Why bringing back QB Tyrod Taylor is smart move for Bills

There were murmurs that Buffalo might move on from the quarterback, but news came Wednesday that he'll stick around. Analyst Gordon McGuinness examines.

| 2 weeks ago
Bills QB Tyrod Taylor

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

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.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • David Stinnett

    This is a self evident truth

  • michael

    Didnt beat a team over 500 last year (except patriots with 3rd string qb). Hardly top 10

    • crosseyedlemon

      A teams fortunes can change dramatically in just a year. The Falcons season dissolved into a train wreck in 2015 and the following year they are playing for the championship. The Cowboys had the worst turnover ratio in 2015 and the next season they have the leagues best record.

      • michael

        The Falcons had a proven qb coming off a bad year. They lost the suoer bowl to a late round qb nobody wanted. The Cowboys proved that drafting a late round qb nobody wants can pay off. Tyrod couldnt beat anybody over 500. Not one come from behind win. Hes 10-6 at best. Draft a qb late rounds nobody wants.

  • Jim Evans

    “competing” with the Patriots? Now THAT’S funny …..

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    they could surely use clemson’s mike williams opposite of sammy watkins. ideal fit and draft value, and it’s not like the weather will affect his game since he’s not a burner anyway

  • Kenneth Penman

    Pleased with the decision…wish the Bills had gone after Marshall who could show the other WRs how to play aggressive physical offense and aggressive physical defense when the ball goes awry!

    The Bills to make the playoffs in 2017.

    And yes, compete with the Patriots…Go Air Force – Go Vets – Go Bills!!

  • crosseyedlemon

    Taylor is a good fit for the Bills. He gives them the kind of dynamic play making ability they really haven’t had since Doug Flutie was leading them to victories.