Back on December 16, as the Buffalo Bills were coming to grips with the reality that they'd be missing the playoffs yet again, general manager Doug Whaley was telling reporters that the team would proceed with caution regarding giving starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor a contract extension.
"Probably after next year," Whaley told The MMQB as the Bills sat at 6-7, when asked at what point the team can definitively make a decision on Taylor's long-term prognosis. "You'll have a good two years' worth of body of work to really evaluate and see what you want to do. When you are looking at a guy, you want to have a longer résumé to hang your hat on."
This week, however, Whaley seems to have loosened up his stance on that matter a hair - which makes sense, given that Taylor is playing in the Pro Bowl on Sunday. It still behooves the Bills to wait as long as possible to extend Taylor - it would be particularly ideal if his $3.1 million cap hit (per Spotrac and Overthecap) didn't increase before July - but Whaley is leaving the door open to the possibility of addressing Taylor's deal sooner rather than later.
"He’s on the list," Whaley said of the Bills' offseason priorities on The John Murphy Show. "He's a little down (the list), because we want to make sure we try to get the guys that are unrestricted done first, but it's one of those things where, I will say if we come up with a deal that works best for both parties, we wouldn’t be opposed to doing it.
"We still have one more year," Whaley would later add.
Taylor, for his part, has repeatedly said since the regular season ended that he has no plans not to honor the second of a two-year deal (actually, a three-year deal that voided) following his strong debut season as a starter. But he and his agent also have to know that there's every chance that his value will never be higher, given the exposure of the Pro Bowl, and that could lead to a push to address his contract before the 2016 season begins with training camp next summer.
"Well right now, we only have two quarterbacks on the roster, so just out of pure numbers we'll have to add one," Whaley told Murphy on Wednesday. "How we acquire that guy, that's still to be determined, just because of the constraints on the cap. I wouldn't be sure about a vet guy, it might be a young guy, but again, we're going to keep all options open."