Following Drew Brees’ decision to return to the Saints for at least another season in February following rumors of retirement, the organization decided to bolster up their depth chart by re-signing backup quarterback Taysom Hill to a two-year, $21 million deal. Of the $21 million, $16 million is fully guaranteed with an additional $1 million available in incentives.

“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 conference call Sunday.

He later added that the structure of a two-year deal “made the most sense for everybody” and it gives Hill the best chance to replace Brees if he decides to retire while offering flexibility if an opportunity becomes available elsewhere. The new deal positions Hill as the second-highest paid backup quarterback in the NFL despite never throwing a touchdown pass.

“This gives me a clear trajectory and opportunity for me to compete and to be the guy in New Orleans in [2021] 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.”

The 29-year-old’s athleticism gives New Orleans the ability to use him as a skills player, which was evident in the NFC Wild Card game against Minnesota where Hill completed a 50-yard pass, rushed four times for 50 yards and finished with two receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown. Because of Brees’ reliability, Hill has rarely stepped in as quarterback and is just 7-15 for 169 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, but that hasn’t stopped him from being an impact player. In 42 games including the playoffs, Hill has run for 410 yards and three touchdowns combined with 25 receptions for 265 yards and eight touchdowns.

Sources told Yahoo Sports that the Saints are also finalizing a one-year deal with former Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, so a backup quarterback competition appears imminent.

“Coach and I had had a conversation before free agency hit, kind of what his plan was for me. I’ve had multiple conversations following that, and I knew that we were always gonna bring in another guy,” Hill said. “I didn’t know who it was gonna be. But no surprise there. I think Jameis is a good football player, and he’s a good quarterback. Nothing has changed for the New Orleans Saints. The goal always has been, and I think will always be, to win the Super Bowl. And so I trust Coach Payton, he’s created so many opportunities for me. And I think it’s great.”

Hill said in February that he views himself as a franchise quarterback and later told ESPN that New Orleans gives him the best opportunity to do so.

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“As I look at my career, I have goals and I have a vision for myself as to what I can be in the NFL,” said Hill, who has always made it clear that he wants to be a starting NFL quarterback. “And there has been nothing that has been said, or I’ve never been treated in any way that would lead me to believe that the vision I have for myself is not the same vision that Coach Payton has for me, as well as the other guys on staff.”

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