Saints Restructure QB Taysom Hill’s Contract

Just moments after Drew Brees officially announced his retirement, the Saints took their cap gymnastics to a new level with one of their other quarterbacks.

New Orleans has restructured Taysom Hill‘s deal to create cap space by giving him a four-year, $140MM extension that entirely voids, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. A source told Schefter that “all years are voidable and it’s a mechanism to free up cap space this year,” with the 2021 cap savings being north of $7.5MM. Before you freak out, Hill isn’t getting a $140MM extension.

The consensus of Saints beat writers online seems to be that the numbers are purely theoretical, and might as well just be random numbers written down on a piece of paper. Cap maneuvering has gotten more and more complicated in recent years, and Saints GM Mickey Loomis has fashioned himself as a wizard.

Virtually every Saints veteran making more than a minimum salary has had their contract tweaked to varying degrees. In a follow-up tweet, Schefter explained that Hill’s actual contract for this year will “include a $9.686 million signing bonus, a $1.439 million guaranteed roster bonus and a $1.034 million guaranteed base salary, plus incentives.”

Thus it appears Hill’s real compensation for 2021 will be somewhere in the $12+MM range, and not the $35MM annually that four-years, $140MM would suggest. We’ll keep you posted if we get a full explanation on the new figures.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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41 comments on “Saints Restructure QB Taysom Hill’s Contract

  1. divac7

    Wow. That’s a new one. Teams find mew and creative ways to get under the cap.

  2. Tatsumaki

    It’s just loomis doing loomis things. Circumventing cap for 1 year hoping cap space rises next season. Still with brees retiring saints window has come to a close.

    • JOHNSmith2778

      Spreads his 2021 salary by converting to bonus. Somewhere around 30-40% of his 2021 cash pay will count against the 2021 cap. Saints have the option to opt into the next four years if he proves himself elite this year.

      • Elite at what? I think he clearly showed everyone that he’s not a legitimate starting QB this past year

        • bradthebluefish

          Agreed. That arm was rough to watch. Watching Emanuel Sanders (who I can’t believe they cut) having to come back to catch the ball.

  3. tylerall5

    I have to think that a move like this will be outlawed if it is not already

    • DarkSide830

      yeah I dont get the purpose of the cap if you can do stuff like this.

      • Crycket

        “Restructuring” by moving money against the cap and converting it into a bonus in some manner to reduce the cap has become far too abused and far too commonplace. Its been a problem for a few years now.

        • The whole salary cap and contract situation in the NFL is a complete joke. It’s total crap and it blows my mind that half of this BS is allowed. What is the point of even having the cap at this point…just to give GM’s some “restructuring” work to do this time of year? Give me a freakin’ break Goodell…and all the other idiots who designed this system!

  4. phillyballers

    Again, I cant say it enough the NFL salary cap system is the dumbest thing ever created.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think the concept itself has merit but the league has created an unsustainable model by placing too much emphasis on the passing game and QB position. The league was overly aggressive with some rule changes that created this situation but those can be modified to create a better and more equitable balance.

      • JT19

        The NBA cap is actually pretty simple. The only thing that makes it different/complicated is the soft cap/hard cap. And the soft cap is basically just to prevent teams from making imbalanced trades (atleast with regards to cap hits) and to restrict what type of contracts they can offer in free agency. At least there’s no real loopholes to help your cap situation by adding voidable years to spread the cap hit.

        • Yes, the non-guaranteed aspect of the NFL cap makes it pretty complicated, but the imbalanced trades, player exceptions, luxury tax escalators, bird rights, max contracts, super max contracts, etc can be a headache.

    • woodguy

      I know!! Why even have it if you have all these loop holes to get around it. Pay the guys what they are worth and be done with it. NFL at its finest

      • Superbear29

        They still get their money, the teams just play around with the numbers.

    • Ak185

      It blows my mind that people think that everything would be better if the NFL were like the old Yankees, buying up all the talent without a salary cap, or the NBA where players can move teams at will and destroy any semblance of parity.

