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Taysom Hill vs. Panthers
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With Drew Brees Returning In 2020, What Does That Mean For Taysom Hill?

Drew Brees #9 and Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints celebrate a touchdown pass during the third quarter during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The first piece to the New Orleans Saints quarterback puzzle is now in place. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees is returning to the NFL in 2020 and most likely will be playing for the Saints once a new contract is signed.

But the question here, what does that mean for BYU legend and Saints do-it-all extraordinaire Taysom Hill?

Hill is a restricted free agent when free agency opens in the NFL on March 18th.  During his rounds throughout radio row at the Super Bowl down in Miami, Hill made it clear that he views himself as a franchise quarterback and nothing less. Saints head coach Sean Payton has gone as far as to say the Saints could potentially offer a First-round tender to Hill.

When you’re throwing around the first-round tender, that would seem that the Saints view last year’s third-string quarterback as the guy of the future. But it’s not that easy.

How does Drew Brees’ return impact Taysom Hill’s free agency?

The first order of business for Brees now that he has announced he is turning down a potential broadcasting career to play again in the NFL, is the contract. What money will Brees command from the Saints? Is Brees looking for the big payday that is basically a career achievement deal or will he take a hometown discount as Tom Brady has done with the Patriots in recent years? The Saints are in the bottom five of the NFL for available cap space this upcoming season.

Last year’s backup Teddy Bridgewater is likely on his way out of New Orleans with Brees announcing he is returning to football this season.

If Brees is seeking a huge payday, another team could offer Taysom a contract that the Saints potentially wouldn’t be able to afford/match. That wouldn’t be the end of the world for the Saints as they would receive a first-round pick in the NFL Draft from the team extending that offer to Hill, assuming the first-round tender is offered. But no team has believed in Taysom and his abilities more than Sean Payton and the Saints brass.

Now with Brees back and on the heels of Hill’s excellent play in the NFL Playoffs, the former BYU star needs more snaps in 2020 to show he can be the franchise quarterback he’s looking to be. Brees has expressed that he is fine with Taysom playing more snaps if it means the Saints will be in a better position to win.

Taysom Hill’s reaction to Drew Brees returning in 2020

Shortly after Brees’ announcement that he would be returning, Taysom hopped on ESPN’s Adam Schefter Podcast to discuss the news.

“I just barely saw the news that he had announced it. But he and I had conversations in the past. I had a pretty good inkling that he was going to come back. I just didn’t know when everyone else was going to find out,” Hill said. “I’m so excited for Drew to come back. He’s become such a good friend, such a great mentor to me. When we had conversations, I told him that I sure hope he came back and played. I felt like it was better for the NFL for him to be playing. Certainly, a great thing for the Saints and for all of us to continue to watch him play.”

Schefter then followed up by asking Taysom, You’re okay with not being the [Saints] starting quarterback in 2020?

“I have so much respect and admiration for Drew,” said Hill. “I will support him for as long as I can. I hope he continues to play. Obviously there’s a process going to restricted free agency and we’ll go through that process and see what happens. But man, I would love to play with Drew again. I think having had three years behind him, it really has been the best thing for my career. If that turns out to have another year to learn from him, it’s only going to make me that much better.”

What happens with Taysom Hill in NFL Free Agency?

The most likely outcome for Taysom Hill in Free Agency is that he stays with the New Orleans Saints. But other teams to potentially keep an eye on are the New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders, and Tennessee Titans. All three of those teams have uncertainty at quarterback and they have picks in the back half of the first round.

NFL Free Agency begins on March 18th, 2020 at 4 p.m. ET.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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