As the Patriots wait on Tom Brady’s free agency decision before moving onto a further quarterback search, many names have been thrown around as the heir to Tom Brady, including Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, and utility man Taysom Hill. While Bridgewater and Mariota have had success as starting quarterbacks, albeit limited success, Taysom Hill has not had that same opportunity. The Saints have used Hill in a variety of ways, as a running back, wide receiver, tight end and special teamer, but Hill has reiterated time and time again his desire to play quarterback in the NFL. While I hope he gets that chance, I surely don’t want that chance to be with the New England Patriots.
Much like the Patriots have uncertainty at quarterback for 2020, the Saints were in a similar situation. Like Brady, Saints quarterback Drew Brees is an unrestricted free agent. Until yesterday, the Saints and their fans were unsure whether the 41-year-old QB would be returning to football at all, nevermind the Saints. But the future Hall of Famer put any rumors to rest by announcing his return on Instagram.
If Brees had chosen to retire or take his talents elsewhere, the Saints would’ve been stuck with a difficult decision at quarterback. With both Hill and Bridgewater as free agents, the Saints would have had to choose between the two. The obvious choice for the immediate future would have been Bridgewater, who started and won the five games that Brees missed in 2019. Bridgewater is also two years younger than Hill and has much more experience in the NFL.
After Brees announced his return, Hill said that he would like to continue playing with Drew Brees, but would also not rule out a departure from the Saints. If Hill feels that being the backup to Brees for another season or two can ultimately allow him to be the face of the franchise, or if he can’t find a starting job elsewhere, he may opt to stick around with what is familiar to him. This announcement also means the likely departure of Bridgewater, who has played well enough to secure a starting job elsewhere in the NFL.
Taysom Hill is the quintessential Patriot. He is a guy who has accepted any role that has been thrown his way, even playing a major role on special teams as a quarterback. He is a Swiss army knife who can do almost anything, a player that Bill Belichick would love to have in his system. In 2019, he totaled 390 yards from scrimmage with seven rushing/receiving touchdowns. To compare this to his passing stats, he only went 3-6 for 55 yards in 2019. While he has shown his talent and versatility as an all-around football player, he has yet to prove himself as a consistent quarterback.
To be clear, I think Taysom Hill is an electric football player. He was far and away the best player on the field in the Saints playoff matchup against the Vikings. I just don’t know if he has what it takes to be a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL. If the Patriots are looking for someone to be the heir to Tom Brady, it would make more sense to take on a proven quarterback than an experiment like Hill.
I really hope Taysom Hill gets a chance to be a quarterback in the NFL. I really do. But I do not want that chance to be with the New England Patriots. If the Patriots bring back Brady and bring in Hill as his backup, I will be ecstatic. And if Hill somehow takes over for Brady and leads the Patriots to the playoffs, I will surely eat my words. But I cannot trust a quarterback that has worse passing statistics than one of my wide receivers.