While the New Orleans Saints are closing in on a deal with quarterback Jameis Winston, they doubled down on their investment in current backup Taysom Hill.
The Saints and Hill agreed to a two-year deal, which will take the place of the one-year, $4.641 million tender they had already offered him as a restricted free agent.
The deal is worth $21 million, including $16 million fully guaranteed at signing, plus $1 million more in performance incentives, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“I’ve felt a lot of love from the organization and the fan base. … My wife and I always wanted to stay in New Orleans, so this worked out perfect,” Hill said on a conference call Sunday.
Hill said the idea of a two-year deal “made the most sense for everybody” because it gives him an opportunity to become Drew Brees’ successor if Brees retires in the next year or two — but also gives him freedom if that doesn’t happen.
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Hill posted a message on Instagram on Sunday, stating, “I’ve had this dream since I was a little kid of playing in the NFL. The New Orleans Saints made that dream a reality. … Thank you NOLA.”
Hill, 29, did not sign an offer sheet with any other NFL teams before last week’s deadline for restricted free agents, which gave the Saints exclusive negotiating rights. Depending on how they structure the new deal, they could create some extra salary-cap space to help make room for Winston.
Regardless of Winston’s pending arrival, Saints coach Sean Payton has made it clear he considers the versatile Hill could potentially succeed Brees as New Orleans’ starting quarterback.
Hill got a late start to his NFL career because he went on a two-year church mission to Australia after high school, then spent five years at BYU, where he suffered a total of four season-ending injuries. But he was impressive enough as a dual-threat QB at BYU to finish his career with 6,929 passing yards, 43 TD passes, 2,815 rushing yards and 32 rushing TDs.
He started his NFL career as an undrafted rookie with the Green Bay Packers in 2017 before the Saints claimed him off waivers on cut-down day.
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