4 Potential Landing Spots for Tyrod Taylor
Dec 24, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) runs during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
The Buffalo Bills decision to fire Rex Ryan is the headliner, but benching Tyrod Taylor is an equally important storyline.
Tyrod Taylor has been benched by the Buffalo Bills which puts his future with the team in major doubt. There was some talk before this decision that the Bills wouldn’t pick up Taylor’s contract option and allow him to hit free agency. It seems like Taylor hitting the open market is a certainty at this point.
There will be plenty of teams looking to bring Taylor into the mix if he’s available via free agency. That list includes teams like the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.
It’s possible that a few other teams get added to that list as the pieces of the offseason puzzle start to fall into place. Either way, Taylor should have the ability to weigh his options and find the best place for him to succeed.
Taylor’s availability is based on his struggles down the stretch. He has had issues with his accuracy and overall decision making. However, the talent around him in Buffalo isn’t the greatest especially at the wide receiver position.
Things may have been different if Sammy Watkins was able to stay healthy.
Nov 20, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson checks field conditions before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Tyrod Taylor and the Cleveland Browns are an excellent match. The Browns are a team in desperate need of some stability at the quarterback position and have money to spend. Taylor would land with a team that would hand him the starting job and have a coach with a good reputation of working with quarterbacks.
Cleveland’s huge amount of salary cap space should not be understated in this situation. They have the money to outbid any team looking to bring Taylor into the mix. The Browns have the flexibility to “overpay” Taylor and structure it in a way that it doesn’t hurt their long-term salary cap standing.
Taylor would give the Browns stability at the quarterback position and allow them to avoid reaching for one in the upcoming draft. His presence would make it easier for the team to attract free agency and keep their own like Terrelle Pryor.
The Browns roster obviously is a major work in progress, but they have some solid offensive weapons. Pryor has emerged as a legitimate talent and rookie Corey Coleman has shown a ton of promise. Joe Thomas is still in place along the offensive line with several younger players rounding into form.
Hue Jackson is also someone who could draw a quarterback to the Browns. He’s a good players coach and works to build an offense around his signal caller.
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) lays on the field after a late hit by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54, not pictured) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears had a very disappointing season that saw a huge number of injuries take their toll. They head into the offseason looking to replace Jay Cutler as the starting quarterback and would be in the market for Tyrod Taylor should be become available.
John Fox is a veteran head coach who doesn’t want to deal with a rookie quarterback as his starter. He has enough juice to force general manager Ryan Pace to make an aggressive play for a veteran like Taylor.
More from With the First Pick
Adding Taylor would make sense for the Bears who do have some nice pieces in place. When healthy, the offensive line features former Pro-Bowl players in Josh Sitton and Kyle Long. Jordan Howard has emerged as an elite running back.
The receiving corps is a bit of a mess, but there’s potential with Kevin White and Cameron Meredith. Chicago would also be more likely to bring Alshon Jeffery back if they felt good about their chances to compete for a playoff spot.
Money won’t be a major problem as the Bears have plenty of cap room to make an aggressive offer to Taylor.
The one issue might be the offensive coaching staff and whether or not Taylor feels a connection. Dowell Loggins has been under fire this season for some questionable play calling. It’s possible that Taylor sees this as a problem.
Dec 18, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) looks up after a play during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t openly said they are ready to move on from Blake Bortles but the writing is on the wall. He has taken a major step backwards in his development and is one of the main reasons the team struggled this year.
Jacksonville is likely looking for a new head coach who feels they can work with Bortles. However, they might be better off making an offer for Tyrod Taylor. The Jaguars have plenty of talent on the roster and realistically should be competing for the AFC South title.
Get the FanSided App
Taylor would have some nice receiving options in Jacksonville. They have Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee and Julius Thomas in the mix. All have shown big-play ability and have seen their numbers drop due to Bortles’ poor play.
Defensively, the Jaguars should take a major step forward next season. They have a lot of young talent that is just now starting to reach their potential.
The factor in Taylor landing with the Jaguars is the head coaching search. Jacksonville needs to find an exciting coach capable of bringing a spark. Targeting an offensive minded coach seems to make the most sense whether it’s to help Bortles turn his career around or to land Taylor.
Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians reacts as NFL side judge Scott Novak (1) looks on during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
This past season was an absolute disaster for the Arizona Cardinals. They were a team with Super Bowl aspirations and regularly seen as one of the top teams in the NFL. Instead, they are looking at owning a top-10 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
One of the biggest issues this season was the declining play of Carson Palmer. He struggled with his accuracy and allowed the pass rush to impact his play too much. Palmer just doesn’t have the mobility to overcome a leaky offensive line.
Tyrod Taylor is an option for the Cardinals because he would give them a younger and more mobile quarterback. The Cardinals still see themselves as a Super Bowl contender and might look to cut their losses with Palmer before their window closes.
Arizona would be a nice landing spot for Taylor who be surrounded by strong offensive weapons and get to work with a top-notch coach in Bruce Arians. Life would be easier for Taylor having the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and David Johnson on his side.
The one hiccup here would be the salary cap implications. Palmer is still owed a lot of money which would make it difficult for the Cardinals to match the offers by other suitors. However, Arizona would offer a chance to win which is something most others can’t match.