The Saints wasted no time giving Taysom Hill a restructured new contract when Drew Brees made his retirement official. Hill remains Brees’ presumptive full-time replacement starter in 2021, but at the same time, New Orleans has the flexibility to make him compete for the job.
The main goal of Hill’s four-year, $ 140 million extension was to create much-needed salary cap relief for this season. Hill had previously been under a one-year contract for $ 16.3 million, with a guaranteed $ 16 million and a signing bonus of $ 8 million.
Hill’s new deal earns him $ 12,159 million, all guaranteed for 2021, now with an additional signing bonus of $ 9,686 million. Hill’s base salary is just $ 1.034 million and the bonus spans five years, with about $ 1.9 million per season allocated from 2022 to 2025. All contract years are voidable and the Saints would not have any. cost of dead capital to get out of the deal after two years.
The bottom line is that Hill costs the Saints now just $ 8.4 million against the cap in 2021, saving them about $ 7.5 million. He also carries only a cap of $ 7.7 million for 2022. The Saints would not remove any caps by cutting Hill after one season, but they would also eat only those future $ 7.7 million in dead money.
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The Saints aren’t suddenly pouring $ 35 million a season into Hill based on the imagined annual average. In fact, in many ways they are investing less. Brees had also restructured before his retirement to cost the Saints just $ 12.225 million toward the salary cap in 2021 while he remained on the roster until June 1, after which his absence will create another $ 1 million in salary space. .
Hill is promising as New Orleans’ regular double-threat quarterback after a strong season replacing an injured Brees in 2020, showing off a great arm along with his natural dynamic athleticism. Hill was 3-1, throwing for 928 yards and 4 touchdowns with just 2 interceptions, with a healthy 7.7 yards per attempt and a robust 98.8 passer rating. Throughout the season, he also had 588 yards from scrimmage as a running back and catcher, with 9 more TDs.
But even though the Saints and Sean Payton love Hill on offense, he’s still a long-term wild card ahead of his 31-year season. With New Orleans on track to meet the salary cap now, it is better positioned to bring back Jameis Winston with another bargain full of incentives contract. Hill’s tight deal also shouldn’t close the door on the Saints selecting an early QB, whether that’s No. 28 overall in the first round or No. 60 overall in the second round.
The Saints went through a lot of salary stunts with general manager Mickey Loomis, but in the end, they are a transitional playoff team on the brink of a major rebuild. By replacing a legend like Brees, Hill has a great opportunity to open the door to a true mega contact. At the same time, the Saints are not investing too much in uncertainty and leaving the door open to quickly go in a different direction.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.