The New Orleans Saints don’t have many bad contract commitments. That doesn’t mean they’re perfect.
Heading into 2020, the Saints are staring down a brave new world in the NFC South. With Cam Newton gone from Carolina and Tom Brady now going full Florida Man down in Tampa, New Orleans’ race for yet another division title won’t be quite like what we’ve gotten used to. Luckily, the team has consistently made smart moves to keep a sustainable, winning future intact.
But taking a look at their salary allotments currently on the books, they aren’t getting maximum efficiency out of every last roster spot. We hate to admit this, but Taysom Hill’s deal isn’t the tidiest thing in the world, particularly in light of the Saints signing Jameis Winston at quarterback.
Is Taysom Hill the worst New Orleans Saints contract?
Let’s be clear: Hill is a productive player who can make opponents pay by exploiting mismatches. Unfortunately, looking up and down a roster full of smart, valuable contracts, his does stand out as being on the iffier side. His 2020 money is perfectly fair — his cap hit is just $4.8 million — but it’s the final year of his deal in 2021 that makes things dicey.
Next year, Hill accounts for nearly $16.2 million against the cap, with a dead cap value of $11.2 million that makes ditching him untenable. This commitment suggests, all told, that the Saints really do believe he can be a full-time No. 1 quarterback in 2021, Drew Brees’ age 42 season.
Sadly, the evidence doesn’t suggest that Hill can or should be the guy. This doesn’t mean he isn’t a good player, and that he doesn’t have a productive role to play.
It’s simply that $16.2 million is too much for a wild card role-player. Consider that in that same year, legit Pro Bowlers and All-Pro guys like Ryan Ramczyk, Andrus Peat, and Marshon Lattimore will make less money than Hill.
Betting on a fan favorite to succeed has the makings of a feelgood story, and overall, the Saints just don’t have any contracts that stand out as wall-to-wall stinkers. Hill will nevertheless be overpaid in 2021, an inconvenient subject that grows all the more fascinating if the aging Brees cannot play the full campaign and Winston isn’t retained.