Beane and McDermott give credit to Taylor, but both stop short of committing to bringing him back

January 24, 2018

The Bills have a decision to make on Tyrod Taylor.  The quarterback who was at the helm when the team ended their seventeen year playoff drought has one year remaining on the contract he signed before last season.  Yet there have plenty of indications for the last several months that the Bills may move on from Taylor and go in a new direction in 2018.

First, Taylor was benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman for a game in Los Angeles while the team was in the middle of a playoff race.  Then, even though that change only lasted one week and Taylor ultimately guided the team to the postseason, a few days after the season ended with a wild card playoff loss at Jacksonville, neither general manager Brandon Beane nor head coach Sean McDermott committed to having Taylor back.

That was the case once again when the two men spoke to reporters while at Senior Bowl activities in Mobile, Alabama on Tuesday. 

First, McDermott, who said, “I’m not going to get into Tyrod's future.  Like I mentioned earlier, we're still going through our evaluation. Those decisions will come at some point down the road here.

“I thought the quarterback position, in particular Tyrod, and then Nate, did some good things.  I’ve mentioned before the work ethic, the intangibles that Tyrod brings to the table are very much appreciated and a big part of how we did things this year and what we were able to do. I thought he did some good things. So, overall, we'll continue to evaluate where we are and what's right for this organization moving forward."

Beane was asked what will go into the decision.

“Just like any player,” he said, "we’re looking at what all our options are at every position.  So you look at quarterback and you evaluate it and that’s what we’ll continue to do until we know we have it right.

“Tyrod did a lot of good things.  And you have to look at what are the things he could have done better?  What are the other things that happened?  Was it receivers running the wrong route?  Maybe we could have run a better play.  There are just so many different things that you could do, and I’m sure Tyrod knows there are things he could’ve done better.  We’re still early in the process.  We like Tyrod a lot.  He works hard and he does a lot of good things.”

If Taylor is on the Bills’ roster at 12:01 a.m. on March 16, the third day of the new league year, it will automatically trigger a $6 million roster bonus. He’s then set to receive a $10 million salary and will have a total salary cap hit of just over $18 million.

The Bills could try and trade Taylor before the bonus is due, but no trade can become official until the first day of the new league year, which is March 14. They could negotiate with other teams before then and even give permission for his agent to negotiate a new deal with any potential suitors. 

Of course, the Bills could also keep Taylor.  What’s unlikely is holding on to the QB beyond March 16 but then deciding to release or trade him after that.

The Bills’ offense ranked 31st in the league in passing yards per game in 2017. Taylor had his lowest passing and rushing totals for his three years as a starter, throwing for 2,799 yards and running for 427. It was the first time in his starting career he did not break 3,000 yards passing or 500 yards rushing. He threw 14 touchdowns (also his low as a starter), but also led all qualified passers with only four interceptions on the season.

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