Tyrod Taylor

Contract Details: Taylor, Cook, Willson

The latest contract details from around the NFL:

  • Tyrod Taylor, QB (Bills): Taylor earns an additional $500K if the Bills make it to the divisional round of the playoffs in 2017, which becomes $1MM if they advance to the AFC Championship, and $2MM if they advance to the Super Bowl. The same package of incentives applies to 2018 (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).
  • Jared Cook, TE (Raiders): Two years, $10.6MM, $1.6MM in incentives (effectively a one-year $5.3MM deal with $800K in incentives) (Twitter link via Ben Volin of The Boston Globe).
  • Luke Willson, TE (Seahawks): One year, $1.8MM, $1MM in incentives (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle).
  • Kayvon Webster, CB (Rams): Two years, $7.75MM. Salaries of $2.75MM (guaranteed), $3MM. $1MM 2017 roster bonus guaranteed, $500K 2018 roster bonus guaranteed. (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Sean Spence, LB (Colts): One year, $2.5MM. $750K signing bonus. $500K in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Kendall Wright, WR (Bears): One year, $2MM. $250K signing bonus. $2MM in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).

Terms Of Tyrod Taylor’s New Bills Deal

Tyrod Taylor‘s camp insisted that it was an all or nothing proposition: the Bills either had to pick up his five-year option with $30.5MM guaranteed or the quarterback would test the open market. Amidst rumblings that Bills brass wasn’t all that high on Taylor anyway, it seemed like a sure thing that the QB would reach free agency. Then, out of nowhere, the Bills and Taylor agreed to a restructured deal to keep him under center. Details were a bit sparse at the time, but we now have additional info on the revamped pact. Tyrod Taylor (vertical)

Taylor’s restructured Bills deal is a two-year, $30.5MM pact, which is less than the $40.5MM he would have made under the terms of the option (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com). However, Taylor benefits here because he will be eligible for free agency following the 2018 season. Under the old deal, he would have remained under Bills control through the 2021 campaign.

The structure of the new deal could lead the Bills to go through the same song and dance next year. Only $1MM of his $10MM salary in 2018 is guaranteed and he’ll be due a $6MM roster bonus early on in the 2018 league year. If Taylor is retained through 2018 and plays well, there will also be a decision to make on whether to use the franchise tag. In that scenario, Taylor would probably prefer to test the open market unencumbered since he’ll still only be entering his age-30 season.

Assuming the two sides see this new contract through until the end, he’ll have a $9.713MM cap number in 2017 and a $18.08MM cap number in 2018. In the original five-year option, Taylor’s 2018 cap number would have been $16.78MM. The deal will automatically void if he’s on the roster just after the Super Bowl in February 2019. Then, the Bills will carry $4.2MM for 2019 in dead money in 2019, representing the leftover portion of his $7MM signing bonus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Jones, Taylor, Branch, D-Jax, Bitonio, Davis

Here’s the latest on some of the latest contracts agreed to this week.

  • Chandler Jonesfive-year Cardinals extension will pay him $16.5MM per year, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets. Jones will make $53MM in guaranteed money from his second NFL contract, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports adds (on Twitter).
  • Tyrod Taylor‘s restructured Bills deal is a two-year, $30.5MM pact, La Canfora reports (on Twitter), adding that the rest of it voids after 2018. Taylor will make $15.5MM in guarantees as a result of the re-done pact and $14.5MM in 2017. La Canfora adds the quarterback stands to collect $16MM in ’18.
  • Andre Branch‘s three-year Dolphins deal is worth $24MM, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). Volin adds the contract includes two fully guaranteed years– at $17MM — for the 27-year-old pass-rusher. Volin adds that Branch could see $3.75MM more via incentives. Branch will receive a $6MM signing bonus, make $2.9MM in base salary in 2017, $7.9MM in ’18 and $6.9MM in ’19, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • DeSean Jackson‘s Buccaneers pact will be worth approximately $11MM per year, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
  • Joel Bitonio‘s five-year Browns extension will pay out $47.5MM in base salary, Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com tweets, adding $23MM in guarantees are included. The new deal kicks in after Bitonio’s 2017 season, so he’s under contract in Cleveland through 2022.
  • Vernon Davis‘ second Redskins contract will include a $4MM signing bonus and $7.5MM guaranteed, Wilson tweets. His base salaries from 2017-19, respectively, are $2MM, $3.75MM and $4.75MM.
  • Courtney Upshaw re-signing with the Falcons on a one-year deal will result in $1.15MM coming his way in 2017, Wilson tweets. The defender gets a $125K signing bonus and will make $775K in base salary this season.

