Drew Brees officially announced his retirement on Sunday, and New Orleans Saints fans are now wondering who their team’s starting quarterback will be in 2021. Sean Payton may not have the answer to that yet.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported on Monday that the Saints are working on a deal to re-sign Jameis Winston. However, she says that does not mean Winston would be assured the starting job, as Payton is likely to hold an open competition between Winston and Taysom Hill this summer.
Hill and the Saints agreed to a new contract on Sunday that initially sent fans into a frenzy, but it was merely a restructure that freed up salary cap space. One NFL source told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe that he predicts Hill will get the first crack at the starting QB job.
Hill has never been known for his passing ability, but Payton loves the versatility he brings to the Saints’ offense. The former BYU star completed an impressive 72.7 percent of his passes last season. He’s also averaged 5.3 yards per carry, which is why he’s capable of creating problems for defenses.
Some Saints players reportedly felt that Hill should not have been given the starting job after Brees went down with an injury last year, which bodes well for Winston.
The most likely outcome seems to be that Payton will use both quarterbacks, assuming the Saints get a contract done with Winston. Both should get an opportunity at some point in 2021.
Drew Brees has officially announced his retirement, but that is not the news that elicited the biggest reaction from New Orleans Saints fans on Sunday.
Almost immediately after Brees delivered his outstanding and unique retirement announcement, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Saints have agreed to a massive four-year extension with Taysom Hill. The deal is worth $140 million over four years and makes Hill one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in NFL history. Of course, Hill may never see a dime of it.
As Schefter explained, every year of Hill’s contract extension is voidable. The deal was purely a means for New Orleans to create more salary cap space. Here are the only details that matter for Hill’s wallet:
The Saints entered the offseason more than $50 million over the salary cap, so they have been doing everything they can to clear space. While head coach Sean Payton loves Hill, it sounds like another player could be the team’s starting QB now that Brees is gone.
Saints and NFL fans can relax — Taysom Hill is not actually a $140 million man.
Reality is setting in for a number of teams in the playoff race. We’re also seeing our perceptions challenged regarding teams who will be in the playoffs. The New Orleans Saints suffered a surprising loss, while the likes of the Seattle Seahawks had a major course correction that will help them immensely.
Beyond who’s in and out, it’s worth paying attention to who was a letdown. Several players and units, especially a handful of quarterbacks, really didn’t do themselves justice in Week 14. Here are the big disappointments.
Dan Bailey, K, Vikings
The only good news for Bailey on Sunday was that the 10 points he left on the board didn’t actually make up the difference in the game’s score. The Vikings kicker missed three field goals, including two from inside 50 yards, as well as an extra point, in Sunday’s 26-14 loss. That was a feat that no kicker has accomplished in nearly 60 years, ensuring Bailey’s unwanted place in NFL history. He may be on his way out after this one. It would be hard to call a possible dismissal undeserved.
Taysom Hill, QB, Saints
Sunday’s game was a reminder that despite all the hype, Hill is not Drew Brees. Hill is very raw in terms of his decision-making. Hill only had 65 passing yards in the first half, and he only managed to salvage his numbers once key Philadelphia defensive backs started going down with injuries in the second half. Hill was let down at times by his offensive line, but his decisions under pressure are questionable, and led in part to his two turnovers.
Daniel Jones, QB, Giants
Things were looking so good for the Giants last week. Now they just look bleak. Jones was crushed all day, getting sacked six times before finally being benched for his own good. Part of the problem was due to his offensive line, but some of it was on his slow recognition of pressure and his erratic play in general. The Giants now face an uphill fight to reclaim the top spot in the NFC East. Jones isn’t really consistent enough to be relied on to lead them there yet.
Nick Mullens, QB, 49ers
It’s not entirely clear what Kyle Shanahan sees in Mullens that has him convinced that backup C.J. Beathard would do any worse. Mullens started to fall apart late in the second quarter, when he fell victim to a Chase Young sack, fumbled, and saw Young return it for a touchdown. In the third quarter, he threw a pick-six to Kamren Curl that effectively put the game out of reach. Mullens misses open receivers and commits turnovers. His two turnovers on Sunday accounted for the difference in the game. That’s a no-go from a quarterback.
