What a strange Hill to die on for Sean Payton.
While Taysom Hill is certainly a Swiss army knife of a football player, a critical fumble in the fourth quarter of the Saints' loss to the Packers on "Sunday Night Football" had the internet buzzing a bit more than usual.
There's nothing Taysom Hill can't do,,,— PFF (@PFF) September 28, 2020
including fumbling the ball with the game on the linepic.twitter.com/4gr1jRkylz
Hindsight is 20/20, but the decision to give the ball to Hill and not keep the ball in the hands of Drew Brees or running back Alvin Kamara was widely criticized by fans and analysts alike.
Eyebrows were raised when the Saints inked Taysom Hill to a two-year, $21 million contract this past offseason, making him the second-highest paid backup QB in the league (behind only Jacoby Brissett) despite typically being deployed as a gadget player in his career. Hill has 157 passing yards and an interception on 7-for-14 passing.
Hill's price tag and Payton's seeming obsession with the backup QB makes him an easy target for the Twitter mob, but paycheck and playbook aside, the criticism is not without reason: While Hill has become a staple of the Saints' offense, he entered the 2020 season with 590 career scrimmage yards and three touchdowns in 37 games. Those numbers are hardly pleasing for Saints fans, football fans or fantasy football fans, and have led to people starting to notice.
Hill, 30, was vocal about wanting to be a starting QB despite limited production as a passer and no starts at the position in his career, and had the support of his head coach on the idea. Payton's usage of Hill has been strategic (and decidedly not as a starter), but with Hill making what he makes now, both the head coach and player came under fire on Sunday night:
This probably doesn’t fit the moment but it was on my heart. Y’all better not compare Taysom Hill to Lamar Jackson again.— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) September 28, 2020
You have Alvin Kamara. Why are you using Taysom Hill to run the football.— Master (@MasterTes) September 28, 2020
Sean Payton's affair with Taysom Hill is an entanglement— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 28, 2020
Taysom Hill has two carries for six yards, one catch for one yard, and the fourth-quarter fumble that set up the Packers' go-ahead field goal. That's the kind of production you get for a two-year, $21 million contract.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) September 28, 2020
Drew Brees when he sees Taysom Hill run into the field pic.twitter.com/rbejSbj0Ho— Shane B (@sb__straitvibin) September 28, 2020
Taysom Hill is the highest paid special teams player in the NFL.— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) September 28, 2020
taysom hill is that expensive toy your parents got you for Christmas one year but you outgrew it over time but you still have to play with it because it cost so much and you dont wanna disappoint them.— Tony X (@soIoucity) September 28, 2020
Taysom Hill makes more than George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Allen Robinson and every RB not named Christian McCaffrey.— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) September 25, 2020