April 26, 2020 / 5:31 PM / 2 months ago

Report: Saints sign QB Hill, close in on deal with Winston

The New Orleans Saints re-signed quarterback Tayson Hill on Sunday and are closing in on a deal with free agent Jameis Winston, according to reports on Sunday.

Veteran Drew Brees is locked in as the starter, and the Saints retained backup Hill with a two-year, $21 million deal, including $16 million guaranteed at signing, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. The contract also gives him a chance to earn $1 million more in incentives.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports reported that the Saints and Winston were expected to quickly finalize an “economical” one-year deal.

Hill has been expected to have a shot to step in for Brees when he retires and heads to the NBC broadcast booth, which could be as soon as 2021.

Last year, the Saints carried three quarterbacks: Brees, Hill and Teddy Bridgewater, who was 5-0 as a starter when Brees suffered a hand injury. Bridgewater parlayed his season as a backup into a three-year, $63 million contract he signed with the Carolina Panthers in March.

Hill played in all 16 games in multipurpose duty — passing, running and receiving. Winston would be a traditional No. 2 quarterback and an insurance policy should Hill sustain an injury in his innovative offensive role.

The No. 1 selection in the 2015 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay, Winston wasn’t re-signed by the Buccaneers, who inked QB Tom Brady to a two-year contract instead. While Winston had hoped to secure a starting job, the openings that were available seemingly were filled through the NFL draft over the past three days.

Winston’s arrival in Tampa Bay failed to turn around a franchise that hasn’t been to the postseason since the 2007 campaign. Only the Cleveland Browns have a longer NFL playoff drought.

Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019 and became the first player in league history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns (33) and 30 interceptions.

He threw for 19,737 yards, 121 touchdowns and 88 interceptions in 72 career games with the Bucs. He has a record of 28-42-0 in 70 games as a starter.

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