Buffalo Bills aren't planning to cut Tyrod Taylor
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday on NFL Up To The Minute Live that the Bills are not planning to cut Taylor.
“At this point, it doesn’t seem like they’re going to cut him without knowing who his replacement will be,” Rapoport said. “The Bills are OK with paying a $6 million roster bonus to keep him on the roster.”
The prevailing thought has been that Buffalo would move on from the 28-year-old quarterback either by releasing him or through a trade. While the latter option appears to remain on the table, per Rapoport, the Bills won’t simply jettison their starting quarterback at this time.
Taylor is due a $6 million roster bonus on the third day of the new league year to go along with a $10 million base salary in 2018. He restructured his contract last season, but will not entertain that route again.
Taylor seemed well on his way out of Buffalo when coach Sean McDermott infamously benched him in favor of untested rookie Nathan Peterman ahead of a Week 11 tilt versus the L.A. Chargers. Taylor took back the starting gig after Peterman’s disastrous 5-INT half and helped lead the Bills to their first playoff appearance in 17 seasons.
Two different coaching staffs reportedly have been frustrated with Taylor’s play seemingly since he took over the starting gig in 2014. Taylor’s propensity to not target receivers over the middle and a habit of missing open wideouts led to frustration throughout the Buffalo fan base.
The Bills might be signaling to other teams to offer them a draft pick for Taylor — trying to reverse the tide when it seemed certain they would need to cut the QB. Perhaps waiting to see if teams like the Denver Broncos and New York Jets end the quarterback musical chairs without a signal-caller — presenting a potential trade partner — is the Bills game.
Buffalo could also realize it might not have a better option than bringing Taylor back.
Peterman is the only other QB currently on the roster and, barring a huge leap in play in Year 2, the fifth-round pick didn’t look the part of a starter. The Bills are likely to get priced out of the Kirk Cousins spree and could get boxed out of adding the likes of Case Keenum or AJ McCarron. Perhaps the Bills surveyed the free-agents-to-be and decided Taylor at an $18 million salary-cap hit is a better option than what they’d be tied to otherwise.
Buffalo sits with plenty of draft capital to trade up for one the premier rookies in the first round. The Bills hold the No. 21 and No. 22 overall picks, to go along with two second-rounders. Keeping Taylor around could be insurance in case they can’t land their QB draft choice. Pairing a rookie with a veteran like Taylor isn’t a terrible plan, either.