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Understanding the “injury-only guarantee” clause in Tyrod Taylor’s contract

It’s confusing... but we do have some clarity on the subject.

Earlier today, after the Bills practiced, Buffalo News writer Vic Carucci tweeted that “Tyrod Taylor has fought thru a severe groin injury that could need more attention in offseason.”

The bomb was dropped. That tweet was the third in an interesting series string of tweets from Carucci.

First was this:

Then this (which was an assumption as opposed to a report given to him):

Shortly thereafter came Carucci's groin tweet, supplied by an unknown source. (Taylor's agent? A member of the medical staff? Bill Polian?)

Unsurprisingly, after practice, the Bills said Tyrod was just given a veteran’s day off.

Upon reading Carucci’s report of Tyrod’s groin injury, this question may have popped into your head:

“Wait, so does this mean the $27.5M injury guarantee will automatically kick in now?”

In the article on the reported injury, Sean Murphy touched on the specific language in Tyrod’s contract today, but instead of going back to re-work his article, I figured I’d just write a new one.

I reached out to Jason Fitgerald, the founder of, and he wrote the following to me via Twitter DM:

“The salary is already guaranteed for injury. What that means is that he if he were unable to pass a physical at the time of his release the Bills would owe him $27.5M on his contract.”

So there you have it. Pretty straight forward. If his groin injury means he won’t be able to pass a physical in mid-March and he’s cut, then the Bills would be on the hook for that enormous amount of money.

Fitzgerald went on to write:

“The info I have on the contract is that the Bills need to decide on his option by the 3rd day of the LY. If exercised a full guarantee kicks in on his 2017 base salary and a $3.25M full guarantee of his 2018 salary kicks in. Another $9.75M of his 2018 salary also becomes guaranteed for injury. Basically as long as he is healthy by the 4th day of free agency they can cut him without owing him another penny.”

Basically, everything will be the most simple if the Bills pick up Tyrod’s option in March. If they don’t, that’s when it’ll be much more complicated, and, most importantly, much more expensive.

Really, when you think about it, if Tyrod and his agent believe the Bills will not pick up the option, they probably could delay the surgery, rendering him unable to pass a physical, which would thereby force the injury-only guarantee to kick in.

We will definitely be monitoring this situation very closely.