Bills Keep Tyrod Taylor

This is a bit of a surprise, but the Bills will be keeping Tyrod Taylor after all. The team announced that the quarterback will remain in Buffalo on a restructured deal. The new deal will cover five year, and it will become a “year-to-year agreement” following the first two years, per Vic Carrucci of the Buffalo News. Taylor’s cap charge will decrease from $16MM to just under $10MM in 2017, according to Carrucci.

Tyrod Taylor (vertical)This offseason, the Bills held an option on Taylor worth $27.5MM option, due March 11th. That number was unpalatable for Buffalo management and Taylor’s reps were holding firm, telling the organization that it was an “all or nothing” proposition if they wanted to keep him off the open market. Ultimately, Taylor caved a bit in order to stay put.

Based on recent word out of Buffalo, it seems that top decision makers like GM Doug Whaley, senior VP of football administration Jim Overdorf, and team president Russ Brandon were against bringing Taylor back. However, new head coach Sean McDermott advocated for Taylor’s return, citing a lack of quality options in free agency.

“I’ve gotten a chance to know Tyrod and study him over the past several weeks and he is both a great person and competitor,” McDermott said today (via Carucci on Twitter). “Doug (Whaley) and I are confident this was best move for the Bills at this time.”

After spending the first four seasons of his career in Baltimore, the former ACC Player of the Year signed a three-year, $3.35MM deal with the Bills in 2015. Taylor ended up earning the starting gig in Buffalo, and he went on to make the Pro Bowl that season.

The third year of that contract was voided since Taylor ended up playing more than 50-percent of the team’s snaps in 2015. As a result, the Bills extended the quarterback for six years and $92MM. The 27-year-old ultimately completed 61.7-percent of his passes for 3,023 yards, 17 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 2016. He also added another 580 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

Of course, those numbers were compiled in “only” 15 games. Taylor was inactive for the team’s season finale as the Bills looked to slide out of his 2017 guaranteed salary.

The Jets, 49ers, Browns, and Cardinals were among the team’s reportedly eying the Taylor situation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On QB Market

There are a lot of moving pieces in this year’s quarterback market, and the Patriots’ Jimmy Garoppolo, despite recent reports suggesting he would not be traded, remains the forefront of the discussion. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, New England is willing to deal Garoppolo, but the team has not yet received an offer approaching its asking price for Tom Brady‘s top backup. Howe writes that the current asking price is believed to be a first- and second-round draft pick, but the Patriots will not simply flip Garoppolo to the highest bidder. If the team is not “properly compensated,” they will not make a deal.

Tyrod Taylor (vertical)

Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the Bills are not expected to retain Tyrod Taylor under his current contract (we heard several days ago that Buffalo was leaning against keeping Taylor, though there is a split among the club’s top decision-makers in that regard). Assuming Taylor does hit the open market, La Canfora expects the Browns to emerge as the front-runner for his services. Indeed, Taylor has strong ties to some members of the Browns staff already, and if Cleveland is able to acquire him, the club could use its two first-round selections on the best player available and would not have to reach for a quarterback or deal one (or both) picks for Garoppolo.

La Canfora also reports that the Bears have the strongest interest in Mike Glennon at the moment, and sources around the league believe Chicago will push hard to acquire him. The Bears also love Garoppolo, but they do not want to meet the Patriots’ asking price (all of that is consistent with reports that our Sam Robinson passed along last night). La Canfora projects Glennon, who turned down an $8MM/year offer from Tampa Bay, to receive an incentive-laden contract with an AAV of around $12MM.

