The Buffalo Bills announced today that the team has agreed to a new deal with quarterback Tyrod Taylor. It was a bit of an unexpected announcement, seeing as how the Bills spent the tail end of last season doing everything in their power to set themselves up to release Taylor.
Taylor was benched for the final game of last season despite being healthy enough to play, and it was apparent that the decision to sit him came from the front office. The team was trying to prevent Taylor from getting hurt, because the terms of his contract would have required the Bills to pay out $27.5 million if he were too sustain a catastrophic injury.
Taylor made things even more difficult on the Bills this offseason, when he had surgery to repair a sports hernia in January. He eventually passed a physical on Feb. 22, which could have cleared the way for the Bills to cut him without being on the hook for a big payout. They only had until March 11 to make that decision, though, because after that date the $27.5 million for this year, plus another $3.25 million in 2018, would have become fully guaranteed for next season.
The exact details of Taylor’s restructured deal are still unknown, but the few details that have come out allow from some educated guessing.
Given the sad state of the free-agent quarterback market and the fact that Taylor only had to wait until Saturday to lock in his 2017 salary, it’s hard to imagine he’s coming away with anything less than $30 million guaranteed from this new deal. The $10 million cap hit in 2017 could be $8.6 million in salary and $1.4 million in pro-rated bonus. Since the deal is only guaranteed through the first two years, it’s possible his salary could jump to something between $18 million and $20 million in 2018, which is more or less market value for a decent NFL starting quarterback.
As long as Taylor is still getting around $30 million guaranteed over the next two years, this is a fine deal for him—the $7 million signing bonus will pay out immediately, too, and that’s something players always value. As for the Bills, they get an extra $6 million in cap room to play around with this offseason. Still, it’s funny to see them commit to Taylor after seeming so desperate to be rid of him just a few months ago. Maybe they saw those Mike Glennon rumors and realized that they were lucky to have the option to pay Taylor.