The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be locking Tyrod Taylor down, with reports that the team is looking into an extension for the playmaking quarterback who seized the starting job this year.
Going into the 2015 season, the quarterback position was one of the biggest question marks for the Bills. The team had suffered through a decade of mediocre play and just lost Kyle Orton to retirement. The offseason was supposed to be a battle between E.J. Manuel and Matt Cassel for the starting job, but Taylor was the one who stood out after by being signed from the Baltimore Ravens backup position.
Taylor responded by turning in the best season of any Bills quarterback since Drew Bledsoe, performing well both through the air and on the ground. For the team starving for strong quarterback play, it was a revelation.
Now rumors indicate that the Buffalo Bills are looking to lock Tyrod Taylor down for the long term. He has one year left on his contract, and while the Bills have said there is no urgency to get an extension signed, team sources said they could reach a deal if both sides can agree on his value.
“They have to decide if he’s the guy and it seems like he is and then how much of a commitment they make,” Sports Illustrated and ESPN NFL Business reporter Andrew Brandt said in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. “It’s kind of what the Broncos are going through with Brock Osweiler. What is the market?
“We’ve seen what the market is with the top guys of $18-22 million (annually). We now have a (Colin) Kaepernick- (Andy) Dalton market of $12-13 million. Is that the middle? Is that the range? Tyrod Taylor is a case of where are you going to fit him in? I would be surprised if they haven’t had those discussions already in terms of where he fits. Where does he fit in the spectrum of quarterback money?”
The jump Tyrod Taylor made this year is almost unprecedented in today’s NFL. Quality quarterbacks are becoming increasingly rare and usually come from high round draft stock. Taylor, the sixth-round pick who sat behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore for the first years of his career, made the jump to starter after stealing the job last offseason. He held onto it with electrifying play, earning honors as Breakout Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus and Most Surprising Player from Sports Illustrated.
Taylor said he carefully weighed his options last offseason before choosing the Bills, a team he thought gave him the best chance of being a starter.
Going into 2016 is very different, Taylor told Bleacher Report.
“After being a starter for a year, you’re the one who people are looking to. I’m going into Year 2 of being a starter and Year 6 of being in the league. People are looking at me, trying to figure out how to handle a situation.
“For me, getting everybody—the wide receivers, the tight ends, the running backs—together this offseason is something important. We’re working on everybody’s schedules, trying to figure out the best time to meet. A couple of guys have gone back to school to work on their degrees and a lot of guys have to get in shape and train, so they’re on different schedules, but we’ll get together for a couple of weeks before we get back to the team for the offseason.”
The rumors surrounding the Buffalo Bills and Tyrod Taylor aren’t entirely clear. While there are reports that the team is talking about a new contract, there are other rumors that some team executives view Taylor as just “average” and that they will be on the lookout for another quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft.
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