Tyrod Taylor

Chargers Slash Roster To 53

In addition to the Chargers’ Russell Okung announcement, they finalized their 53-man roster.

Cardale Jones did not make the team, with Los Angeles going with Tyrod Taylor and rookie Easton Stick behind Philip Rivers. The XFL has openly mentioned Jones on multiple occasions, so the former Bills and Ohio State passer could be a high-profile candidate for the upstart league.

Here are the Bolts’ Saturday cuts:

Contract Details: Taylor, Wright, Harris, Lutz

Some assorted contract details from the around the NFL:

Chargers To Sign Tyrod Taylor

The Chargers have agreed to terms with quarterback Tyrod Taylor on a two-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Dolphins were intently interested in signing Taylor, but they’ll have to refocus their efforts on a different QB.

Taylor, 30 in August, began the season as the Browns’ starter. However, he ceded the gig early in the year when an injury took him out of a fall matchup with the Jets. Baker Mayfield entered the game and engineered a comeback, and the rest was history.

In a characteristically weak market for QBs, Taylor profiled as one of the best options out there. The Dolphins, with serious questions under center, saw Taylor as a possible replacement for Ryan Tannehill. Instead, the Chargers have scooped him up to serve as Philip Rivers‘ understudy.

During his 2015 Pro Bowl campaign, Taylor averaged 8.0 yards per pass, threw 20 touchdown passes, six interceptions and ran for 568 yards. All in all, he owns a career 23-21-1 record as a starter. Taylor is historically safe with the football: among quarterbacks with at least 1,000 attempts since 2015, Taylor ranks third in interception percentage.

Taylor will only be 30 years old when the 2019 campaign gets underway, so there’s a possibility he could become a long term answer in Los Angeles if Rivers retires in the near future. More likely, though, he’ll serve as a rarely-used backup, as Rivers has never missed a game since becoming the Chargers’ starter in 2006.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Interested In Tyrod Taylor

The Dolphins are rumored to be targeting Tyrod Taylor to serve as a stopgap signal-caller after the expected release of Ryan Tannehill, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. That is in keeping with a report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who writes that Miami is expected to show interest in Taylor, and potentially one or two other free agent QBs.

The entire piece from Jackson is worth a read for Miami fans in need of some optimism, as he observes that the Dolphins are well-positioned to have $120MM of cap space in 2020. So, if Miami can land a franchise-caliber QB by the end of 2020 draft — a big “if,” to be sure — then the club will have plenty of flexibility to augment the roster in free agency and accelerate its rebuild.

In the meantime, new head coach Brian Flores understands that there may be some short-term pain. But Jackson writes that Flores does not want his team to completely tank, so a veteran QB that can at least keep the team somewhat competitive is definitely in the cards.

Dan Graziano of ESPN.com says the Ravens and Panthers are also obvious suitors for Taylor, so Miami may have some competition for him. As for Tannehill, Graziano suggests that he could reunite with Adam Gase, now the Jets‘ head coach, as Sam Darnold‘s backup.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Brown, Steelers, Ravens, Tyrod Taylor, Bengals, Dalton, Browns

As we await a resolution to the ongoing Antonio Brown saga with the Steelers, we have a new interesting piece today. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com conducted interviews with “nearly 20 former or current teammates of Brown”, to help figure out what went wrong between Brown and the team. While most that Fowler spoke with seem to acknowledge he’s unlikely to return to Pittsburgh, many spoke up in favor of Brown and said he’s being cast in an unfair light by the media.

Fowler writes that Brown “was — and in many ways still is — beloved in the Steelers’ locker room”, and that the situation is more complex and nuanced than it may appear. Many of Brown’s teammates have publicly lobbied for him to stay, and if the recent rumor is true that the Steelers aren’t getting the kind of trade offers they were hoping for, perhaps they do find a way to make it work after all. For what it’s worth, Steelers owner Art Rooney did adopt a slightly more conciliatory tone in his most recent statements to the press.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Last week a reporter mentioned Tyrod Taylor as a possible target of the Ravens to be Lamar Jackson‘s backup next season, and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh added some fuel to that fire. Harbaugh said today that he’d like to add two quarterbacks behind Jackson this offseason, ideally with a similar playing style, and the recently extended coach brought up Robert Griffin III and Taylor on his own, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). Griffin served as the number three this past year, and said recently he loved his time in Baltimore, so it seems likely he’ll be re-signed.
  • The Bengals are riding with Andy Dalton, for now. Cincinnati’s director of player personnel Duke Tobin spoke recently to reporters and while he expressed some confidence in Dalton, he also left the door open for the team to draft a future replacement, according to Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Dalton has been in that gray area second tier of quarterbacks for a while now, and it’s been speculated that the Bengals could look to move on this offseason with Marvin Lewis finally out the door. Presumptive coach Zac Taylor can’t even join the team until his Rams play in the Super Bowl, and he’ll obviously have a large say in determining Dalton’s fate. Dalton seems safe for 2019, but as Page notes, the team can get out from his contract with no dead money at any time.
  • If you haven’t already read Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com‘s piece on the Browns, you need to now. Wickersham details a shocking level of dysfunction within the organization over the past handful of years since Jimmy Haslam bought the team, and it includes some bombshell details. Among other things, Haslam overruled the entire front office who wanted to hire current Bills coach Sean McDermott in favor of hiring Hue Jackson, and insisted the team take Johnny Manziel over Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 draft because he didn’t like Bridgewater’s handshake. The article does leave off on a hopeful note, as new GM John Dorsey has been able to ward off most of Haslam’s meddling and cut him out of things, but it will be very interesting to see if Haslam again inserts himself into the process in the crucial coming months.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Bears, Ravens, Chargers

