Here’s why Sean Payton ultimately decided to join Taysom Hill rather than Jameis Winston as Saints quarterback



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Sean Payton made the decision to pitch Taysom Hill against Jameis Winston, a move that raised eyebrows across the New Orleans Saints organization. The Saints have guaranteed Hill $ 17.439 million over the next two years, but that’s not why Payton ultimately decided to pitch Hill on a former first-pick.

Instead, the decision was as fundamental as 2 + 2. Payton “just wants to know” what he’s got at Hill, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Saints really don’t know what they have at Hill, with whom they signed a two-year, $ 21 million contract this offseason. New Orleans (7-2) have a tremendous opportunity for the NFC No.1 seed – which guarantees a first round bye as this season will be the first year, only one team gets a bye in each conference (seven equipment in each conference makes the eliminatory ones). The Saints have the same record as the Green Bay Packers for the conference seed, but Green Bay has the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to a week three victory over New Orleans.

This is why starting Hill is a huge bet for the Saints, who have the most wins in the NFL since the start of the 2017 season. Hill has only attempted 18 assists in his four seasons in the NFL, in completing 10 of them (55.6%) for 205 yards and an interception. This year has been Hill’s best as a passer, completing 4 of 5 passes for 86 yards averaging 17.2 yards per attempt. Hill has been used more as a runner in recent games, recording a career-high over the past two weeks (seven at Week 9 and eight at Week 10), rushing for 99 yards and averaging 6.6 yards per stroke. The Saints can use Hill in a variety of ways, greatly altering their offense accordingly.

How long a leash Payton has on Hill is the biggest mystery here. The Saints head coach has security blanket in Winston, for what it’s worth.




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