It had happened once previously, but this week, the agent for Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Adisa Bakari, took to media to express his dissatisfaction with the state of contract negotiations between himself and the Bills.
In an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Bakari talked up his client, a Pro Bowl participant in his first season as a starting quarterback at the NFL level, while leveling criticism and warnings at said player's current employer.
Tyrod Taylor Agent @AdisaBakari: The #Bills didn't go the playoffs last year because of discipline and the defense. TT was exceptional.— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) April 7, 2016
While it's easy to argue that Taylor's play could be described as "exceptional" in his first 14 starts, fans aren't likely to rail against the overall theme of this initial argument: that the Bills missed the playoffs primarily because of issues in areas outside of the quarterback position's control. Still, while we're talking about arguing, is "the Bills stinking again isn't my client's fault" really a strong negotiating argument?
TT Agent @AdisaBakari: #Bills can do whatever they want but we hope soon they decide what they saw in '15 is small sample of what he can do.— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) April 7, 2016
Well, of course he does. Because if the Bills decided that, they'd give Bakari and Taylor whatever they're asking for, and drop the entire negotiation aspect of this beast.
By attempting to negotiate a new contract after 14 starts, the Bills are already admitting that they like what they see from Taylor. They just evidently haven't done so to the same extent that Bakari has, which is completely understandable.
.@AdisaBakari on #Broncos Report: Won't discuss that but what Tyrod Taylor was able to do last yr wasn't something that just #Bills noticed.— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) April 7, 2016
For clarity: Bakari was asked about a nebulous tweet from a Denver radio host implying that Denver Broncos general manager John Elway had called the Bills inquiring about Taylor this offseason - a year after courting Taylor in free agency before Taylor decided to sign with Buffalo. Since the Bills weren't the only team interested in Taylor even before he made his first pro start, it stands to reason that they're not the only team that is impressed with his skill today.
Bakari is relying heavily on the time-tested "pressure a team through media reports into caving to my demands" tactic. The Bills, as is their custom, are replying through media with a mixture of platitudes and radio silence. With well over three months to traverse between today and the time training camp begins, fans could be subjected to more of this one-sided rhetoric stemming from the negotiation; time will tell if it's enough to sway the fan base into a frothy panic over whether or not a deal will be completed.