There might not be a more anticipated offseason pass than the next one Taysom Hill throws.
The football player, for some reason, has become one of the more talked about quarterbacks in the league despite not having played quarterback very much in the NFL. Hill isn't technically in control of what happens with his restricted free agency, and the market could soon see players like Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Ryan Tannehill, and Teddy Bridgewater become available. And yet, everyone is focused on what the 30-year-old Hill, who is a restricted free agent, will do next.
Part of the reason for the buzz surrounding Hill is no secret: The Saints created it. Broadcast crews who proclaim New Orleans views Hill as the next Steve Young are getting that line from somewhere, and that somewhere is almost definitely from the team. Sean Payton openly speaks about how he believes Hill could develop. While there might be an element of gamesmanship involved here, and perhaps the Saints would allow Hill to walk if some team is willing to surrender a first-round pick for the right to sign the restricted free agent, this isn't an all-out bluff, as some suspect. The comments about Hill in private are more glowing than those in public.
Simply put: The Saints really like Hill – as a football player who can do a little bit of everything and as a quarterback. And it seems likely they'll make a strong effort to keep the restricted free agent around for another season unless someone makes an extremely aggressive move to sign Hill.
Whatever Hill's level of ability, the Saints have better evidence than anything anyone else can evaluate. Hill has thrown 13 passes in NFL games, completing six for 119 yards with an interception. We know for sure that Hill can throw deep passes. Everything else is up for interpretation.
The only place to look for any answers – and it is an admittedly flawed place to look – is the preseason. So, that's what I did.