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Tyrod Taylor’s contract: A fair deal?

The Bills’ incumbent signal-caller makes less than most players at his position.

When the Buffalo Bills signed Tyrod Taylor as a free agent prior to the 2015 NFL season, he was a little-used backup who had spent his career behind Joe Flacco while a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Since winning the starting quarterback job in the 2015 season, Taylor has missed 3 starts, totaling 29 games as a member of the Buffalo Bills. Also in that timeframe, Taylor has, in the following order:

  • signed a contract extension worth 5 years and 90 million dollars
  • had the team decline the option on said contract extension
  • signed a renegotiated extension that pays him 30.5 million dollars over two years

Much has been said about Taylor’s play relative to the worth of the contract, but when looking at Taylor’s ranking among other NFL starting quarterbacks, it’s plain to see that the deal is one where Taylor is probably as close to “underpaid” as a man set to average 15.25 million dollars annually can be.

Based on APY (Average Per Year), Tyrod’s figure of $15.25 million is the 21st-highest among quarterbacks. Derek Carr jumped to the top of the list with the record-setting deal he inked earlier this week. Tyrod’s 2017 cap hit of $9.7M is 22nd-highest among quarterbacks. As it currently stands, his 2018 cap hit of $18M is 16th-highest for the signal-caller spot.

What the above means is that, at least for this year, Taylor will be the lowest-paid incumbent starting quarterback in the NFL who is no longer on his rookie contract. His 2017 cap hit is half that of Sam Bradford’s, and nearly 7 million dollars less than Alex Smith.

If Taylor can improve upon his play and take the next step towards being a more consistent force at the quarterback position, he will be quite the bargain for the club. If he continues to struggle with consistency, the team can part ways with him at the end of the season, but it would leave the Bills with 8.64 million dollars in dead cap for next season.