As noted by ESPN’s Mike Rodak, the window for the Buffalo Bills to release quarterback Tyrod Taylor opened today. The team has until March 11 to release him, lest they pay him a $27.5 million bonus for his new contract that would be due the next day.
Observers at the local and national level seem to be operating under the assumption that Taylor is going to be cut loose this offseason. A month ago, after he had been pulled from the season finale and decided to undergo a surgery that the team may or may not have been informed of, that talk made sense.
Since then, however, the Bills have hired a head coach who spent six years practicing against a mobile quarterback and hired an offensive coordinator who used to be Taylor’s position coach, one who runs an offense very similar to the one that Taylor rode to two Pro Bowl nods.
The surgery adds another wrinkle to the situation. If Taylor can’t pass a physical, the team will have to pay him the guaranteed money regardless of whether or not they decide to keep him. The recovery timetable for the surgery is generally six-to-eight weeks and took place four weeks ago, so even though they can make it official today it’s unlikely that they would announce their decision before he was actually capable of passing a physical.
Bills general manager Doug Whaley has been fairly noncommittal when it comes to Taylor’s future with the Bills, something that is probably the primary factor in the continuing speculation that he’ll be playing elsewhere in 2017. That said, if he defers judgement to the coaching staff, it’s hard to believe that Taylor will be going anywhere.
The “will he stay or will he go” debate has been hovering over the Bills pretty much from the moment he signed his contract last year. Now, we’re in the final month-long stretch.