ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Saints and Hill agreed to a two-year contract Sunday that will keep him with the franchise through 2021. The deal essentially acts as an extension of the one-year, $4.6 million tender the Saints placed on Hill before the free-agency period.
"I’ve had this dream since I was a little kid of playing in the NFL," Hill wrote on Instagram. "The New Orleans Saints made that dream a reality, and over the past 3 years I’ve had the opportunity to play with and for some of the best men I’ve ever known. I am humbled and grateful that my wife, future son, and I get to continue living our dream in the city we love, with the people we love! Thank you NOLA!"
It's unclear if this Hill deal will have any impact on the Saints' negotiations with Winston, which were reported by Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. No announcement was made on the reported one-year pact.
Regardless, the Saints are making an eye-popping financial commitment to a guy who's mostly been a gadget player in his NFL career. Listed as a quarterback, Hill has thrown only 13 passes in three seasons. As a running back and receiver, Hill has only 86 career touches.
As far as payment-per-touch goes, Hill undoubtedly ranks as the highest-paid skill position player in the sport. The Saints have been mostly effective on plays with Hill on the field, but these are highly scripted and coached package plays, the exact type that tend to be more successful than average calls regardless of situation.
The Saints also drafted Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens, a similarly skilled athlete, in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft. Given the raise handed to Hill here, it's fair to wonder if the Saints were better off waiting until next offseason.
That said, Hill is a clear favorite of coach Sean Payton, who said on Get Up last month that he sees him as a starting quarterback:
"I think the role is pretty clear, and first and foremost, we still view him as a quarterback, and we spent a lot of time this offseason discussing our vision for him this season at quarterback, but then also at the F-position. And what I mean by that ... that slash, tight end, wide receiver, he's a tremendous blocker, he's physical. I don't think people realize how fast he is. He's probably one of the three or four fastest guys on the team. So, he'll play that F-position, he'll certainly be involved in the kicking game. It's one of the things he takes pride in and is very good at.
"And then the unique situation with our team and with our quarterback, Drew Brees is, he's announced he's coming back for his final season, I think Taysom sees himself as being a starting quarterback in this league and we do too."
If Brees does retire after the 2020 season—he's under contract through 2021—then it appears this deal with Hill is a commitment to giving him a chance to prove himself.