The Cowboys made a big splash today, firing longtime offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Speculation immediately began swirling about who Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett would tap to be his replacement, and Jon Machota of Dallas News is out with a list of potential replacements. Machota writes that Cowboys tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier is “the favorite” for the job, and notes that Garrett has spoken highly of the former Alabama and Florida offensive coordinator. He also lists quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore and receivers coach Sanjay Lal as candidates.

If the Cowboys opt not to promote someone from within, they could be interested in Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley and Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell, who played for the Cowboys from 2003 to 2005. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com tweeted that “it’s hard to imagine that Jerry Jones fired Scott Linehan without knowing in advance precisely who the replacement would be,” so it’s possible we hear very soon who it’ll be.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Bears lost defensive backs coach Ed Donatell, who followed Vic Fangio to Denver to become the Broncos’ new defensive coordinator, and now they have a replacement. The team is hiring Deshea Townsend to be their new defensive backs coach, the team announced in a tweet. Townsend spent last year as an assistant DB’s coach with the Giants.
  • Tyrod Taylor could be a candidate to be Lamar Jackson‘s backup with the Ravens next year, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Baltimore will be moving on from Joe Flacco this spring, and Taylor has plenty of connections to the team, who drafted him in the sixth round back in 2011 and gave him his start in the league. Taylor, a free agent this spring after his one year with the Browns ended in him being benched for Baker Mayfield, played for current Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman in Buffalo. Hensley also notes that the team has reached out to Robert Griffin III, who served as the third string quarterback this year behind Jackson and Flacco, about potentially returning in 2019. Both are mobile quarterbacks and could provide continuity in the offense if Jackson were to go down.
  • The Chargers struggled to stop the run all season long and especially in their playoff loss to the Patriots, and Chargers GM Tom Telesco said at his end of year press conference that linebacker will be a priority for them this offseason, according to Sam Fortier of The Athletic. The Chargers suffered a rash of injuries to their linebacking corp this season, with starters Kyzir White, Denzel Perryman, and Jatavis Brown all suffering serious injuries. The Chargers pick 28th in this April’s draft, and very well could target a linebacker with their first pick.


Trade Rumors: Carr, Raiders, Peterson, Taylor

We learned earlier this morning that Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson has requested a trade, though the team wants to keep him. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that Jackson, on his way to the team bus this morning, declined to comment on the report.

With the trade deadline two days away, let’s round up a few more trade rumors from around the league (Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who says many GMs expect there to be three to five “impactful” deals over the next 48 hours, offers a helpful primer, which includes a list of some of the most-discussed players on the market):

  • Albert Breer of TheMMQB says that the Raiders may not be done dealing just yet, though he does not expect the team to move Derek Carr (indeed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported this morning that the Raiders have told Carr that he is the quarterback of the present and future). However, Oakland is open to moving Karl Joseph and Gareon Conley, though the Raiders are driving a “hard bargain” with teams interested in Conley.
  • Breer names a number of other players whose names we have not heard in recent rumblings but who could nonetheless be on the move: the PackersHa Ha Clinton-Dix, the 49ersPierre Garcon and Jimmie Ward, the CardinalsChandler Jones, and the BroncosShane Ray and Brandon Marshall. Breers adds that San Francisco would need to get something “significant” to deal Ward. He also says that, while teams are certainly interested in Denver corners Bradley Roby and Chris Harris, he thinks it would be difficult for the team to trade either.
  • If they had elected to trade Patrick Peterson, La Canfora writes that the Cardinals could have received a bounty for him, and may have even landed multiple first-round picks (in fact, several teams were already prepared to offer a first- and second-rounder). JLC reports that Peterson was considered the “crown jewel” of the deadline, and given his attractive contract status, he may be the subject of renewed trade rumors during the offseason.
  • Breer also writes that the Browns are open to trading Tyrod Taylor, whose contract structure could make a deal feasible. Meanwhile, Tony Grossi of ESPN.com suggests that Cleveland GM John Dorsey may be trying to acquire wide receiver help (Twitter link).
  • The Bills remain unlikely to trade LeSean McCoy, per Schefter.
  • Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has demonstrated a proclivity for making trades, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says Maccagnan has been doing his due diligence on everyone, including big-name players. But while there is a sense that New York could swing a deal, the fact that the team is in a no-man’s land between buyer and seller, and the fact that the roster does not have many tradeable pieces, could make a trade difficult to pull off.

