The Buffalo Bills decided to retain general manager Doug Whaley this offseason after they fired head coach Rex Ryan, whom the GM was responsible for hiring. However, there could still be an expiration date on Whaley’s time with the team.
Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News published a column on Saturday in which he said that Whaley is destined to be fired as Bills GM and might as well resign. Sullivan outlined all the ways which Whaley has lost power within the organization.
For example, the team retained quarterback Tyrod Taylor when it looked like they were going to let him go, and they got rid of many of Whaley’s favorites. They also are not really letting Whaley speak with the media or represent the club. He won’t even be speaking at a pre-draft luncheon, which used to be the GM’s turf.
Instead, much of the personnel control Whaley used to have apparently belongs to new head coach Sean McDermott, who likely accepted the job under those conditions.
Many of these issues seem to mirror what happened between Washington and Scot McCloughan before he was eventually fired. As soon as a team stops letting a GM represent the team to the media, you know they’ve lost a lot of power.
Tyrod Taylor and the Bills have come to an agreement that will keep the quarterback in Buffalo for the 2017 season.
The team announced on Wednesday that Taylor has agreed to restructure his contract.
We've agreed to terms with QB Tyrod Taylor on a restructured contract.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) March 8, 2017
It was previously reported that Taylor was unwilling to take a pay cut, so it will be interesting to see what the details of the new deal are. Taylor had a team option upcoming that would have guaranteed him around $30 million more, so it’s possible the Bills lowered the guaranteed number while also giving Taylor an opportunity to earn more over the life of the contract.
Taylor, 27, threw for 3,023 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions last season. He added 580 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
The biggest domino at the quarterback position has yet to fall this offseason for a handful of teams, as Tony Romo remains under contract with the Dallas Cowboys for the time being. Are the Buffalo Bills one team that will be watching the veteran very closely?
While the Bills would love to sign Romo, the interest is likely not mutual, as Romo wants to play for a Super Bowl contender. However, one contender Romo has been linked to is the Denver Broncos. And if the Broncos end up signing Romo, NFL reporter Benjamin Allbright has heard the Bills will explore the possibility of trading for Trevor Siemian.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 2, 2017
A lot of pieces need to fall into place before that would happen, but Siemian could very well end up being the odd man out in Denver. Even if the Broncos don’t end up signing Romo, they drafted former Memphis star Paxton Lynch in the first round last year for a reason. Eventually, Lynch is going to get his shot.
If the latest report about their quarterback situation is accurate, the Bills may need a new signal-caller before long. Could Siemian be that guy? It seems like a long shot, but time will tell.
The Buffalo Bills have just over a week remaining until they need to make a decision about Tyrod Taylor’s future, and one reporter believes the team will be looking for a new quarterback at that time.
Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News said on WGRZ this week that all signs point toward the Bills and new head coach Sean McDermott moving on from Taylor.
“It seems as if it is leaning against Taylor returning to this football team,” Carucci said. “Just the way McDermott answered the question about if they want to keep him, saying they’re going through the process. This is a $30-plus million decision with nine days to make it. I think the Bills would be willing to keep him if that big number weren’t present. I don’t think they see Tyrod Taylor as the longer-term answer.”
If the Bills pick up Taylor’s option, he is guaranteed around $30 million more than he has already been paid. It seems like they would like to keep the 27-year-old around for another season without making a huge financial commitment, but reports have indicated Taylor is not open to a compromise.
The biggest problem is Buffalo has no good options other than Taylor. Cardale Jones appears nowhere close to being NFL ready, and we doubt this big-name veteran is going to sign with the Bills if and when he is released. Taylor has every right to not agree to a pay cut.
If the Buffalo Bills end up paying Tyrod Taylor the remaining guaranteed money he would be owed by being on the roster after March 11, it will be because the team chose to keep him around.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Taylor has been medically cleared after he underwent groin surgery last month.
Bills' Tyrod Taylor, who has $27.5M option bonus due March 11, has been medically cleared from last month’s groin surgery, per team source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 22, 2017
As Schefter notes, the Bills now have to decide if they want to guarantee Taylor nearly $30 million by exercising his option. Had Taylor not been cleared medically, the contract would have become guaranteed anyway.
While there have been rumblings that the Bills would have interest in one big-name quarterback if he became available, sticking with Taylor may be their best option. The former Virginia Tech star is likely better than anything Buffalo would find on the free agent market, and paying him an average of around $18 million per season is right in line with what other starting quarterbacks are making.
The Buffalo Bills have just a few more weeks to decide if they want to pick up Tyrod Taylor’s option and guarantee the quarterback another $30 million, and they could be watching the Tony Romo situation closely to determine what their next move will be.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said Tuesday that the Bills would be one of the teams with interest in Romo if the Dallas Cowboys end up releasing the 37-year-old veteran. However, Rapoport added that he has been told there is a better chance of the Bills keeping Taylor than cutting him.
An ideal situation for the Bills would be Taylor agreeing to take less guaranteed money on a restructured contract, but he reportedly has no interest in doing that. Taylor’s camp believes another team would sign the former Virginia Tech star to a deal worth as much as the six-year, $92 million contract he agreed to with Buffalo last offseason, if not more.
In reality, Taylor is probably the Bills’ best option even if they think he is too expensive. Romo wants to play for a contender, and there has been no indication that Buffalo is one of the teams on his wishlist. Unless he sees something nobody else does, Romo probably wouldn’t want to join the Bills anyway.
It seems evident the Buffalo Bills will survey other options for the quarterback position in 2017, and one of them may be in-house.
According to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, general manager Doug Whaley finds the prospect of Cardale Jones at quarterback “appealing.”
Buffalo faces a difficult decision with only a limited number of available quarterbacks. Jimmy Garoppolo likely won’t be dealt within the AFC East, and Tony Romo is unlikely to see the Bills as being close enough to contention to be interested. The rest of those options would either fall in the draft or lower-tier free agents.
Current starter Tyrod Taylor may be on the way out, and while Jones may be talented, he has also been dogged by questions of maturity and readiness. Nevertheless, with an absence of alternatives, starting him going forward is apparently under consideration.