the ability to be a full-time starter in the NFL to which Payton responded, “Absolutely. Absolutely. Sooner than later. He’s gonna be a starting quarterback in our league.”

After a heartbreaking 26-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card round of the playoffs, the Saints enter the offseason with multiple questions surrounding the quarterback position that need to be answered in the coming weeks.

Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater enter free agency in March while Taysom Hill becomes a restricted free agent.

“We felt like we had a great (quarterback) room,” said Payton of his three QBs in 2019.

Drew Brees

Future hall of fame QB Drew Brees completed his 14th season with the Saints and the 19th of his NFL career at the conclusion of the 2019 season. Brees is currently debating whether to hang up his cleats and retire or return to “The Big Easy” for another year.

Brees finished the 2019 season throwing with 74.3 completion percentage for 2,979 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.

Teddy Bridgewater

Brees’ backup, Teddy Bridgewater, enters free agency this offseason having led New Orleans to five straight victories after Brees went out of the lineup with a thumb injury in week tw0 of the season. He threw for 1,384 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions with a 67.9 completion percentage in nine games last season.

Bridgewater was the highest-paid backup QB in the NFL in 2019.

When asked if Teddy Bridgewater or Taysom Hill would be the Saints starting quarterback if Drew Brees retired this offseason Payton responded, “I think there’s a real good chance.”

Taysom Hill

The former BYU signal-caller joined “The ThomaHawk Show” podcast on Thursday, January 31 and said that he viewed himself “as a franchise guy” when discussing his future with the New Orleans franchise.

Hill completed his third NFL season in 2019 as New Orleans’ third-string quarterback and swiss army knife offensive weapon.

He helped the Saints to a 13-3 regular season regular, an NFC South Division title, and a spot in the NFL postseason.

Despite the title of a backup quarterback, Payton found ways to utilize Hill’s talents on offense and special teams. Hill only threw six passes during the season but ran the ball 27 times for 156 yards and a touchdown. He recorded 19 receptions for 234 yards and 6 touchdowns.

“My best guess would be that if he (Brees) were to retire there’s a good chance one of those two guys (Bridgewater and Hill) would be (the starting quarterback),” said Payton. “Hopefully we find a way to keep both of them.”

Brees joined NBC Sports Radio’s Pro Football Talk on Friday, January 31 to discuss his upcoming decision.

“If I’m back and Taysom’s alongside me, call the plays that puts us in the best position to win. If that means Taysom Hill is taking 30 snaps a game. 25 snaps a game. So be it. I’m all for that.”

The Saints have the option to retain the Hill with a one-year tender or a new contract. It’s also possible that another team could lure Hill away in free agency.

At his end-of-season presser, Payton said that he was glad Hill was a member of the Saints.

NFL free agency begins on March 18 at 2 p.m. (MDT).

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