New Orleans Saints plan to use versatile Taysom Hill primarily as stretch

The New Orleans Saints plan to use Taysom Hill primarily as a tight end instead of a quarterback in the future, new coach Dennis Allen confirmed Tuesday.

That shouldn’t come as a big surprise, considering the Saints – after pursuing a trade for Deshaun Watson – just signed Jameis Winston to a two-year contract with a base value of $28 million to be their starting quarterback. .

Still, it’s worth noting that Hill spent last summer in open competition with Winston for the starting quarterback position, which will no longer be the case in 2022.

“I think Taysom’s role will really be a lot more of the F tight end, ‘move’ tight end type of role. I think that’s the direction we have to go with him, because I think he can to be one of the best players in the league in that role,” Allen told reporters at the NFL’s annual meetings in Palm Beach, Florida. “So if Jameis is playing quarterback, I don’t really like having Taysom next to me on the sidelines. And so I think you’ll see him more in that type of role.”

The Saints have always had this philosophy of not wanting to waste Hill’s versatility on the sidelines. They therefore rarely used him as their designated quarterback on game days. Instead, they’ve used him in play option packages — at tight end, wide receiver, running back and fullback positions — and in several special teams roles.

Hill only started games at quarterback when starters Drew Brees or Winston suffered long-term injuries, so it’s unclear if that could remain a possibility for the 31-year-old if a similar scenario appeared in the future. But in the meantime, it looks like the Saints’ vision is to grow Hill’s other assets.

The former BYU quarterback has been one of the most versatile players in the NFL since he originally joined the Saints as an undrafted rookie in 2017. Hill has started nine games at quarterback over the past past two years with an impressive 7-2 record. The 6-foot-2, 221-pound also has 34 career receptions for 388 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season — plus five more catches for 32 yards and two playoff touchdowns. He has 1,183 career rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.

Hill signed a one-time contract extension with the Saints last November that was to pay him $40 million over four years if he stays in a non-quarterback role, but could be worth up to $95 million if he does. became the starting QB and hit certain benchmarks. .

Winston, meanwhile, repeatedly expressed on Monday that he was looking forward to being installed as the starting quarterback for an entire offseason instead of competing for the position throughout training camp and the season. pre-season.

“I’m glad I don’t have to go to training camp with the question of whether I’m going to lead this team or not,” said Winston, who went 5-2 as a New Orleans starter. last year before tearing the ACL in his left knee. “I think that’s what a lot of people forget when you talk about continuity and development, I was only named starting quarterback on this team a week before we played the Green Bay Packers (Week 1) And in that same week, we’re migrating to Dallas and coordinating different things and having to move our whole family (to evacuate for Hurricane Ida).

“So me as the overall leader to impact this team the way I wanted to impact this team…it was short-lived. So I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to have the full reins, to have everything I need. And I hope everyone in the building is okay with that too.

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