Interestingly, Glennon has no official agent at this point, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. That’s significant because when the “legal tampering” period opens on Tuesday, teams can negotiate with agents representing free agents, but not with the free agents directly. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets that teams with interest in Glennon are working under the assumption that David Dunn is his agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Split On Tyrod Taylor Decision

The sense at the scouting combine is that the Bills are “leaning against” keeping Tyrod Taylor, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News tells WGRZ (video link). The Bills would be willing to keep Taylor if the option were not for such a high price, he adds. Tyrod Taylor (vertical)

Meanwhile, the front office and the coaching staff are at odds about how to handle Taylor, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com hears. Top decision makers like GM Doug Whaley, senior VP of football administration Jim Overdorf, and team president Russ Brandon have decided that they don’t want to continue with Taylor and would prefer veteran options like Tony Romo and Brian Hoyer. However, new head coach Sean McDermott isn’t sure the team can find a better QB than Taylor and wouldn’t mind paying him $17MM/year.

If Taylor hits the open market, the Browns, 49ers, and Jets will be among the teams with interest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets, 49ers Interested In QB Tyrod Taylor

At least three teams are known to have an interest in signing Tyrod Taylor if the Bills release him: the Browns, 49ers, and Jets, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News writes. Of course, there could be more teams in on him if he is cut loose. Tyrod Taylor (vertical)

The Browns’ interest in Taylor came to light earlier this week, but this is the first we’re hearing of interest from the 49ers and Jets. Gang Green has watched Taylor blossom into a solid starter and they would like to be on the better end of the stick when Taylor breaks off his electrifying runs. The Jets tried their hand at having a mobile QB in the past with an over-the-hill Michael Vick and Tim Tebow, but this would be their first time with a legitimate athletic signal caller.

The 49ers were said to have interest in acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo via trade from the Patriots or signing Kirk Cousins as a free agent. Now that Garoppolo has been pulled from the trade block and Cousins has been hit with the exclusive franchise tag, the Niners are being forced to look at other options further down their list. Taylor would be a solid consolation prize, even if he wasn’t their Plan A or B. There has also been talk of SF going for a purely transitional option such as Matt Schaub. As of this writing, they do not have any quarterbacks under contract for 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Browns’ QB Possibilities

Colin Kaepernick has informed all 32 NFL teams he’s going to opt out of his contract with the 49ers and become a free agent. When that happens, one team that definitely won’t pursue Kaepernick is the quarterback-needy Browns, a league source told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.

Colin Kaepernick

Browns head coach Hue Jackson has demonstrated an affinity for Kaepernick in the past, so it’s conceivable the 29-year-old could have been on their radar. Jackson had interest last offseason in Kaepernick, who was then coming off an injury-plagued, statistically subpar campaign. But Kaepernick bounced back to a degree in 2016, as he tossed 16 touchdown passes against four interceptions, averaged 7.2 yards per attempt (up from 6.2 in 2015) and finished second among QBs in rushing yards (468, on a lofty 6.8 per carry) as part of a two-win team.

The only signal-caller who outrushed Kaepernick last year, the Bills’ Tyrod Taylor, will be on the Browns’ list if Buffalo releases him, reiterates Cabot. So could Buccaneers backup and soon-to-be free agent Mike Glennon, and the Browns also aren’t going to give up on acquiring either Patriots No. 2 Jimmy Garoppolo or Bengals reserve A.J. McCarron via trade, according to Cabot. The Patriots are reportedly unlikely to deal Garoppolo, though, while the Bengals will place a high price tag on McCarron – a former Jackson pupil – if anyone inquires about his availability.

Should the Browns fail to reel in a palatable long-term option via trades or free agency, the draft – in which they’re set to pick first and 12th overall – could be the avenue they take. Cabot notes they’ll “strongly consider” selecting a potential franchise passer then.

For now, their most established option under center is Robert Griffin III, who’s due a $750K roster bonus March 11. It’s possible Griffin will stay on the roster beyond that date, though, head of football operations Sashi Brown said Wednesday (via Cabot).

