Taysom Hill had a breakout season for the Saints, acting as their gimmicky Swiss army knife with blades that work at wide receiver, running back, quarterback and special teams.
Apparently after that success, Hill now thinks he's morphed into a deadly machete capable of singlehandedly slicing and dicing up defenses from a singular position under center.
Unfortunately for him and his bank account, he's wrong.
After a season in which he completed all of three passes for the Saints, Hill, a restricted free agent, came out and said he views himself as a franchise quarterback and is willing to leave the Saints for the right opportunity. For a guy who will turn 30 before the season starts, and has thrown a total of zero touchdowns and one interception in his career... To say that really takes some guile.
Looking around the NFL currently, there are only a handful of teams looking for a quarterback. Unfortunately for Hill, this year's free agent quarterback class is talented and deep and has no room for a wannabe quarterback who has never proven himself in this league and is too old to be considered a developmental project.
From Tom Brady and Drew Brees at the top to Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers and Teddy Bridgewater in the middle to Jameis Winston and Case Keenum below them, there are nearly a dozen free agent quarterbacks more established, accomplished and talented than Hill. With only about eight starting quarterback positions open (and some of those getting filled in the draft [RE: Bengals]), I'm not sure what franchise Hill thinks is going to give him a big contract at 30-years-old. But I can tell you anyone who pays him won't be paying him QB money.
Hill established himself as a perfect utility man this season for the Saints, rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown while catching 19 passes for 234 yards and 6 touchdowns in the regular season. He threw the ball six times on trick/gimmick plays, but at no point was he the Saints go-to quarterback. And that's in a season where Brees missed six games. But instead of giving Hill the starting job, New Orleans handed the reins to Teddy Bridgewater, who performed admirably. That will earn Bridgewater a QB contract this offseason and solidify to other teams what Sean Payton (a bright, offensive-minded head coach) thinks of Hill's skillset.
This isn't to trash Hill. He was an enjoyable player to watch this season. In the playoffs, he was the Saints' difference-maker in a near-comeback win against the Vikings. But make no mistake, that was as a receiver, running back, blocker and tackler on special teams. It was not as a quarterback because Hill isn't a quarterback. He might think he is, but free agency will teach him otherwise.