The Buffalo Bills will be retaining starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor on a restructured contract, finally concluding a seven-month-long “will they or won’t they” drama that has been running on hyperdrive since the beginning of the year.
While Taylor’s benching prior to the season finale against the New York Jets seemed to signal the end of his tenure in Buffalo for most, the arrival of new head coach Sean McDermott likely had a lot to do with changing his fate. McDermott’s hires of Rick Dennison as offensive coordinator and David Culley as quarterbacks coach brought a level of familiarity with Taylor himself as well as his unique skill set for the position to the table.
ESPN insider Adam Schefter broke the news, announcing that the team would be retaining Taylor on a restructured deal, likely kicking some of the $27 million owed to Taylor onto a future salary cap. The team officially confirmed the news a few moments later with a statement from head coach Sean McDermott.
With Taylor firmly in place, the team can now move on to more pressing matters, especially regarding the players he’ll need to throw to. Sammy Watkins is the only bona-fide receiver under contract for 2017, and he missed half of last season with a foot injury. The top of the draft is a possible spot for the Bills to find a capable number two, while free agency will likely bring in at least two more depth receivers. Speedy sixth-rounder Kolby Listenbee could also make the roster after missing his rookie year with a sports hernia.
Speaking of depth, the quarterback position behind Taylor is also somewhat barren right now. With the departure of E.J. Manuel after a disappointing run with the Bills, the only other quarterback on the roster is Cardale Jones, who still needs plenty of work before he can be relied upon to take the reins for an extended period. Look for the team to bring in an experienced backup (Brian Hoyer?) unless they feel Cardale has made a major jump forward.
You may have noticed that I spent the last two paragraphs talking about players who weren’t named in the title of the article. I’m just relieved that this drama is finally at an end. Tyrod Taylor is a Buffalo Bill for the next two to five years. It’s a reasonable contract that will give the team plenty of wiggle room in the coming years to upgrade the talent around him, as well as the personnel on the other side of the ball.
That’s it. It’s over. Tyrod is a Bill. We can stop arguing about whether or not the team should pick up his option. Now we can go back to arguing about whether or not he’s any good.
I can deal with that.