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Taysom Hill's unique new deal worth at least $40M, plus more if he's the Saints' QB

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Taysom Hill is not the New Orleans Saints' starting quarterback now, but he has a new contract that could pay him up to $95 million if he earns that role down the road.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Hill's "hybrid" contract extension will be dependent on which position he settles in at. At the very least, the Saints will be paying him up to $40 million in base salary if he stays in his role as a do-it-all offensive weapon.

If Hill wins the QB job, he could add up to $55 million to that salary total.

Here's some more context on the deal:

What's Schefter's tweets appear to indicate is that Hill would need to be the Saints' starting quarterback for the next four years in order to maximize his earnings. If he starts for one of those seasons, or remains a part-time playmaker — at running back, tight end or wide receiver, positions at which he moonlights now — Hill's total contract value would be less.

This season, Hill has completed 7 of 8 passes for 56 yards and an interception; rushed 20 times for 104 yards and three touchdowns; and has four receptions for 52 yards. He has started four games this season, all between Weeks 2 and 5: Three games he started at wide receiver, plus one at tight end. 

Of his 147 offensive snaps, 30 have come at quarterback, 13 at running back, 33 at tight end, 38 as a slot receiver and 33 more snaps out wide. Hill also has appeared on punt coverage and punt return.

Taysom Hill's new deal with the New Orleans Saints could pay him significantly more if he wins the starting QB job. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Taysom Hill's new deal with the New Orleans Saints could pay him significantly more if he wins the starting QB job. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

It appears that part of the need for this deal is procedural. It's possible that Hill was extended to avoid his current contract from voiding in 2022. 

Last spring, Hill signed what was deemed a four-year deal potentially worth $140 million. In reality, the final three years of that extension were voidable years. The nuts and bolts of the previous extension included a $9.7 million signing bonus, a $1.44 million guaranteed roster bonus and a $1.034 million base salary, along with incentives.

The reason for the three voidable years: The Saints were using fancy accounting to free up salary-cap space for 2021. Hill's cap number for 2021 is $8.4 million. Had the Saints let his contract toll into 2022, the team would have been on the hook for a big chunk of dead money.

It's a steep cost for a player who essentially is a part-time performer. But head coach Sean Payton and the Saints have always been big Hill supporters. They value him and it appears he'll at least get a crack at becoming the starting quarterback down the road.

Right now, following the retirement of Drew Brees and the season-ending injury to Jameis Winston, the starting QB job belongs to Trevor Siemian, who replaced Winston. The Saints also have 2021 fourth-round draft pick Ian Book on the roster. 

The Saints have dropped three straight with Siemian starting, and he's completed only 56.9% of his passes in four games this season. However, he has an 8-2 TD-INT ratio and helped the Saints beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8, stepping in after Winston was injured and playing well on Halloween.

How the Saints look at quarterback in the future is anyone's guess, and that includes whether Hill is in that picture — either as a gadget-play specialist or an every-down performer. But one thing is clear: Hill remains in New Orleans' future plans.

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