Sean Payton believes Taysom Hill’s contract negotiation will ‘take a little more work’ than that of Drew Brees

The New Orleans Saints found out this week that quarterback Drew Brees will return for the 2020 season after mulling retirement following the 2019 campaign. Now that the team knows he’s all in for next year, they’ll have to lock up Brees, who is technically set to be an unrestricted free agent later this offseason, to a new contract. 

Of course, there’s nothing to really worry about in that respect for the Saints as Brees has illustrated that it’s New Orleans-or-bust when it comes to his desire to continue his NFL career. This isn’t uncharted territory for the two sides either, as they’ve grown somewhat accustomed to the year-by-year status for No. 9. 

“Every time that subject has come up — and it’s come up a number of times … where they’re working on a a contract and they always seem to get it done in an efficient manner,” Saints head coach Sean Payton told WWL Radio on Wednesday regarding the pending negations between the club and Brees, via “I think that won’t be any different this time around.”

Brees just finished up a two-year, $50 million deal with the Saints that included a $13 million signing bonus and $27 million guaranteed. The target contract that CBS Sports contract and salary cap expert Joel Corry would suggest for the Saints would be a one-year deal (two voidable years added for salary cap purposes) at $28 million, fully guaranteed. 

The 41-year-old is coming off a strong statistical season in 2019, but did suffer a thumb injury that held him out of five games. In the 11 contests he did suit up for, Brees completed 74.3% of his throws for 2,979 yards, 27 touchdowns and just four interceptions. 

As Brees will try to help New Orleans break through and ultimately earn another Super Bowl title next year, they do have a decision to make with restricted free agent quarterback/gadget weapon Taysom Hill. While Payton doesn’t foresee general manager Mickey Loomis having trouble coming to terms with Brees, Hill may be another story entirely. He also suggested that the club would place a high tender on Hill, if the two sides couldn’t come to terms on an extension prior to free agency. 

“If he was unsigned prior to the league year, I would anticipate us really paying close attention to that and looking at that first-round tender,” Payton said. “That’ll take some time, relative to his contract because it’s unique in what he’s doing now and what we feel like he can be and what he can do when Drew does retire. That will probably take a little more work than the contract that Mickey does with Drew.”

Hill has noted that he’s excited for Brees’ return in 2020 and appeared open to a return to the Saints himself, but didn’t totally rule out possibly departing the franchise either. Currently, it would seem like he’s looked at as the heir apparent to Brees in New Orleans whenever the future Hall of Fame quarterback ultimately decides to retire. He could continue to wait in the wings for that opportunity or push the envelop to see what’s out there and try to convince a quarterback needy team to pay the potential first-round tender to bring him aboard. 

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