With Sean McDermott not guaranteeing Tyrod Taylor as the Buffalo Bills starter on Monday, is he in jeopardy of losing his starting spot?
In 2015, the Buffalo Bills signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor in free agency with the hope that he would be their new franchise quarterback. He won the job in training camp and looked to be the future at the position. After two mediocre seasons with the Bills, however, Taylor’s future with the Bills is in question.
“We have open competition everywhere,” he said. “Obviously it is a quarterback league, but with Tyrod … He has some tools, his speed, he is tough to game-plan for. He has some strengths and he is still a young starter in this league. It is going to be a competition for every position, to let them fight it out and earn the right to start on this team.”
Before general manager Doug Whaley was fired, he restructured Taylor’s five-year deal into a more reasonable two-year deal. The restructuring was a sign the Bills were running out of patience.
However, it is a bit of a surprise that McDermott came out and said that he has not secured the starting job. Currently, the Bills have four quarterbacks on their roster. They signed T.J. Yates this offseason and drafted Nathan Peterman in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft after taking Cardale Jones in the fourth round in 2016.
Yates was signed to a one-year $815,000 contract this offseason. Last season, he was the third-string quarterback on the Miami Dolphins, and appeared for one snap in the AFC Divisional Round Game after Matt Moore went down with injury. His last start was back in December 2015 with the Houston Texans.
Jones was brought in as a project player for the Bills after a high-profile college career at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to a National Championship after taking over for J.T. Barrett late in the 2014 season, and was a household name in college football. After a disappointing 2015 season with the Buckeyes, he slid in the draft and found himself going in the fourth round.
Peterman was viewed as a late-round quarterback by many scouts. Nonetheless, scouts were impressed with the way he ran a pro-style offense at Pittsburgh. Throughout all-star contests and the rest of the draft process, he showed he has all the physical tools to develop into a solid NFL quarterback.
So can any of these quarterbacks dethrone Tyrod Taylor for the starting spot? Taylor clearly has the most talent and experience on the depth chart. He has started in 29 games in his career, compared to Yates’ seven starts. He has thrown the most touchdown passes out of any of the competing quarterbacks, and he is clearly the most primed for the job. The one thing going against Taylor would appear to be the organization looking for someone to step up and take the job from him.
Selecting a quarterback in consecutive drafts sends a message. The organization is losing its patience in a results orientated league. It’s going to be interesting in training camp and the fan base will be anticipating the outcome. Keep an eye on Jones and Peterman. Both these guys have all the means to eventually start in the NFL. Yet, it might be too soon for them to take the job in 2017.
It’s hard to see anyone beating out Taylor for the starting job. The organization has made an investment in him, and he still deserves the opportunity to prove his worth on this team. However, if McDermott sees progress in one of the other quarterbacks on the depth chart in training camp, it is not out of the realm of possibility that they could look to move for the future and force Taylor to take a backseat.