The Buffalo Bills will retain quarterback Tyrod Taylor for the 2017 NFL season on a restructured deal, the team announced on Wednesday. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
We've agreed to terms with QB Tyrod Taylor on a restructured contract.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) March 8, 2017
There were signs — strong ones — toward the end of the tumultuous 2016 season, which saw the firing of head coach Rex Ryan, that the Bills did not plan to pay Taylor’s $27.5 million salary for this coming season. But since the arrival of new head coach Sean McDermott, the sentiment started to shift toward keeping Taylor in the fold.
“We are excited about the opportunity to keep Tyrod with the Bills,” McDermott said in a statement. “I’ve gotten a chance to know Tyrod and study him over the past several weeks and he is both a great person and competitor. [General manager] Doug [Whaley] and I are confident this was the best move for the Bills at this time.”
Taylor threw for 3,023 yards, 17 touchdowns and six interceptions last season, rushing for 580 yards and six TDs and taking a league-high 42 sacks in 15 starts before sitting out Week 17. Taylor’s deal would have been guaranteed for this season if he got hurt in the finale and could not pass a physical at the start of the 2017 league year.
There had been rumors that multiple teams were interested in Taylor — including the Cleveland Browns — had he hit the market. Now with Taylor apparently back, QB-needy clubs have to find alternative methods to find one. Perhaps this spurs the Browns to up their trade offer to the New England Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo.
With a new team-friendly contract apparently in the offing, the Bills likely will enter free agency and the draft with one crucial piece of the puzzle figured out. But until we find out the details on Taylor’s new deal, it’s difficult to project his long-term future with the team.
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