The Buffalo Bills currently sit at 6-6 with a crucial game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. This game will go a long way towards determining whether or not the Bills will make the 2017 NFL Playoffs as it starts a string of three straight home games. After the Steelers, the Bills will play hosts to the Cleveland Browns and then the Miami Dolphins before ending the season on the road against the New York Jets.
In all honesty, the Bills should be favored in their last three games, and playing at home should give them a distinct advantage against the Steelers. If quarterback Tyrod Taylor can help lead Buffalo to four straight wins and a playoff appearance, then he’ll likely cement his job as the team’s starting quarterback heading into the future while also saving head coach Rex Ryan’s job.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 11, 2016
If Taylor falters over the last quarter of the season, then the Bills will have no choice but to look elsewhere or make a large financial commitment to a quarterback that just had a hand in the team missing the playoffs. Tyrod signed a six-year $90 million contract with the Bills prior to the season, but the deal was essentially for one season as 2017 is an option year.
According to NFL Network‘s Ian Rapaport, if Buffalo decides to keep Taylor after this season, the team will be committing $27.5 million combined money to Tyrod. With incentives, the entire six-year contract could be worth up to $112 million if Taylor remains in Buffalo through its entirety.
Rapaport also mentions in his report that the Bills would likely seek to replace Tyrod Taylor with a veteran quarterback if they choose to not pick up the option. Some of the names Ian mentioned were the Chicago Bears’ Jay Cutler, the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, and the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo.
Tony Romo, Buffalo Bills quarterback?
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) December 11, 2016
Cutler is only in the third-year of a seven-year $126 million contract, but the Bears will have paid the guaranteed portion of his deal by the end of this season. That means that it would only cost Chicago a $2 million cap hit to release Cutler after 2016, but it would create $15 million in cap space. With his struggles this season, it’s almost a guarantee that the Bears will got this route.
Kaepernick is in the third-year of a six-year $119 million contract, but he got with the 49ers to restructure his deal prior to starting his first game in Week 6 of 2016. 2017 now becomes a player option for Kaepernick which allows him to decide whether he wants to stay in San Francisco and he also can’t be franchise tagged by the team in the offseason.
As for Romo, he’s in the third year of a six-year $108 million deal and would likely require a trade or restructure in order for the Bills to acquire him. Romo has lost his job to Dak Prescott and will undoubtedly move on from the Cowboys this offseason. He offers the most upside of the three options for the Bills, but he also provides plenty of risk as he hasn’t played a down since the third preseason game.
Bills general manager Doug Whaley told WGR-AM 550 in Buffalo this week that Tyrod Taylor has “got four more games to write this chapter.” The results of those four games will determine whether Taylor remains with the Buffalo Bills or if the organization goes after someone like Tony Romo for the 2017 season and beyond.
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