Hill, who has proven to be a five-tool player for the Saints since he joined them, made clear Monday in an interview with the Associated Press that he wants to play quarterback and is willing to walk away from New Orleans if he doesn’t get his chance.
“I definitely view myself as a franchise quarterback,” Hill said. “As you look at the other questions, ‘Is it New Orleans, is it somewhere else?’ As you go into free agency, this is the time that you start to find out how people view you. And we haven’t gotten into free agency long enough to really know how these guys view me, and we’ll just handle it as it comes.
“There’s no denying that I loved my time in New Orleans. I love Coach Payton. I love Pete Carmichael and Joe [Lombardi], the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach that I’ve worked with, the special teams. It has been an incredible experience for me. The fan base. I have loved every second of my time there. So do I want to leave? The fact of the matter is no, I don’t. But as you look at free agency, you have to find the right opportunity for you.
“You have to find the situation to take care of your family. You know, I want to play quarterback in this league, and if New Orleans don’t view me that way, well, then I have to leave. So that’s really where we’re at.”
Hill could become a restricted free agent in the offseason. New Orleans will have the right to match any offer another team makes for him. For another team to sign him, it will cost them a high draft pick.
It’s unclear whether Drew Brees, 41, will return to New Orleans next season as he is set to become a free agent. Hill told the Associated Press he would love to play with Brees again.
New Orleans also had Teddy Bridgewater as a backup quarterback. He started in five games and appeared in four others. He had 1,384 passing yards and nine touchdown passes. He went undefeated starting in place of Brees. But he is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
The Saints finished 13-3 last season and were bounced from the first round of the playoffs.