Here’s hoping that Tyrod Taylor is more appreciated as a member of the Cleveland Browns than he was during his time with the Buffalo Bills. According to multiple reports, the Bills have traded Taylor, who started at quarterback for the Bills the past three seasons, to the Browns, thereby bringing an end to an ‘interesting’ run to say the least.
Despite all he accomplished in a Bills uniform: helping the club end the longest drought in North American professional sports (17 years), notching the first Pro Bowl nomination of his career (2015) in just his first season as a starter, as well as absolutely representing the club the right way both on and off the field from the time he arrived to his exit now, it never seemed like many in the Bills organization or among its fans had genuine love for Taylor.
Don’t agree? Let’s review the tape.
Despite being healthy enough to play in the final game of the 2016 season, Taylor was ridiculously forced to sit out the game by former Bills general manager Doug Whaley in order to avoid having to pay Taylor a substantial injury guarantee in his contract. Who can forget the constant complains throughout Taylor’s tenure from fans unfazed by the QB throwing for over 8,000 yards and 51 touchdowns against just 16 interceptions over his three seasons in Buffalo. And of course, most recently, he was ridiculously benched again this past season before a game that was critical for the team’s playoff hopes. These examples, however, show some of the garbage Taylor was subjected to as a Bill.
What does a guy have to do to get the proper respect he deserves?
On countless occasions, Taylor laid it all out on the line for the Bills, suffering multiple concussions as result. Did he light the league on fire during his time in Buffalo? No, but he was pretty darn good. Based on what he was able to accomplish on the field, a legitimate case could be made that Taylor was the best quarterback to suit up for the Bills since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. (As much as you might think Harvard legend Ryan Fitzpatrick fits this bill instead ... he doesn’t.)
Taylor managed to garner the respect of his teammates in Buffalo, several of his peers around the league, as well as a lot of folks who critique football for a living, but he unfortunately never could do the same with many of the folks over on the Bills’ sideline or in the stands who you’d think were suppose to have his back.
On the other hand, things are looking up for the Browns, presently, who have reportedly agreed to a bevy of interesting trades this offseason. The way things look right now, Taylor should at least get the chance to take over the reigns at quarterback to start the season, giving him that fresh new start that he so badly deserves. And if he happens to look anything like how he did in Buffalo, the Browns and their fans should be delighted, considering the revolving door at quarterback they’ve had over their years.
Here’s to you Taylor, congratulations on all you achieved in Buffalo, hopefully, you’re now in a place where you’re actually wanted and will finally get the respect you so badly deserve.