Las Vegas Raiders defense
The Raiders have faded significantly in the playoff race, and it’s almost entirely because of their defense. Raider opponents have averaged 391.5 total yards per game over the last six contests. The team has given up over 400 total yards seven times this season. That continued Sunday, when the Colts put up 456 total yards on the hapless Vegas defense. It was bad enough to get defensive coordinator Paul Guenther fired on Sunday night as the team’s playoff hopes flounder.
The New Orleans Saints have won their last three games with Taysom Hill as their starting quarterback, and they may be hoping the dynamic playmaker can give them at least two more solid performances.
There were rumblings last week that Drew Brees might be able to play in Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the 41-year-old will not be active. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Saints are not setting a timetable for Brees to return.
Brees was hoping to play in next week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but the team wants to be certain he is 100 percent recovered.
Brees is dealing with multiple rib fractures and an injury to his throwing shoulder. The Saints want to make sure he has full range of motion before inserting him back into the starting lineup. It also helps that — like last year with Teddy Bridgewater — New Orleans continues to win games with a backup quarterback.
Hill has never been known for his passing ability, but he has completed an impressive 71.6 percent of his passes this season. His rushing ability also adds an element to the Saints’ offense that Brees cannot provide, though defenses have a tendency to catch up to that in the NFL.
The Saints are 10-2 and in a position to not rush Brees back. If they beat the Eagles on Sunday, their worst-case scenario will be a one-game lead over the Green Bay Packers for the top seed in the NFC heading into Week 16. A report this week shed light on how confident the Saints are in Hill, so it makes sense that Sean Payton is content letting Brees fully recover.
The New Orleans Saints have won all three games that Taysom Hill has started this season, and that has apparently gone a long way toward the quarterback solidifying his future with the franchise.
Hill will start his fourth straight game on Sunday when the Saints take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Drew Brees is eligible to return from injured reserve, but he is still making his way back from a rib injury. However, Sean Payton may be taking his time getting Brees back into the lineup because of the way Hill has played.
According to Jeff Duncan of The Athletic, Hill’s play over the last three games “only bolstered the confidence internally that he is the eventual heir apparent to Drew Brees’ job.” That was thought to be the plan when the Saints signed Hill to a two-year, $21 million extension last offseason, and Payton feels his confidence in the multi-tool athlete has been validated.
Hill has never been known for his passing ability, but Payton loves the versatility he brings to the Saints’ offense. The former BYU star has completed an impressive 71.6 percent of his passes this season. He’s also averaged 5.3 yards per carry, which is why he’s capable of creating problems for defenses. Of course, many are skeptical that Hill will continue to be effective after teams have enough film on him.
Some Saints players reportedly felt that Hill should not have be given the starting job after Brees went down, but the results have certainly been positive. With Brees likely to retire after the season, it will be interesting to see how Payton handles the situation down the stretch.
Taysom Hill continues to win praise from around the league as he gets his first shot as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
The latest praise comes from Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio, who made a slightly tongue-in-cheek comment about Hill’s success so far with the New Orleans Saints.
“If he keeps it up, he’ll be the third-best quarterback in Saints history, behind Drew Brees and Archie Manning,” Fangio said, via Brandon Krisztal of KOA NewsRadio.
Obviously, it’s a bit early to make those pronouncements. Still, Hill was excellent against the Atlanta Falcons, going 18/23 for 233 yards.
One thing is clear: Fangio is not making the same mistake that Roddy White did last week. It probably means he won’t be hearing from Sean Payton afterward, win or lose.
Taysom Hill was a huge deal in ESPN’s fantasy football game last week, but the gravy train is coming to an end.
ESPN Fantasy announced on Monday that Hill is losing his tight end eligibility in their game.
