Buccaneers: Taysom Hill is a sign that Sean Payton is losing his edge

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints, (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints, (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers won’t be lucky enough to face Taysom Hill as a starter in 2021.

“Jack of all trades, master of none.” There isn’t a better way to sum up Buccaneers opponent Taysom Hill. Hill is one of the most versatile players in the NFL, at least in his usage, but it is more than fair to say he is not a master in the NFL.

Hill just lost the quarterback battle with Jameis Winston to lead the Saints in 2021. Unfortunately for Hill, this was a quarterback battle and not a Swiss army knife battle, in which case he may have picked up some ground. Winston is clearly a better thrower, and there has never been a point in Hill’s career where he looked like an NFL quarterback.

The biggest selling point for Hill is his versatility, but even then there are questions. The Saints are far better when Hill isn’t on the field, and his growing usage shows that Sean Payton may be trying too hard to prove how much better he is than the rest of the coaches in the NFL.

Hill can line up almost anywhere on the offense or on special teams other than the line, but that doesn’t mean he should. We have already established that Hill can’t throw as well as a Winston-type quarterback; just look at their performances against identical talent in camp and the preseason, and Hill falls short in other areas as well.

Taysom Hill also can’t catch as well as a regular wide receiver or tight end, he can’t block as well as a full-back or tight end, and he can’t run as well as a running back or other quarterbacks with similar skillsets. On close to the veteran minimum on a contract, Hill is a bargain for bringing something to each position for the value of one roster spot, but his deal is far from a bargain.

Saints fans will be quick to tell you that Taysom’s deal isn’t nearly as disastrous as it looks on paper, but the numbers tell a different story. Paying your QB2/WR7/TE4/FB3 anything over the minimum is a glaring mistake, especially when considering Hill is replaceable at all of these positions and the Saints were already strapped for cash.

Hill will probably sign a new deal to save the Saints some money after this season, but it still sets them back at least one starting-caliber player in 2021. Imagine how much better the Saints would’ve been had they used that money on a player that was actually viable in their position when compared across the league.

Payton is one of the smartest coaches in the NFL and one of the brightest minds, but it is time to give up the Taysom Hill schtick. The “Taysom packages” and other gimmicks are fun, but they still aren’t better than using a legitimate player at one of those positions.

Either way, the Buccaneers have the Saints’ number going forward, and Taysom Hill sure makes everything a lot funnier when you consider how much Payton inexplicably loves him and that his presence on the team actively hurts the Saints and their chances of digging themselves out of their financial hole.

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