Why bringing back QB Tyrod Taylor is smart move for Bills
News broke Wednesday afternoon that the Buffalo Bills are not only keeping quarterback Tyrod Taylor, but that they are doing so on a restructured contract. This really is the perfect scenario for Buffalo. Not only was Taylor their best option at quarterback, the restructure indicates that they are likely to be saving some money against the cap with the move as well.
Our 11th-highest-graded quarterback in 2016, and seventh in 2015, it really didn’t make a lot of sense that Buffalo were even considering moving on from Taylor. Realistically, when you look at the quarterback market, the former Virginia Tech star is something of a bargain at the position, especially when you consider the contract handed to Brock Osweiler last offseason, and the fact that Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon is likely to command $14 million per season.
Taylor is at his best throwing the ball downfield, completing 75 of the 150 passes he attempted traveling 10 yards or further downfield, including 11 touchdowns and six interceptions, in 2016. He was even better in that regard back in 2015, when he threw 12 touchdowns to just three interceptions on throws traveling at least 20 yards downfield.
The other thing to take into consideration is that on top of being an impressive downfield passer, Taylor can also create big plays on the ground. Taylor rushed for 577 yards last year, with 91 of those yards coming on designed runs, and another 408 coming on quarterback scrambles. He also scored six touchdowns and forced 20 missed tackles. A dynamic playmaker both with his arms and his legs, Taylor gives the Buffalo Bills a serious shot at making the playoffs in 2017.
Look back at 2016, when the Bills realistically were not that far away from making the playoffs, and it’s not too much of a stretch to see them getting there with a change in the coaching staff, and a few upgrades to the roster. Letting go of Taylor would have put the Bills in a position where they not only needed to upgrade the roster elsewhere, but they would have been heading into the season with a downgrade at quarterback, and possibly even a rookie starting. Now, they have stability, and arguably a top 10 player at the position, so can focus on positioning themselves to compete with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins in the AFC East, and the next-best teams in the AFC for a wild card spot.