Here is the predicament that the Buffalo Bills have fallen into with Tyrod Taylor. For the longest time, the organization has made it clear that they are looking for a quarterback that can lead the team to the playoffs. The Bills have finally accomplished their goal of reaching the playoffs, and they are looking to move on from the quarterback that got them there. Details aside, it seems odd that the organization would want to move on from Taylor… right? Let’s review this in more depth and see if our opinion changes.
After a quick review of his past three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, it is apparent that his statistics have regressed significantly. For example, if you consider a QB Rating to be of importance, then a drop from his 2015 season high of 99.4 to his 2016 season QB Rating of 89.7 and to end the 2017 season with an 89.2, he has shown that although he can perform at the NFL level, it is becoming increasingly difficult for him to adapt his style of play to most defenses. I believe it should be important to note that his rushing statistics have continued to decrease as well, meaning that when he is restricted from running, his overall quality of play drops substantially, which again, is represented in his QB Rating deterioration.
Although all of the above statistics are important, it is crucial to also consider the price the Buffalo Bills would have to pay if they decided to keep Taylor on the roster. Based on Spotrac’s analysis, the Buffalo Bills would save $10 million if they decided to move on from Taylor. The question is whether or not there is a better quarterback available for a similar price. This is where it becomes more subjective, as there are many quality free agent quarterbacks available this off-season, however, it is difficult to determine the worth of these other players, and whether they have an interest in playing for the Bills organization. I believe that the top free agent quarterbacks such as; Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, and Teddy Bridgewater would all be looking for a higher salary than Taylor’s cap hit of approximately $15 million. Therefore, free agency seems unlikely for a team like the Bills, as they are already tight in the cap space department.
I believe that drafting a quarterback could be the most efficient choice for the Buffalo Bills organization moving forward. Drafting a quarterback would not hurt the team financially, however, the downside is that they would need to give up multiple premium draft picks to grab a top-tier quarterback in the draft. With that in mind, I am of the opinion that sometimes you have to take reasonable risks, and in this scenario, if the Buffalo Bills are unwilling to spend a significant amount of money on a quarterback, and they are focused on a long-term plan, then drafting a college quarterback with a great deal of potential is a risk worth taking.
I say save the $10 million bills for other needs on the team, and go grab a top-tier quarterback like the product out of USC, Sam Darnold or UCLA’s, Josh Rosen.