The Eagles built a reputation on trick plays in 2017 and rode gadget concepts to a Super Bowl title. Maybe it’s time they got back to their roots.
Doug Pederson was lauded for his aggressive play-calling, routinely going for it on fourth-and-whatever while dialing up the gutsiest play of all-time in the biggest game of his life. Yet the Eagles have strayed from that kind of mindset in recent years in attempting to turn Carson Wentz into a pocket passer.
They have abandoned a lot of the RPO (run-pass option) schemes and gone more conservative. It could be due to former offensive coordinator Frank Reich’s absence or maybe just a bit of sitting on their own laurels. Whatever the reason, it’s time to bust out the trickeration again.
One sure-fire way to do that would be by making a move for Taysom Hill. The Saints’ gadget-play specialist — and third-string quarterback — is a restricted free agent and probably will receive quite a few looks on the open market.
However, New Orleans has the right to match any offer. With Drew Brees’ recent decision to return to for the 2020 season, it appears likely the Saints will offer Hill a second-round tender. That means they would recoup a second-round pick if they didn’t want to match any offer Hill gets from another team.
Hill Wants to be Franchise Quarterback Somewhere
Obviously, Taysom Hill would be the backup quarterback in Philadelphia. He’s not usurping the starting job from Carson Wentz anytime soon. The Eagles fully committed to Wentz last year and the 27-year-old face of the franchise is locked up through 2024. Barring some wonky career-ending injury, of course.
Hill, mainly a trick-play pony in New Orleans with killer speed, has only completed six total passes (on 13 attempts) in the NFL yet there has been chatter about him pursuing a starting job somewhere else. He recently told The Associated Press that he views himself as a “franchise quarterback” and wants to “find the right opportunity,” one allowing him to be the starter.
“You have to find the situation to take care of your family,” Hill said, via Pro Football Talk. “I want to play quarterback in this league. If New Orleans don’t view me that why, well then I have to leave.”
That may not happen in New Orleans. Not this year. The Saints are expected to bring Hill back as Brees’ backup while letting their current No. 2 Teddy Bridgewater leave in free agency.
Head coach Sean Payton loves Hill’s versatility and likes the fact that Brees can mentor him for another year. Hill seems content to remain in New Orleans and resume his role as a sponge.
“My agent and I are going through the process, and we’ll see what happens,” Hill said, via Pro Football Talk. “But I’m in no hurry to leave New Orleans.”
Eagles Desperately Need Backup Quarterback
The Eagles seem intent on moving on from Nate Sudfeld and Josh McCown is still wrestling with what he wants to do next season. That leaves Kyle Lauletta as the only candidate on the roster to hold Carson Wentz’s clipboard after the team inked him to a futures contract in January. Considering Wentz’s injury history, it doesn’t bode well not to have a better backup plan.
Enter Taysom Hill. The 29-year-old has been an unstoppable force as a triple-threat gadget player.
He can throw it: 6 completions for 119 yards.
He can run it: 64 rushes for 352 yards.
He can catch it: 22 receptions for 238 yards.
Heck, he can play fullback and block, thanks to his imposing size at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds. Similar to Tim Tebow, a guy who had a cup of coffee with the Eagles in 2015.
Hill would arguably be the best option at backup quarterback for Philadelphia, assuming he would want to take on that same role in a different city. It would be a lateral move. And Hill has been beating his chest about wanting to start.
Plus, Hill would be looking to get paid on a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.2 million per year. It doesn’t make much sense for either party. Philadelphia has too many other positions to significantly upgrade while Hill has a clear path to succeed Brees in New Orleans. Wishful thinking, though.
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