Bills Notes: Taylor, Whaley, Pegula

After hearing a little more about the deteriorating relationship between the Bills and disgruntled defensive end Mario Williams this morning, let’s take a look at a few more links out of Buffalo:

  • By playing over half of the Bills’ offensive snaps, Tyrod Taylor voided the third year of the three-year deal he signed with Buffalo this season. He is due just $1MM next year, his final season under club control, and although the team could lock him up long-term, GM Doug Whaley and OC Greg Roman are reluctant to label him as the team’s quarterback of the future. Per Jerry Sullivan of The Buffalo News, Whaley expects to deal with Taylor’s contract at the end of the 2016 season, which may not be the wisest decision. Sullivan believes the team should at least offer Taylor some sort of bridge deal, something along the lines of a three-year, $27MM pact. Although Taylor, who has “outsized belief in his ability,” would likely reject such an offer, Sullivan thinks the Bills should at least try. Taylor is still relatively raw, but if his 2016 season is anything like his 2015 effort, he would likely be in line for a highly-lucrative deal in free agency, and as a result, the Bills may once again be without a quarterback when that time comes.
  • Whaley, of course, may not even be the one to make the decision on Taylor’s future. Per Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News, Bills owner Terry Pegula is seeking outside NFL consultation as to what steps he should take to rid his club of the problems it has faced in recent seasons, and most of that advice is not favorable for Whaley. For instance, Pegula is hearing that the team needs to move on from EJ Manuel as the backup quarterback–something that Whaley has been steadfast in not wanting to do–and Pegula is reportedly “open to the idea of hiring someone to provide big-picture oversight of the football operation while also finding a new GM.” After all, the Bills nearly parted ways with Whaley last offseason, when they reached out to Bill Polian to run the team’s football operations, and the fact that Whaley has now had problems with two head coaches is viewed as a black mark on his resume.
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms that Whaley is “at odds” with the Bills’ coaching staff, and La Canfora expects there to be a “showdown” between Whaley and the staff this offseason. Whaley is especially frustrated that the team does not regularly feature Sammy Watkins–for whom Whaley traded a bounty of draft picks–and he would also prefer the team move on from Roman and others. Pegula, however, is a big Roman supporter, and Whaley’s decision to invest so much draft stock in one player, along with his decision to draft Manuel, may be too much for the GM to overcome. It appears as though Whaley may be on his way out, while Rex Ryan and Roman will be given a chance to right the ship and continue to mold the team within Ryan’s ground-and-pound, defense-oriented vision.
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