      The salary cap might be a joke, but it’s the only thing keeping big market teams from excluding lower market teams from competition. We occasionally get teams like the Rams (almost successful, but not quite) or Tampa (small market team ironically) buy super teams, but the cap does make it harder. If anything, it should just be better enforced, not done away with.

      • Michael Chaney

        They didn’t say the cap should be done away with, just that there are too many loopholes that make enforcing it practically meaningless.

        If anything, you actually kind of disproved your point about competitive balance because any team with deep pockets could do things like this to circumvent the cap and pay guys as much as they want. Paying a bunch of guys a ton of money and restructuring their contracts really isn’t any different than your example of the Yankees. There’s just more creative accounting here, but that’s pretty much it.

        • Michael Chaney –
          Great comment and excellent explanation of fans frustrations!

        • Ak185

          I actually agree with you, but my point actually is that that situation (Tampa, Los Angeles) is pretty rare comparatively in the NFL. I’d like to see what is suggested-so I will reword what I said. The cap is not the stupidest thing ever. The enforcement of the cap is.

          • Michael Chaney

            Oh yeah I totally agree with you, I just wanted to clarify. I think we’re on the same page.

            I think the NBA has a lot of loopholes too (various exceptions, sign and trades, etc.) but there’s also a hard cap once a team acquires a player through a sign and trade and moves like that require salary matching for teams over the cap (although there aren’t a lot of player for player trades in the NFL so that’s less of an issue here). I’m less for a salary cap or floor in the NFL than I am for the MLB (there’s a lot more competitive imbalance through markets there), but if the NFL is going to seriously enforce a cap and not let it become a joke, I think a model like the NBA’s is best. You can make moves to move around the cap if you really need to, but you can’t really make a total mockery of it either.

  5. arty!

    ‘The consensus of Saints beat writers online seems to be that the numbers are purely theoretical, and might as well just be random numbers written down on a piece of paper.’

    Like all NFL contracts, theoretical. You’ll read players that sign new deals in March, then ‘re-do’ them in season for ‘cap relief’. It’s the entire reason why I say the cap is fiction, right here! “extend there guy w/ all voidable years for cap purposes!

    • Ak185

      Well, most of these deals with grandiose numbers are done for the benefit of players to boost their egos (being the “highest paid” at a high paying position, for instance), which are the result of agents stretching for better deals. The agents can then sell those deals as proof of their competence when advertising to new clients. It’s cyclical, really, and agents are the only ones who benefit as a group without any consequence. Owners and players may have to deal with bad press or losing money or re-negotiating or what not, but agents get the advertising and the fees.

      I’ve always thought that the best way for players to get their share of the league’s money would have been to have a percentage of the league revenue that gets doled out to players at the end of the year, like the shared revenue for teams. Lord knows that the league can afford it, and it eases the burden of players having to push for max contracts at every opportunity, as well as giving them more power relative to their agents in terms of securing their own money. Agents can help players, but they can hurt them too.

  6. Taysom Hill is not even worth the 12+ million he’s actually going to be getting paid. He’s a gadget player who is getting a little old by NFL standards for someone who isn’t a full-time QB, which he is not. With this kind of thinking, no wonder the Saints have such massive salary cap problems

    • Ak185

      I suspect that we might see some semblance of the Lamar Jackson offense next year in New Orleans if the Saints decide to roll with Hill. They re-signed Montgomery to give them some options running the ball, but they may have to go beyond him, Murray, and Kamara to disguise their runs enough to make Hill effective. They’ve paid Hill too much to not use him, but I don’t think any of us expect him to be starting two years from now. They might try to compete with him this year, but not without something long term planned. That could be Winston, but I think they’ll draft a QB with a valuable pick this year, because they can’t afford too much in free agency as of right now. Either way, I do suspect some kind of big move from them trade-wise, quite possibly on draft day depending on who is available.

      Payton will always give his players lip service, though. Most coaches do, but Payton is particularly good at it (Harbaugh is another who comes to mind). As an example, I can remember what he said about Josh Hill when Graham was on his way out regarding his faith in him as a starter.

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