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Report: Bills, Taylor "frequently" discuss new contract

The team and their starting quarterback are staying in close contact, and could finalize a deal before the season begins.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Let it be said that the Buffalo Bills are not sitting on their hands when it comes to the topic of starting quarterback and pending free agent Tyrod Taylor.

Per Vic Carucci, the Bills and Taylor are continuing negotiations on a new contract, "talking 'relatively frequently' and maintaining 'open lines of communication'." Vic's source would also "not rule out a deal being reached in the next month or so."

While it's been an open secret that the two sides have been keeping contract talks alive for a while now, the new timeline would be a bit interesting. The common theme out of negotiations seemed to be that Taylor would begin the season without a deal and would earn one by showing that last season's performance was replicable. If he were to sign before the season, Doug Whaley would be tying his future in the league to a man who has started 14 games in the NFL.

Carucci suggests that a large part of the reason this might happen sooner rather than later is the drop-off in talent from Taylor to the remaining options at the position. EJ Manuel is entering what is likely his final season with the team, unless he does enough to warrant sticking around as a backup (which is the role he'd be battling for anywhere else). Cardale Jones is a project, and at this point he seems nowhere near ready to even be considered as a primary backup, much less a competitor for the starting role. The free agent market isn't very enthralling (unless Kirk Cousins plays his way out of Washington), and if the Bills are in position to draft a top quarterback next season it'll be Whaley's successor making that call.

Taylor is far from a sure thing going forward, but at this point he's the best option the team has. Of course, if he's signed to a long-term deal before the season and the team founders, they'll likely relieve Rex Ryan and Greg Roman of their duties, and the next coaching staff will have to work with a quarterback whose skill set is unlike just about any other quarterback's in the NFL. On the other hand, if he signs for a relatively cheap deal (the template seems to be the $18 million-per-season that the Houston Texans gave to Brock Osweiler) and sets the league on fire again, the Bills will have their franchise quarterback at a relatively low price.

If that does happen, though, it apparently might happen sooner than most observers anticipated.