The New England Patriots probably can’t afford to try and steal quarterback Taysom Hill away from the New Orleans Saints this month.
As uncertainty continues to surround the future of Tom Brady and the quarterback position for the New England Patriots, at least one possible option now appears to be unlikely as a backup plan for the six-time Super Bowl champions.
The No. 1 priority for the Pats still needs to be finding a way to convince Brady to stay. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best possible — and best available — quarterback to help this team contend for a seventh Super Bowl championship in 2020 is the one they still technically have on their roster for another 10 days or so.
But if Brady leaves and signs with another team like the Tennessee Titans or the Las Vegas Raiders, New England will be left scrambling to figure out their plans — both short-term and long-term.
In the short-term argument column, several names that have been floated as potential Brady replacements include Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, and Case Keenum. In the long-term argument column, younger players like Marcus Mariota, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, and Teddy Bridgewater have more frequently been linked to the Patriots.
Another name in that second column? Bridgewater’s 2019 teammate on the New Orleans Saints: Taysom Hill.
The former BYU quarterback has been used sparingly at QB by head coach Sean Payton since coming to the franchise as an undrafted free agent in 2017. It’s no wonder either — the Saints have had one of the best QBs of all-time during that interim in Drew Brees, and it looks like Brees will be back in 2020 once again.
Hill has made quite a name for himself though as a gadget type weapon in Payton’s offense, sometimes playing running back, sometimes playing quarterback, but more often than not actually playing wide receiver. His versatility and talent has made him a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would surely love to get his hands on that type of player — and there’s even a school of thought that Hill could potentially grow into a terrific long-term quarterback option for a team as well.
But his chances of landing with the Patriots in 2020 just took a massive hit, as ESPN’s Mike Triplett reported on Friday that the Saints plan to place a first-round tender on Hill. He could still technically leave in free agency now, but whichever team signs him would have to give up a first-round draft pick to do so — an unlikely scenario for anyone, but particularly for a cautious team like New England.
Additionally, Triplett reports that New Orleans is still trying to re-sign Hill to a long-term contract anyway.
All of this means that the Patriots are probably out of the Taysom Hill “sweepstakes” this month — although optimists will note it also betters the chances that Teddy Bridgewater might not be in the Saints’ long-term plans, which could make him all the more available to New England if Brady leaves for another team.