Although the New Orleans Saints are closing in on a deal with quarterback Jameis Winston, they haven’t forgotten Taysom Hill.
The Saints and Hill, 29, agreed to a two-year deal. It will take the place of the one-year, $4.641 million tenders they previously offered him as a restricted free agent.
The deal, worth $21 million, includes $16 million fully guaranteed at signing. It also includes $1 million more in performance incentives, according to ESPN.
“I’ve felt a lot of love from the organization and the fan base. … My wife and I always wanted to stay in New Orleans, so this worked out perfect,” Hill said on a Sunday conference call.
The idea of a two-year deal gives Hill a chance to become Drew Brees’ successor. This is if Brees retires in the next year or two, however, it also gives him freedom if that scenario doesn’t work out.
“This gives me a clear trajectory and opportunity for me to compete and to be the guy in New Orleans in  if Drew decides to be done. And if he’s not, then we’ll figure out another contract or my role will continue to be the way it is,” Hill said. “This was a way to prevent me to get to free agency next year, and it created some structure for both me and my family, as well as the organization.”
Hill, 29, did not sign an offer sheet with any other teams before last week’s deadline for restricted free agents. This gave the Saints exclusive negotiating rights. This could create extra salary-cap space to help make room for Jameis Winston.
Regardless of Winston’s pending arrival, Saints coach Sean Payton has made it clear he believes the versatile Hill could potentially succeed Brees as New Orleans’ starting quarterback.