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 New York Jets could consider making a run at Tyrod Taylor if the Buffalo Bills decide to release the veteran in the coming days.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick not coming back after an abysmal season, the Jets are in desperate need of help at the quarterback position. The free agent market is so thin at the moment that Mike Glennon is expected to get somewhere in the range of $14 million annually, and Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Jets are unwilling to pay that. But would they pay it for Taylor?
According to Mehta, the belief within the Jets organization is that 2016 second-round draft pick Christian Hackenberg “isn’t even close to competing for the starting job” this offseason. Team sources also feel Bryce Petty is more suited to be a backup, so there is a sense of urgency. New York could address its glaring hole at quarterback in the draft, but having a rookie start in his first NFL season is almost always asking for trouble.
Enter Taylor, who is a dual-threat quarterback that has proven he can win games at the NFL level, though his record as a starter is a mediocre 14-14. Still, the 27-year-old is a far better option than anything New York currently has, and new Jets offensive coordinator John Morton is prepared to adapt to any system Todd Bowles needs him to.
“We don’t have a West Coast offense,” Bowles said recently. “We’ll have an offense that works. If the West Coast works, we’ll run it. If the long ball works, we’ll do it. If the running game works, we’ll run it. John’s very good to adapting to what we have.”
The Bills have until March 11 to decide if they want to pick up Taylor’s option and guarantee him more than $30 million over the next two seasons. They are reportedly leaning toward letting him walk, and the Jets are not the only team that will be interested in signing him.
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.
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.
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.