Steelers Considered ‘Potential Buyers’ for Versatile Quarterback

Mike Tomlin Steelers

Getty The Steelers could target Saints QB Taysom Hill via trade.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for a new quarterback and it could be one of the best dual-threats in the league.

As the Steelers prepare for life after Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh will have two veteran quarterbacks return for next season in Mason Rudolph and Dwyane Haskins. While both quarterbacks have starting experience — 23 combined starts — neither stands out as an appealing option as a full-time starter.

Pittsburgh will likely target a rookie quarterback in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, but they’ll need a starter ready to step in for the season opener. As the New Orleans Saints enter a full-scale rebuild following head coach Sean Payton stepping down, they’ll need to trade several of their key players to trim down their payroll. According to Over the Cap, the Saints are $74 million over the cap, $34 million more than the next closest team.

One of those players — Taysom Hill — is a candidate for the Steelers, according to NFL.com’s Nick Shook. Shook considers the Steelers to be “potential buyers” for the 31-year-old Hill.

“A favorite of Payton, the versatile veteran might be deemed expendable by whoever takes over in New Orleans,” says Shook. “Hill is a below-average passer set to earn high-end QB2 money, whose greatest strength is his running ability. And while we’re seeing more designed runs for quarterbacks these days, it’s unclear whether the new regime will view his playmaking value in line with his salary. That all said, finding a trade partner for Hill might be particularly challenging.”


Hill is Unproven as Starting QB

With Payton out of the mix, Hill likely also finds himself out of favor. The longtime Saints head coach had long been a fan of Hill’s since he was signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2017.

Although Hill has proven to be a multi-dimensional threat as a quarterback, running back and receiver, he’s never proven to actually be an adequate quarterback. He failed to beat out Jameis Winston as the starting quarterback following Drew Brees’ retirement. Following Winston’s season-ending injury, Hill started a few games towards the end of the season with very underwhelming results.

Hill started the final five games of the season as a quarterback and threw for just four touchdowns against five interceptions while completing just 58.4% of his passes for a 75.4 quarterback rating. While the Saints did finish 4-1 in the games Hill started, his propensity to turn the ball over (3.7% INT rate, which would rank last among all starting quarterbacks) and take sacks 6.3% sack rate, which would rank 19th among all starting QB’s), is a major issue.

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Hill is a Low-Risk, High-Reward Player

While his play is questionable, his talent and potential are not. Making Hill even more appealing is the fact that his cap figure for 2022 is just $12.325 million. For perspective, Hill’s salary would rank 19th among all quarterbacks.

The Saints will be looking to shed salary, which means Hill can be acquired for low draft capital. With Pittsburgh having over $34 million in cap space for the 2022 offseason (ninth-most in the NFL), the Steelers could acquire Hill on the cheap, while still having the ability to sign and re-sign players.

Hill may not be the most appealing option, but he’s a realistic option for Pittsburgh. And he’s an intriguing one at that.

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