April 27 (UPI) -- The quarterback carousel behind New Orleans Saints veteran Drew Brees continues to turn after the franchise signed backup Taysom Hill to a $21 million contract and has been linked to free agent Jameis Winston.
Hill signed a two-year contract Sunday. Sources told NFL Network and ESPN the deal has a total value of $21 million and includes a guaranteed $16 million. The pact can escalate to $22 million if Hill reaches incentives.
"I've had this dream since I was a little kid of playing in the NFL," Hill wrote on Instagram. "The New Orleans Saints made that dream a reality, and over the past three years I've had the opportunity to play with and for some of the best men I've ever known.
"I am humbled and grateful that my wife, future son, and I get to continue living our dream in the city we love, with the people we love!"
Hill, 29, has thrown just 13 passes in three seasons but is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the NFL. The 6-foot-2, 221-pound playmaker has also been used as a running back, a wide receiver and a punt returner and kick returner. Hill had a career-high 390 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns on 46 touches last season.
Hill said he considered the interest he gathered from other teams in free agency but chose to return to New Orleans. The Saints had a first-round tender on the quarterback, which means other teams would have had to give the Saints a first-round pick if they signed Hill.
Brees, 41, agreed to a two-year contract with the Saints in March. The 19-year veteran will likely retire sometime in the next five years. Hill said his new deal means he could compete to be the team's starter as soon as 2021.
"I think as you look at long-term contracts in terms of guaranteed month and what that looks like, I think this contract creates a clear trajectory and opportunity for me to compete and be the guy in New Orleans in 2021 if Drew decides to be done," Hill told reporters. "If he's not, we'll figure out another contract or my role will continue to be what it is.
"As we looked at it, this was the way to prevent me to get to free agency next year and it created some structure for both me and my family as well as the organization."
Winston was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft but watched his tenure come to an end this off-season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Coach [Sean Payton] and I had a conversation before free agency hit, kind of what his plan was for me," Hill said. "I had had multiple conversations following that and I knew that we were always going to bring in another guy. I didn't know who it was going to be, but no surprise there."
Winston, 26, completed 60.7 percent of his throws for a career-high and league-high 5,109 yards last season. He also threw a career-high 33 touchdown passes, but led the NFL with 30 interceptions.
"I think Jameis is a good football player and he's a good quarterback and I think nothing has changed for the New Orleans Saints," Hill said. "The goal always has been and I think will always be to win the Super Bowl and so I trust coach Payton, he's created so many opportunities for me and I think it's great."
Following his senior season at Brigham Young University, Hill entered the NFL in 2017 as an undrafted rookie with the Green Bay Packers, who waived him after the preseason. New Orleans signed him a day later.