Drew Brees may not decide on his 2020 plans for another few weeks, but the New Orleans Saints already know what they would like to happen at the quarterback position, and their vision involves both Brees and another player currently on the team. That’s according to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, who reported Tuesday that the Saints want the 41-year-old Brees to return for a 20th NFL season. Except they also want 2020 to serve as a transition year, per Florio, with Brees passing the torch to backup and utility player Taysom Hill, who would then fully take over under center in 2021.
“Even if Brees comes back,” Florio said, “Hill will be used much more extensively as part of the team’s offense in 2020 — especially in light of some private regret that, if Hill had been utilized just a little bit more in the wild-card loss to the (Minnesota) Vikings, the Saints quite likely would have won the game.”
Brees, meanwhile, is “genuinely and seriously considering retirement,” according to Florio. The longtime Saints starter and former Super Bowl champion has said as much in recent weeks. In the lead-up to Sunday’s Pro Bowl, he said “it’s not a given that I’m coming back every year” and noted that this will be the first offseason he can remember where he wasn’t confident he’d remain under contract with New Orleans. Then, during the Pro Bowl, Brees told ESPN’s Lisa Salters he’ll continue weighing the possibility of retirement until as late as mid-February.
As for the Saints’ reported QB transition plan, it’s feasible New Orleans envisions a bigger and brighter role for Hill moving forward. The 29-year-old BYU product scored a career-high seven touchdowns in 2019, often relieving Brees for trick plays in Sean Payton’s offense. But he’s also thrown just 13 career passes and would be taking over for one of the most accomplished, most accurate passers in NFL history. It’s safe to say that regardless of Brees’ decision for 2020, the Saints will probably be keeping their options open when it comes to filling the shoes of No. 9.
The Saints also have Teddy Bridgewater under contract at QB, though the 27-year-old reserve is scheduled to hit free agency in March. The former Vikings starter went 5-0 filling in for an injured Brees in 2019 and has spent the last two seasons serving as New Orleans’ top reserve.