Poll: Should The Browns Try To Trade Tyrod Taylor?

On Thursday, Browns head coach Hue Jackson told reporters there have been no discussions about trading quarterback Tyrod Taylor before the Oct. 30 deadline. When pressed further, Jackson shrugged off the notion that Taylor would not finish the year in Cleveland. 

I do [expect him to be with the Browns all season], until someone tells me something differently,” Jackson said. “He is our backup quarterback.”

For his part, Taylor admits that he’s frustrated with his No. 2 QB role, but he refuses to complain to management or demand a trade. It’s not hard to read between the lines and see that Taylor would prefer to be a starter elsewhere rather than Baker Mayfield‘s clipboard holder in Cleveland.

Taylor has just one year to go on his deal, which would make him a logical rental for another club. The Browns would also save a bundle by moving him. Taylor has already collected on his $6MM roster bonus, but a trade would allow them to escape the prorated portion of his $10MM base salary.

The trouble is, there may not be a robust market for Taylor’s services. The Dolphins will be without Ryan Tannehill for an unknown period of time, but they have every reason to stick with Brock Osweiler after last week’s OT victory over the Bears. The Bills, in theory, could use a QB while Josh Allen heals up from a UCL injury, but it’s hard to picture that reunion going down.

If the rest of the league would utilize Taylor as a strong backup quarterback rather than a starter, it’s hard to see the Browns getting much of a return. The Jets got a third-round pick for Teddy Bridgewater in August, but Bridgewater had a first-round pedigree and a much cheaper contract. Moving Taylor might not yield much in the way of draft compensation, and it would mean losing out on one of the more talented backups in the NFL.

With all of that in mind, do you think the Browns should trade Taylor before the deadline? Click below to cast your vote and back up your opinion in the comments. (Link for app users.)

Browns Haven’t Discussed Tyrod Taylor Trade

Tyrod Taylor profiles as a logical trade candidate, but Browns head coach Hue Jackson says the team has not discussed moving the quarterback between now and the Oct. 30 deadline (Twitter link via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal). Taylor, meanwhile, says that he has not thought about requesting a trade. 

It’s frustrating, but it’s a part of the game at the same time,” said Taylor, who lost his starting job to Baker Mayfield after an injury sidelined him against the Jets last month. “Eight years in, you understand some things happen that you can’t control…Not wanting to complain, just got to continue to keep being myself day in and day out. Continue to be a leader and help the team in any way.”

Taylor’s desire to leave Cleveland may change if another team needs a healthy starting QB in the coming days. Meanwhile, the Browns probably aren’t motivated to move Taylor at this time. It still makes sense to have Taylor as a backstop to Mayfield and teams probably aren’t clamoring for the ex-Bills QB after he had a rough two-and-a-half weeks as the Browns’ starter.

If the Browns opt to move Taylor, they can promote Drew Stanton to the No. 2 QB role. They do not presently have a QB on the practice squad, so they would have to go out-of-house if they wanted a third signal caller in that instance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tyrod Taylor Addresses Potential Trade

Benched after just three games by a team that expressed optimism he would start throughout the season, Tyrod Taylor will naturally appear in trade rumors this month.

For now, though, the Browns’ backup quarterback isn’t demanding anything. Taylor acknowledged this could be a possibility going into the October 30 deadline.

You never know. I mean, I’m well aware of all that,” Taylor said, via ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi, of the possibility he’ll ask the Browns to trade him to a quarterback-needy team. “I don’t necessarily put it on my thought process every day. I come out each and every day aiming to get better and trying to find things to work on in my game. We’ll see. That’s more of a question for my agent. We talk. I wouldn’t necessarily reveal that to the media.”

Taylor told Grossi he’s not angry about how quickly he was demoted for Baker Mayfield and is focused on trying to help the Browns. However, a trade would give him a better chance of further showcasing his abilities in a contract year.

As a starter for three seasons with the Bills, Taylor would profile as a player who could help a team. But it might take an injury to a starter for Taylor’s value to increase. While some teams don’t appear to be solidified long-term at this spot — the Broncos, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Giants or Dolphins perhaps — it’s difficult to envision one of those pulling the trigger on a trade for Taylor at this juncture. Still, with Drew Stanton also on Cleveland’s roster, Taylor makes sense as a trade piece — especially if the Browns in a few weeks don’t believe they’re a realistic playoff contender.

Any team that acquires the walk-year passer would have exclusive negotiating rights regarding an extension. The Saints’ trade for Teddy Bridgewater may serve as a blueprint for a team that’s intrigued by Taylor.

Although, Taylor did not play especially well during his three Browns starts. He completed less than 40 percent of his passes in two of Cleveland’s three games, the second such performance being shortened by injury. He averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt this season. During his 2015 Pro Bowl campaign, Taylor averaged 8.0 yards per pass, threw 20 touchdown passes, six interceptions and ran for 568 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.