The Cleveland Browns are seeking a quarterback, and they would reportedly be very interested if Tyrod Taylor hits the open market.
According to CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora, the Browns will have “significant interest” in Taylor if the Buffalo Bills part ways with the quarterback. In fact, many league insiders expect Taylor to land with the Browns. He has ties to members of their coaching staff and presents the team with a young option who still has room to grow.
An added perk of landing Taylor would be that Cleveland can use their two first-round picks on the best player available to try to start improving the rest of their roster without prioritizing a quarterback from a draft class of questionable quality.
Last we heard, the Bills were reportedly leaning toward cutting Taylor. It sounds like that would be music to Cleveland’s ears, and it seems like an ideal fit for the team.
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.
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.
The Buffalo Bills have one month to decide if they want to pick up Tyrod Taylor’s option and guarantee him another $30 million. In an ideal world, Taylor would agree to restructure his contract to make it more team-friendly. Unfortunately for the team, that sounds highly unlikely.
Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports that Taylor is “unwilling” to agree to a contract restructure that would reduce his salary. The quarterback and his agent are said to be convinced that another team would sign Taylor to a deal worth as much as the six-year, $92 million contract he agreed to with the Bills last offseason, if not more.
And they’re probably right. Taylor’s average annual salary of $18 million is right in line with what NFL starting quarterbacks make. While he had a slightly down year in 2016, he has thrown 37 touchdown passes compared to just 12 interceptions over the past two seasons. He’s a true dual-threat quarterback who has shown he can be effective when healthy and with the right pieces around him.
For comparison, Brock Osweiler’s average annual salary with the Houston Texans is $18 million. Taylor, just 27, would almost certainly be able to get that type of deal from a desperate team like the Cleveland Browns or possibly New York Jets.
The only other options for the Bills are to try to turn 2016 fourth-round pick Cardale Jones into a starter or draft a quarterback. Either would mean Buffalo is looking at a complete rebuild.
Some of the drama that unfolded toward the end of the season led many to believe Taylor was on borrowed time with the Bills, but he still may be their best option going forward.
What does Tyrod Taylor think of the Buffalo media? He finds them to be a “very negative group.”
Taylor was on ESPN Radio Friday and was asked about playing in Buffalo, where he’s been the team’s starting quarterback the past two seasons. Taylor specifically called out the media for its negativity and also said that as a group, much of their analysis and prodding was incorrect.
Taylor is biased since he’s a player, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise to find out that reporters aren’t as in-tune to what’s happening on the field as a quarterback who studies and watches film all the time.
Taylor went 14-14 the past two seasons as the team’s QB. His numbers were strong — 37 touchdown passes to 12 interceptions and over 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing TDs. Buffalo is expected to part ways with Taylor, which would make him a fairly desirable free agent.
Buffalo Bills ownership seems to at least recognize that some of their recent actions have put members of their staff in very awkward situations.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Bills ownership recently expressed remorse to interim coach Anthony Lynn for intervening and making him bench quarterback Tyrod Taylor during Week 17.
Lynn is a Taylor fan, but the team didn’t want him playing due to the risk of injury, so they stepped in and told Lynn not to play him.
Lynn publicly noted in the days afterward that the decision to bench Taylor was made above his head. It helped paint a picture of a poorly run organization in which ownership was stepping in and making all the big decisions. Given that Lynn might get the coaching job permanently, it makes sense that ownership wanted to ensure that there were no hard feelings.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor underwent surgery to repair a core muscle on Thursday. Shortly after Taylor shared photos on social media showing him in a hospital bed, the team put out a statement that seemed to indicate they were not told in advance about the procedure.
Was that statement misleading?
ESPN’s Mike Rodak says his colleague Adam Schefter was told that the Bills were aware Taylor was going to have surgery and team doctors were involved in the process that led the 27-year-old to the decision. Buffalo’s medical staff reportedly recommended that Taylor visit Dr. William Meyers, who performed the surgery this week.
Why, then, did the Bills say in their statement that Taylor “elected” to have surgery and informed the team of the decision less than 24 hours prior to the procedure?
Taylor’s recovery is expected to take six to eight weeks and could be longer. If he cannot pass a physical by March 11, he would be owed another $27.5 million in injury guarantees whether the Bills decide to part ways with him or not.
Taylor’s contract also has an option for 2017 that would pay him $15.5 million for next season and $30.75 million through 2021. Schefter does not expect the Bills to pick up that option, meaning they are likely hoping Taylor is cleared medically before March 11 so they can release him.
Buffalo chose not to play Taylor in Week 17, and the quarterback’s comments on the decision say a lot about his current relationship with the organization. If anything, the Bills should be pleased Taylor opted to have the surgery now rather than waiting a few more weeks to see how he felt. Had he done that, he almost certainly would not be cleared medically by the March 11 deadline.
Tyrod Taylor shared some photos of himself in a hospital bed Thursday morning, and multiple reports claim the Buffalo Bills quarterback is undergoing groin surgery. Will that have any impact on his future with the team?
As Nick Veronica of The Buffalo News points out, the remaining $30 million or so on Taylor’s contract would become fully guaranteed if he cannot pass a physical by March 11.
The Bills chose to bench Taylor for Week 17 out of fear that he might suffer a serious injury, which would convert the remainder of his contract to guaranteed money. As it turns out, Taylor was already playing through a significant injury for weeks. Team officials obviously knew that, so they decided they didn’t want to risk him injuring the groin further or suffering a new injury.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Taylor’s recovery period is expected to be around six weeks. Six weeks from Thursday would be Feb. 16, so he should be able to pass his physical on March 11 if all goes to plan. But if not, things could get really awkward in Buffalo. For evidence of that, look no further than the statement the Bills put out:
If you heard what Taylor said about not being allowed to play in Week 17, you get the impression that his relationship with the Bills is not on solid ground. His surgery could complicate the situation even further.
The Buffalo Bills were planning to fire Rex Ryan at the end of the 2016 season, but the head coach accelerated the process by requesting a private conversation with team owner Terry Pegula. And in that meeting, Ryan reportedly sealed his fate by being loyal to his starting quarterback.
Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB provided some behind-the-scenes information about Ryan’s final days with the Bills. In his meeting with Pegula, Ryan learned that the team wanted to bench Tyrod Taylor for Week 17 rather than risking the quarterback’s contract becoming fully guaranteed in the event of an injury. That didn’t sit well with Ryan, who is said to have made a promise to Taylor.
More from Vrentas:
Both were obvious signs that the Bills were not committed to Taylor — or to Ryan, who had handpicked Taylor to be his quarterback. So Ryan, who for a few weeks had been hearing reports of his impending firing, asked to speak to Pegula one-on-one. Ryan had made a promise to Taylor, telling him that he’d be the Bills starting quarterback as long as Ryan was the coach. Ryan didn’t want to break his word, and he was worried how the team would respond. If you are already planning on firing me next Monday, Ryan told Pegula, then you might as well fire me now.
So Pegula did.
Taylor was coming off one of his best games of the season against the New York Jets, and we later learned he was playing through a significant injury. With Ryan’s days clearly numbered, the coach saw no reason to go back on his word just to please his former bosses.
Ryan may have deserved to lose his job, but the comments Bills general manager Doug Whaley made this week illustrate how deep the issues run within the organization. Rex has always been known as a players’ coach, so the story about his dismissal — which came slightly ahead of schedule — makes a lot of sense.