The New England Patriots may be starting to prepare for life after Tom Brady, with a new report indicating that the team could have interest in do-it-all New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill.
As Sports Illustrated reported, the Patriots are in need of another quarterback either behind Brady or to eventually replace him if the future Hall of Famer decides to bolt when he hits free agency for the first time in his career. Because of the team’s cap situation, they will not have the funds to sign a more established quarterback and will need to find one they can build into a starter.
Hill could fit the bill, the report noted. Behind Drew Brees in New Orleans, Hill filled just about every role on the team’s offense — catching passes, running the ball out of the backfield, and occasionally throwing passes. But Hill made it clear this offseason that he sees himself as a franchise quarterback and wants to find a team where he could be the starter.
That team could be the Patriots, noted Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman.
“(Sean) Payton told NBC Sports’ Peter King that he believes a team will attempt to sign Hill to a restricted free-agent contract this offseason. If a team does, the Saints can match it. The team to watch is the Patriots, who may make a run at Hill whether Tom Brady returns or not,” Freeman wrote.
Sports Illustrated noted that signing Hill with the intention of making him a starting quarterback would be a risk for any team. He has only thrown 17 passes in his NFL career, the report said, and there is not enough evidence to say with any certainty if he could handle being a starter. If he does sign with the Patriots and has the chance to play behind Brady for a season or two, it could give Hill the chance to develop more.
There have been mixed reports on whether Brady will be back in New England. While Tom sparked speculation by putting his Boston-area home up for sale last year and putting off questions about whether he would be back with the Patriots, other reports have indicated that New England wants to bring him back. As The Inquisitr reported, there are rumors that the Patriots will plan to target wide receiver A.J. Green to give Brady more weapons in an attempt to help him win one more Super Bowl before he retires.