With the 2016 NFL season just around the corner, teams far and wide are trying to get all of their ducks in a row, so to speak, before everyone hits the field. On Friday, the Buffalo Bills got one step closer to achieving that feat, as they signed QB Tyrod Taylor to an extension (via ESPN).
During the 2015 season, Taylor racked up 3,035 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also had 568 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He played 14 games with the Bills, a team that finished with a record of 8-8. Playing in the same division as the New England Patriots, Taylor will likely have to lead Buffalo to at least 11 wins if the squad plans on overtaking the AFC East; however, that still might not be enough to dethrone the Patriots at the top of the division.
“Taylor could earn up to $20 million more through difficult-to-reach incentives, sources said, but the Bills have a $10 million buyout option after the first year and another out after the second,” ESPN reported.
This deal is coming at the perfect time, as the Bills will take on the Indianapolis Colts in their first preseason game of the season on Aug. 13. In 2015, Buffalo and Indianapolis met in the first game of the regular season, a game that saw the Bills come out on top by the score of 27-14. In that contest, Taylor had 195 passing yards and one touchdown.
While the Bills did go 8-8 on the season in 2015, Taylor compiled an 8-6 record, and was named to the Pro Bowl in the process.
If Taylor can keep up his dual-threat ways, he will be worth every penny that his new contract is dishing out. With that said, life in the NFL is brutal, and franchises are all about the results on the field (stats mean nothing in the grand scheme of things). Better yet, teams only care about wins and losses. At the end of the day, that is the only thing that matters in this league, and style points are put on the back burner.
Nonetheless, Taylor will be expected to perform, which has always been the case. This is the NFL, after all.
As FOX Sports stated, the Bills didn’t have a choice when it came to getting a deal done for Taylor.
“The Bills didn’t have the luxury of evaluating Taylor for four years like most teams do when drafting a quarterback. If they let him play out this season on his $2 million base salary – which is a huge bargain – and he put up huge numbers once again, his price would have skyrocketed next offseason.
“Quarterback-needy teams like the Jets, 49ers or even the Browns would have lined up to sign Taylor. And when that happens, a bidding war occurs. Look at the Broncos’ situation with Brock Osweiler during the offseason. He had a few decent games, and the Texans paid him $72 million over four years as a result.”
The Bills are banking on Taylor being the quarterback of the present and future. If last season was any indication, and if Taylor can stay healthy for an entire year, then Buffalo has finally found its man.
Taylor has the skills (and now experience) to make it in the NFL. Now, it is time to see if he can duplicate his success from the previous season, and lead the Bills to the playoffs on top of that.
After the contest with the Colts, Buffalo will battle it out with the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and Detroit Lions for its remaining preseason games. Then, Taylor & Co. will take on the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 11 for their first game of the 2016 NFL season.
Taylor got his payday, but now he has to show the organization — and the fans — that he was worth the money.
[Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images]