*Cue “Avatar: The Last Airbender” intro* Drew Brees. Teddy Bridgewater. Taysom Hill. Long ago, the three QBs lived together in harmony. But then, everything changed when 2020 free agency hit.
In 2019, the New Orleans Saints were one of the most versatile offensive teams the league has ever seen. They had the best wide receiver in the NFL in Michael Thomas and a one-two punch of receiving back Alvin Kamara and power back Latavius Murray in the backfield. But what really helped them stand out among the rest was their depth at quarterback. Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater and wonder boy Taysom Hill created a three-headed monster in the Superdome that left defenses quaking regardless of who was on the field. But with Brees considering retirement and Taysom Hill claiming to be a franchise-level QB (lol), the team has some things to figure out before August.
Let’s start with Brees. In my biased, football-fan perspective, it would be insane and break my heart if Brees retired. However, from my journalistic, unbiased perspective, it would still be insane and break my heart if Brees retired. Therefore, through the transitive property, he should not, cannot and will not be leaving the NFL this year.
Last year, Brees led the Saints to a 13-3 record and the No. 3 seed in the NFC, throwing for nearly 3000 yards and 27 touchdowns, with a 74% completion rate in the 11 games he played. He also passed Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to become the all-time leader in passing touchdowns while further separating himself from the pack in all-time completion percentage and total passing yards, both in which he ranks No. 1. He is one of the greatest of all time, has been on an incredibly efficient offense most of his career and has a ring. What more can you ask for? In the words of DJ Khaled, another one.
Brees has gone on record many times saying he doesn’t want to leave the NFL without another Super Bowl. All he has to do is come back for one more season, tell his team not to choke against the Vikings and he’ll have a real shot at ring number two. But that can only happen if he re-signs.
For this next part, let’s assume Brees does just that. We still have the choice of Bridgewater or Hill to make — one of which Sean Payton has claims to be the future hall-of-famer’s “heir apparent” — since they both want bigger roles in 2020.
In the five games Brees missed last season, it was Bridgewater who filled his place. During those starts Bridgewater threw for 1200 yards and nine touchdowns en route to leading the Saints to a perfect 5-0 record, placing them at 6-1 by the time Brees returned. However, these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt since only one of the teams Bridgewater played against finished the season over .500. So, while Teddy obviously deserves credit and has proven to be one of the best backup QBs in the game, if he were to remain on the Saints with Brees’ potential re-signing, that is all he would be. So instead of wasting his talents there, it would make much more sense for Bridgewater to attempt to sign elsewhere, on a team that needs a quarterback like the Colts or the Chargers.
This is nothing against Teddy by any means. I think he’s still got plenty of time to make it in the league and prove he is the quarterback many thought he could be after he was drafted in the first round in 2014. He just is not what the Saints need right now. What they do need is that versatility and freedom to mess around with the playbook every now and then to divert teams’ attention from the trio of Brees, Kamara and Thomas, and that is exactly what a player like Hill provides.
THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE.
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) January 8, 2020
Taysom Hill is the definition of a five-tool player. He is stellar on special teams and can do just about anything you ask him to do on offense, just look at what he did during the Wild Card game against the Vikings. Hill completed one pass for 50 yards, ran the ball four times for another 50 yards and caught two passes for 25 yards and a score. Simply having him on the field is a mix-up for defenses that opens up plenty more opportunities for Brees and Co. to string together drives with ease.
I’ll be one of the first to admit that Hill is by no means a great quarterback, despite calling himself a franchise-level QB, but the last time Brees played less than 15 games aside from last year was back in 2003. He is one of the most durable QBs in the league, meaning Hill would most likely not have to start many — if any — games as the only available QB. His Swiss army knife skill set makes him one of the most unique players in the league, and one the Saints will want to keep alongside Brees if they hope to carry that versatility into more success with Brees’ retirement on the horizon.
Re-sign Brees and Hill. Let Bridgewater go. Win the Super Bowl. Simple.