Tyrod Taylor, quarterback of the Buffalo Bills for the last three seasons, was a relative bargain in 2017. In fact, when comparing his performance to his salary, relative to other starting quarterbacks around the league, the Bills made out very well on the restructure contract that Taylor and the team worked out prior to the beginning of the 2017 NFL season.
While Taylor obviously has flaws, and it’s likely that he won’t be back in 2018, his contract was a fairly solid value for the team last season. We begin our look at the best and worst salary cap values for the 2017 Buffalo Bills by examining the first quarterback since Rob Johnson to start a playoff game for the Buffalo Bills.
2017 Cap Hit (per Spotrac): $9,713,334 (19.11% of 2017 Cap)
2017 Cap Hit Rank by Position: 22nd among quarterbacks
2017 Vital Stats: 263/420 (62.6%), 2,799 yards, 6.7 YPA, 14 TDs, 4 INTs, 84 carries, 427 yards, 4 TDs
This in no way is meant to suggest that Taylor is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, nor does it ignore the fact that Taylor had plenty of room for improvement in 2017. What it does mean, though, is that the Taylor provided the Bills with quarterback play that was worth more than what they paid him.
Taylor’s statistical performance can be interpreted multiple ways, and it has been ad nauseum on this website and in multiple corners of the internet. Taylor ranked 25th among quarterbacks in yards, attempts, and total completions. He was 21st in yards per attempt and 25th in total touchdowns. He was also 16th in completion percentage, 1st in both total interceptions thrown and lowest percentage of passes intercepted, and 3rd in quarterback rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.
Taylor finished 16th in quarterback rating (89.2) and 13th in QBR (56.4). Pro Football Focus graded Taylor as the 14th-best quarterback in the league in 2017, with an overall grade of 83, or above-average. Essentially, Taylor’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder. More traditional football statistics seem to frown upon his performance, while new-age analytical models love it. The truth, as is often the case, is somewhere in between.
Taylor’s salary was between Jay Cutler and Jameis Winston. While most everyone would take Taylor over Cutler, the number of people who would take him over Winston may not be quite as high. Taylor also made far less money than quarterbacks like Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill, who didn’t even play in 2017. Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford, Mike Glennon, Joe Flacco, Derek Carr, and Cam Newton all made significantly more money than Taylor, but did not necessarily provide more value to their teams.
Basically, the Bills paid their starting quarterback as if he were a bottom-third player at his position, and they received middle-of-the-pack production from him relative to their offense. “Middle-of-the-pack” isn’t going to be good enough as the team moves forward, but in 2017, the Bills received some good value from their starting quarterback.
Best 2017 Bills salary cap values
10. QB Tyrod Taylor (article)
9. LB Preston Brown (article)
8. LT Dion Dawkins (article)
7. LB Matt Milano (article)
6. CB E.J. Gaines (article)
5. RB LeSean McCoy (article)
4. OG Richie Incognito (article)
3. FS Micah Hyde (article)
2. SS Jordan Poyer (article)
1. CB Tre’Davious White (article)