Tyrod Taylor spent four years as a backup to Joe Flacco in Baltimore, and then signed with Buffalo in 2015 in hopes of making it in the NFL as a starter. At first glance, Taylor’s 1st year in Buffalo was outstanding – 63 percent completions, 20 TDs vs only six interceptions, and he was top 10 in QB rating (7th, tied with Cam Newton and ahead of Roethlisberger and Rodgers) and yards-per-attempt (5th, ahead of Drew Brees and Tom Brady, so we know he wasn’t Captain Checkdown).
But a closer look at his season – and the situation in Buffalo calls into question his insane 6-year, $92 million extension. A quick breakdown:
1. If Rex Ryan doesn’t make the playoffs, he’s probably going to get fired in Bufalo. The Buffalo News said as much in January. So why give your QB that massive an extension if you’re going to be looking for a new head coach in five months? In fact, it could hurt the search for a new coach, in case the new coach doesn’t want to be attached to Taylor.
2. Taylor far exceeded expectations in 2015 – remember, this team burned a 1st round draft pick on EJ Manuel in 2014, thinking he could be their future – and gave Buffalo a chance to win, so the 3rd year of his initial Buffalo contract was voided. Given the dearth of QBs in the NFL, the Bills pretty much had to do something with Taylor’s contract this offseason. So they gave him a little raise.
3. Ultimately, they signed him to a similar deal that Kirk Cousins rejected in Washington. (It should be noted both are very different QBs, with Taylor much more mobile, and as a result, more prone to injury.) And $92 million is a fantasy number because it’s essentially a 1-year “prove it” deal. Similar to the ones Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton signed.
4. QB wins can be a silly stat. But one the Cousins haters love to use: He didn’t beat a playoff team last year! Well, Tyrod Taylor’s record against playoff teams last year: 1-4. He lost to New England twice (once throwing three INTs), Washington and Kansas City. In fact, in any game Taylor had to throw 30+ passes, the Bills went 0-5.
Summary: Tyrod Taylor didn’t get $92 million. Or anything close. The most likely scenario – he plays OK again, but the Bills miss the playoffs, Rex Ryan is fired, and Taylor is cut and becomes a free agent.