Taysom Hill contract details, salary cap impact, incentives and bonuses

After Taysom Hill signed a new contract with the New Orleans Saints, what is his salary and what are the specifics of this hybrid contract?

Taysom Hill was in the news ahead of the New Orleans Saints Thanksgiving game as he signed a brand new contract that comes with a standard base salary and a lot of incentives for the unique player. Let’s examine the details of Hill’s contract, his salary, bonuses, and incentives of what has been dubbed a “hybrid deal”.

Taysom Hill’s contract details and bonuses

Hill’s contract has been a regular point of discussion in recent years. In 2020, he signed a deal worth $16.3 million over two years before agreeing to restructure that contract in 2021 to help the Saints’ salary cap situation. Well, as he neared the end of that one-year deal, Hill and the Saints have once again come to the agreement on a new contract.

The base terms of the contract are simple. The four-year extension is on the surface worth $40 million. There is no signing bonus, but his 2022 salary ($10.1 million) is guaranteed. A further $9.9 million in salary in 2023 becomes guaranteed in March 2022 and is guaranteed for injury right now. Hill’s salaries in 2024 and 2025 are both set to be $10 million. Of that $1.5 million in 2024 guaranteed in March 2024.

The contract is loaded with incentives

The incentives are where things get tricky when it comes to Hill’s contract. There are three different packages of incentives and escalators. The first set is for 2021, the second set is for the four years of the extension, and then there are cumulative escalators, which can be earned if he has 224 pass attempts in the prior year.

There are a number of 2021 incentives with a max value of $1 million able to be earned on them. These include $150,000 if he plays on 70% of the offensive snaps and if the team wins 11 or more games. He then gets another $150,000 if he has a passer rating of 90 or more and another $150,000 if he completes 65% or more of his passes. Both of those are contingent on his throwing at least 224 passing attempts in 2021 — he has 8 pass attempts heading into Thanksgiving. There is another $150,000 if he throws 25 passing touchdowns.

Hill will earn $150,000 if he rushes for 600 yards or more in 2021. If he wins MVP or Offensive Player of the Year, Hill earns another $250,000. If the Saints make the Super Bowl and Hill plays on 50% or more of the offensive snaps, he can earn another $450,000. It seems unlikely that Hill will earn any of those as it stands entering Thanksgiving.

The incentives for 2022 through 2025 are based on his play as a QB. There is $500,000 for reaching 3,250 passing yards, with another $500,000 if he gets to 4,000 passing yards. If he throws 25 passing touchdowns he gets another $750,000, with a further $1.5 million for reaching 30 or more. If he attempts 224 or more passing attempts he can also get $500,000 for a passer rating of 90 or more and $1 million for a 65% or greater completion rate.

The escalators in the contract give Hill the chance to significantly increase his salary

There are a number of escalators in the contract that are cumulative over the life of the deal. However, none of the escalators come into effect if Hill does not throw at least 224 passing attempts in any given season. There are three sets of escalators; regular season, postseason, and Super Bowl.

The regular season escalators are as follows:

  • 70% of offensive snaps + 11 team wins – $750,000
  • 70% of offensive snaps + 12 team wins – $1 million
  • 70% of offensive snaps + 13 team wins – $1.25 million
  • 600 rushing yards – $500,000
  • Pro Bowl – $500,000
  • 6 rushing touchdowns – $250,000
  • 8 rushing touchdowns – $250,000
  • 10 rushing touchdowns – $500,000
  • The team finishes 10th or higher in points scored – $1 million
  • The team finishes 10th or higher in total offense – $1 million

Hill’s postseason escalators are as follows:

  • 50% postseason playing time – $50,000 per postseason win
  • 50% of offensive snaps in conference championship + 10 passing yards (min. 10 pass attempts) – $750,000
  • 50% of offensive snaps in conference championship + 10 passing yards (min. 10 pass attempts) + the team wins the conference championship game – $750,000

The Super Bowl escalators are as follows:

  • 50% of offensive snaps in Super Bowl + 10 passing yards (min. 10 pass attempts) – $1 million
  • 50% of offensive snaps in Super Bowl + 10 passing yards (min. 10 pass attempts) + the team wins the Super Bowl – $1.5 million

What does all of this mean for Hill with his new contract?

Essentially this contract is initially a two-year extension worth $20 million. At its base value, Hill will have salary cap hits of $12.325 million in 2022 and $12.125 million in 2023. Those numbers will then vary based on his performance in the previous season. His cap numbers in 2024 and 2025 are currently slated to be $12.225 million.

Hill’s contract also still contains the remaining signing bonus from his previous contract and the 2021 restructure. Therefore, he has prorated bonus numbers of $2.225 million in each of the next four years ($6.225 million in 2021). Therefore, if the Saints were to move on after 2023, they would still retain $4.45 million in dead money in 2024.

However, this contract gives the Saints flexibility. They get to keep a player they clearly value, while Hill has the chance to earn significantly more money if he becomes the starting QB during the life of the contract.

If Hill never throws 224 or more passing attempts during the life of his contract, this is a four-year contract worth $40 million with the option for the Saints to move on after the second season.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.