Dec 24, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throws a pass before a game against the Miami Dolphins at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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The fall from grace was sudden and rapid for quarterback Tyrod Taylor. A Pro Bowler in 2015, it now looks like he’ll soon be out of a job.
Word is the Buffalo Bills are ready to make a change at the quarterback position. With Rex Ryan gone, Taylor lost his biggest supporter in the locker room. GM Doug Whaley and ownership seem intent on finding a new signal caller, and are further propelled by money agreements. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, it’s a virtual certainty that Taylor gets cut because of the nature of guaranteed money in his contract.
“When the Bills didn’t play quarterback Tyrod Taylor in their regular-season finale on Sunday against the New York Jets, it sent the message that the team does not intend to pick up the $15.5 million option bonus in his contract that they have until March 11 to decline or exercise.
Picking up the option would guarantee Taylor $30.75 million over the life of the contract, tying him to Buffalo for the next five seasons, and the Bills don’t have any intention of paying it.”
It’s a rather remarkable turnaround. Taylor may not be a Brady or Rodgers but he was far from the primary problem with this Bills roster. The lack of coherent talent around him (outside of Lesean McCoy) deserves discussion. To say nothing of the continued underachievement of their defense. He put up respectable numbers (3,603 total yards, 23 TDs, 6 INTs) and helped the offense rank 10th in the NFL in scoring. What exactly has he done wrong?
Something, apparently. Regardless it seems like he’s on his way out, which begs the question. Which teams out there could end up being a good landing spot for him?
New York Jets
Anytime a notable player becomes a free agent, it’s always important to look at the division first. Players tend to prefer to stay in a familiar environment against the same competition while also seeking some revenge on the team that sent them packing. No doubt Taylor will be interested in the New York Jets, a team with definite quarterback questions. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty appear to have squandered their chances. Christian Hackenberg remains a major project. Swiping Taylor could allow them to focus on other pressing roster problems.
Taylor has done his best work when he has a strong running game. So why wouldn’t he love the idea of feeding emerging Chicago Bears stud Jordan Howard? He’d have a solid offensive line in front of him and some nice, big targets in Alshon Jeffery and Cameron Meredith (presuming Jeffery is re-signed). The Bears are hard-pressed to find a quarterback with Jay Cutler having worn out his welcome. Taylor would give them something they both need and want. A veteran with experience and upside who also protects the football.
Surprised? Don’t be. There is a real buzz down in Jacksonville that Blake Bortles may not longer be safe as the starting quarterback. Rumors persist that coaching candidates aren’t wild about the idea of keep him. Unless ownership is determined to try fixing his persistent issues, a change may be on the horizon. Taylor would make sense for them due to their offensive line concerns. His mobility would be an asset and he’d have two solid receivers as targets in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.