“That’s not going to be a major decision for us one way or the other in terms of a lever for making that decision,” he revealed. “We’re going to evaluate Robert, not his contract. And we’ve had some discussions there.”

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Robert Woods Open To Re-Signing With Bills

Impending free agent wide receiver Robert Woods is open to re-signing with the Bills this offseason. However, the four-year veteran acknowledged that he wants some clarity on the team’s quarterback position before he makes a final decision.

Robert Woods (vertical)“I think there’s always hope,” Woods told Bruce Murray and A.J. Hawk on SiriusXM. “I finished out well with them. I had a good talk with (general manager) Doug Whaley upstairs. It’s a whole new coaching staff coming in, so could be different plans. I’ve got to speak with them and see their plans, as well as see what happens with the quarterback decision there.”

After receiving medical clearance following last month’s groin surgery, the Bills could now easily move on from quarterback Tyrod Taylor and his $27.5MM option. Backup EJ Manuel is set to hit free agency, meaning the team could be left with former Ohio State standout Cardale Jones or 24-year-old rookie Josh Woodrum. Considering all of the question marks at the position, it’s logical why Woods would prefer to see how it all plays out.

“Everything factors in,” Woods said on SiriusXM. “It has to be the right amount as well as quarterback decision. Yes, they don’t have a quarterback right now. Tyrod is a pending free agent. EJ Manuel is coming up as a free agent and there also are many quarterbacks on the market as well. Who knows what the decision is going on upstairs, but in a few weeks, we’ll all find out.”

For what it’s worth, the 24-year-old acknowledged that he thinks Taylor is staying put.

A knee injury forced Woods to miss three games this season, but the wideout still finished with a team-leading 613 receiving yards, 51 receptions, and one touchdown. Since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2013, Woods hasn’t surpassed 700 receiving yards in a single season. If he does re-sign with the Bills, Woods figures to be the second wideout behind Sammy Watkins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Bills, Redskins, Bengals, 49ers

Bills general manager Doug Whaley might be content to go into 2017 with Cardale Jones at quarterback, but the team is only going to release Tyrod Taylor if rookie head coach Sean McDermott signs off on it, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Whaley and McDermott have equal say in how the Bills assemble their roster, per Carucci, who notes the coach hired an offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison, who might be able to get more out of Taylor. Dennison is a Taylor fan, having previously coached him in Baltimore, and Albert Breer of The MMQB senses that the coordinator would like for Buffalo to continue with Taylor under center.

More from around the NFL:

  • The Redskins haven’t engaged in negotiations with any of their impending free agents yet, but talks will take place at next week’s combine, reports Mike Jones of Washington Post. John Keim of ESPN.com passed along slightly different information earlier this month, writing that the Redskins had held discussions with unsigned tight end Vernon Davis. Regardless, no deal has materialized for Davis, who’s on a list of UFAs that also includes quarterback Kirk Cousins, wide receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, and defensive lineman Chris Baker.
  • The torn ACL Giovani Bernard suffered in November could help spur the Bengals to select a running back as early as Round 1 of the draft, writes Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com. Neither Bernard nor Jeremy Hill reached the 4.0 yards-per-carry mark last year, though the former posted strong pass-catching numbers and the latter scored nine touchdowns. Hill is set to enter the last year of his contract in 2017, while Rex Burkhead is on track to hit free agency next month after putting up a lofty 4.6 YPC on 74 tries in 2016. Head coach Marvin Lewis spoke on both Hill and Burkhead on Friday, telling Geoff Hobson of the team’s website: “We have to coach [Hill] better. We bet on him. We have no other choice. We bet on Jeremy to continue to progress and move forward. Our job is to try and re-sign Rex. That doesn’t affect Jeremy.”
  • After spending 12 years with the 49ers, including the past four as their director of college scouting, Matt Malaspina took a job as a college scout with the Packers on Friday, per Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. In doing so, Malaspina became the second front office member to leave the San Francisco organization this week. The 49ers and assistant general manager Tom Gamble parted ways Wednesday.
  • In other 49ers news, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell‘s four-year, $16MM agreement with the club includes $6.5MM in guarantees, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.