East Notes: Taylor, Cowboys, D-Jax

We heard several days ago that Bills GM Doug Whaley was unwilling to commit to Tyrod Taylor as the team’s starting quarterback of the future until after the season, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that no talks regarding who will be the team’s 2017 quarterback have taken place. The Bills’ decision-makers appreciate that Taylor has just 26 career starts to his name, and they will evaluate his entire body of work–including the final four or more games of 2016–with that in mind.

If they decide Taylor is their man, the Bills could pick up his 2017 option, thereby kickstarting a new five-year, $80MM+ deal, or they could redo his contract to make it more palatable, which Rapoport believes is the more likely option. If Buffalo moves on, Rapoport expects the team to be active in the veteran quarterback market with a possible eye on Tony Romo. Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick also could be on the Bills’ radar.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • We learned last night that the Cowboys would be without return specialist Lucky Whitehead for tonight’s game against the Giants, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Whitehead was indeed left home in Dallas for missing a team meeting, which has been a recurring issue for him.
  • Even if the Cowboys reach a point in the regular season when they have nothing to play for, they do not plan to rest their starters, according to Rapoport. Dak Prescott would be a logical exception to that rule, though Tony Romo may not be the replacement if Prescott comes off the field. As Rapoport writes, Dallas would want to keep Romo safe in case Prescott should suffer an injury in the playoffs (Twitter links).
  • Despite recent reports that the Eagles will pursue Redskins wideout DeSean Jackson at season’s end, and despite reports that the interest is mutual, Jackson himself says that free agency is not on his mind at the moment, per John Keim of ESPN.com. Jackson said, “Who knows what happens in free agency? If I’m a free agent, I might seek some options and wherever it takes me, it takes me. It’s not my focus now. We have four games left here. Whatever happens, happens at the end of the season.”
  • Jets wideout Devin Smith is expected to finally get back on the field Sunday, and as Mark Cannizarro of the New York Post writes, the embattled former second-round pick is embracing a new beginning even in the midst of a lost season for the Jets. Smith said, “I just have to continue to [prepare] and we’ll see come Sunday. I’m going to continue to keep working hard and my chance is going to come.’’
  • We learned earlier today that Jets head coach Todd Bowles is expected to keep his job, but that Chan Gailey might not be so lucky, Nick Mangold may be considering retirement, and that Woody Johnson might not be the one in charge of the team’s day-to-day operations in 2017.
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