The Bills and contract-year quarterback Tyrod Taylor are currently discussing a two-year deal in the $30MM range, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (Twitter link). While that would represent a significant raise for Taylor, who inked a much more modest pact with the Bills last year in free agency and is slated to earn $3.1MM this season, he’d still be fairly low on the earnings pecking order at his position. At $15MM per year, Taylor would fall between the Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick ($12MM) and underpaid Bengals signal-caller Andy Dalton ($16MM).
Taylor, who entered the NFL as Baltimore’s sixth-rounder in 2011 and backed up Joe Flacco for four years, won the No. 1 job in Buffalo last summer and carried his success into the regular season. Although the Bills posted a mediocre 8-8 record last season, Taylor gave the franchise its best performance under center in several years. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder emerged as a high-end dual threat during his 14 starts, finishing top seven among QBs in yards per attempt (7.99) and passer rating (99.4) in 2015. He also completed 63.7 of his throws and accounted for 24 touchdowns (20 passing, four rushing) against a paltry six interceptions. Further, Taylor led all QBs in yards per carry (5.5) and trailed only MVP Cam Newton in rushing yards (568).
While Taylor was clearly above average last season, the ex-Virginia Tech star’s lack of a track record has the Bills wary of committing major money to him over the long haul. A two-year bridge deal worth middle-of-the-pack cash would therefore seem to be a solid solution for them, and it would pad Taylor’s bank account and give him a chance to earn a bigger contract shortly. Still, it wouldn’t be ideal for Taylor, who the Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci wrote last week could be in line for an accord similar to the one the Texans awarded Brock Osweiler in free agency. Osweiler wasn’t as effective as Taylor last season despite playing for the Super Bowl-winning Broncos, but he nonetheless received a four-year, $72MM pact with $37MM in guarantees from the Texans.
Notably, Taylor turned down the Broncos in free agency before signing with Buffalo last winter. That proved to be a sound decision from a playing time standpoint in 2015, and Taylor could now parlay his first season as a starter into a much more respectable contract than the one he inked less than a year and a half ago.
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