Last week, word emerged that the New Orleans Saints were planning to start Hill at quarterback against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11. The report caused ESPN’s Fantasy app to crash because of an interesting quirk.
Hill had tight end eligibility, but would have been able to rack up quarterback points. That is a major advantage compared to someone who maybe catches a few passes for 30 yards, like your average tight end.
Unfortunately, Hill is losing his tight end eligibility on ESPN. This is the explanation the service provided:
Early last week, ESPN Fantasy maintained it would not take away Hill’s primary position eligibility of tight end once the league week began on Tuesday. The reason for this is so fantasy managers were given ample time to make necessary roster assessments and lineup decisions before waivers running early Wednesday morning and in advance of the first game of the week Thursday.
There goes that.
Hill passed for 233 yards and more importantly, rushed for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Those are monster numbers for a tight end, and still good numbers for a quarterback thanks to the rushing stats. But that sweet tight end advantage is coming to an end.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has made the somewhat surprising decision to start Taysom Hill at quarterback against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and the choice may not have sat well with all of the team’s players.
Multiple players and people within the Saints organization feel that Jameis Winston should be starting in place of the injured Drew Brees, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Payton, however, wants to evaluate whether or not Hill can become the full-time starting quarterback when Brees retires, which is likely to be after the season.
The Saints signed Hill to a two-year, $21 million extension last offseason. Payton reportedly informed Hill at that point that he would get an opportunity to start if Brees ever got injured.
But even with Hill starting on Sunday, the Saints have not ruled out keeping Winston once Brees retires. Winston is said to have impressed coaches and teammates in New Orleans thus far, and Payton considers him to be a part of the team’s long-term plans.
Brees was placed on injured reserve by the Saints on Friday, meaning he will be out for at least three games. The more we hear about the 41-year-old, the more banged up he sounds. Brees took a big hit in last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers (video here) that left him with rib fractures and a collapsed lung, and a new report revealed that the injuries are even more extensive than originally believed.
If Hill struggles on Sunday, it would not be a surprise to see Winston get a shot in Week 12. Both quarterbacks could have a chance to show why they are deserving of being the Saints’ starter after Brees is gone.
The New Orleans Saints are reportedly planning to start Taysom Hill at quarterback over Jameis Winston on Sunday. While many who play fantasy football were contemplating whether or not to plug Hill into their QB spot, people in ESPN leagues could not get to the waiver wire fast enough.
The reason for that is simple — Hill is eligible to be played at the tight end spot in ESPN fantasy leagues. Yahoo and other leagues only have Hill listed as a quarterback. So many people rushed to pick up Hill in ESPN leagues that the fantasy app crashed at one point.
Any starting quarterback is worth playing as a tight end in fantasy, but that is especially true this season. With George Kittle injured, the tight end position has been a mess beyond Travis Kelce. Hill’s rushing ability and touchdown potential make him a must-start for anyone, and even those who have Kelce on their teams would have to consider it.
The Hill news came as a surprise, as it was assumed that Jameis Winston would start for the Saints with Drew Brees injured.
It has been widely assumed that Jameis Winston will start at quarterback for the New Orleans Saints now that Drew Brees is expected to miss several weeks, but it sounds like the team is planning to go in a different direction.
Taysom Hill has been getting the starter reps in practice for the Saints this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.
While some have wondered if both Hill and Winston could see snaps against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports that Winston will not be part of any offensive packages.
Winston took over for Brees last week after the 41-year-old left the game with a rib injury. He completed 6-of-10 passes for 60 yards.
Hill is used in different offensive packages for the Saints even when Brees is healthy. He’s more of a combination between a quarterback, fullback and tight end, and Sean Payton likes to line him up in different spots and use him as a change-of-pace option.
The Saints signed Hill to a lucrative extension even after they brought in Winston last offseason, which shows they envision him as part of their future. There has been talk that he could be the starter when Brees retires, so it would make sense for Payton to give him the job while Brees is out.
Brees is dealing with multiple injuries that sound quite serious. He is expected to miss several games.