The Bills have made a decision on their starting quarterback, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that the team will open the season with Tyrod Taylor under center. Taylor, who signed with Buffalo this offseason as a free agent, beat out Matt Cassel and E.J. Manuel for the starting job.
Taylor, 26, spent his first four NFL seasons backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore, and has only thrown 35 passes in the regular season over the course of his career, including none since 2013. However, he was viewed as a Rex Ryan favorite — the Bills’ new head coach reportedly tried to trade for Taylor back when he was coaching the Jets and Taylor was a Raven.
Although Taylor is penciled in as the Week 1 starter, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll start all 16 games for the Bills — given his limited experience, there’s no guarantee he’ll thrive in the starting role. Still, the decision raises questions about Cassel’s and Manuel’s status in Buffalo.
There was some speculation earlier in the year that Cassel could be a release candidate if he didn’t win the Bills’ starting job. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team keeps him around as a veteran insurance policy, but he’s entering the final year of his contract and probably doesn’t fit into Buffalo’s long-term plans. As for Manuel, he’s under contract through 2016, but his days with the Bills may be numbered as well, now that he has been passed by Taylor on the club’s depth chart.