Because of his injury, Tyrod Taylor is set to be paid over $30 million next season by the Buffalo Bills, who aren’t really sure they want him to be their long term quarterback anymore. Taylor is going to get paid whether he stays with the Bills or not, as teams like the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers are waiting for developments.
One strong thing working in Taylor’s favor is a very lukewarm draft class when it comes to quarterback quality. One might argue just how good the 2016 class was when Jared Goff failed to make an impact while Caros Wentz deteriorated as the season went along. Ezekiel Elliott was a runaway success from the fourth round. Paxton Lynch is going to need some time if he’s ever to become a starting quarterback in this league Not great overall, but with good spots. The 2017 class is worse.
The Bills want Taylor to take a paycut on the $90 million, five-year deal he signed six months ago, but it’s not going to happen. Even if Taylor wants to play just for the Bills and is secretly willing to restructure his contract, he’s hiding it pretty well, and there’s no sense in letting anyone know at least until March 11. The Bills possibly missed out on their opportunity to come to good terms with Taylor in the way they handled his injury and the overall situation at the end of last season.
Taylor didn’t do as well as expected in 2016, although it had to do with a terrible offensive line, getting sacked 42 times in 15 games, more than anyone in the NFL. However, Taylor once more showed terrific guile when running the ball (6.1 yards per carry, 6 rushing touchdowns) and the ability to avoid getting picked off. He threw just 6 interceptions (1.4% of his throws) while tossing 17 touchdowns. There was a drop there (3.9% of his attempts compared to 5.1% last season), but Taylor doing well and not more wasn’t the main reason the Bills missed the playoffs.
Taylor is going to find a job if he isn’t going to be with the Bills next season. Despite a small sense of loyalty for being the team that turned him into a starter for the first time in his career, that sense is weakened knowing it’s Sean McDermott who is the head coach and not Rex Ryan, who might have coached for the final time in the NFL after yet another season of getting a team hungry for the playoffs to a dead-end finish.
The teams that might go after Taylor will be the Cleveland Browns, who once again have no clue who’ll be their quarterback; the New York Jets after their miserable failure in 2016 which also made them lose their sense of direction; and the 49ers, a team that has no clue where it’s going, firing three head coaches in three seasons, trying to figure out whether the moves they made this offseason (new general manager too) put them on track to actually be more than the laughing stock of their division.