All options still on the table for Tyrod Taylor's future in Buffalo

February 28, 2018

Neither Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott nor general manager Brandon Beane gave much more clarity to Tyrod Taylor’s future in Buffalo when both men spoke to a group of reporters here at the NFL Combine Wednesday morning.

McDermott did, however, say that the team does not plan on releasing Taylor “at this point,” which still leaves the door open for that possibility later in the offseason.  There’s been speculation the Bills will attempt to trade the QB before they have to pay him a $6 million roster bonus on March 16.  Last week, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported that if they are unable to do that, Beane would be comfortable paying the bonus hen evaluating the situation throughout free agency and the draft and keeping Taylor until they are sure they have secured a better option.

When asked how the bonus comes into play of the decision-making process with Taylor, McDermott admitted it is a factor, but stopped short of saying that it’s the most important.  “It’s something that obviously comes into consideration because it is real,” he said.  “That said, it’s part of the equation.  It’s one of the variables in the equation for us as we continue to move forward and go through that process.

“At this point the process, you know I've learned being around this league around twenty years, that it's way too early to take anything off the table. Other than cutting him, at this point, which is not in our plans.  He’s a good football player that's taken a team and been instrumental in getting us to the playoffs. But, at this point the process, whether it's Tyrod or or any of our players, you look at what's out there, you look at your options and you make decisions that are in the best interest of the football team.”

If Taylor is still on the Bills’ roster at midnight on March 16, the team will pay him the $6 million cash and it will count against their salary cap in 2018, as well, regardless of anything else they do with him after that. He’s also scheduled to earn a $10 million base salary in 2018. If he stays on the roster to begin next season, he will count a total of a $18 million on their salary cap (due to adding in his prorated signing bonus from last year).

The Bills essentially have a 32-hour window to trade Taylor before paying the roster bonus. That window opens when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. on March 14.

If the team does trade Taylor before midnight on March 16, his new team would be on the hook for the $6 million roster bonus plus the $10 million base salary he’s scheduled to earn in 2018 for a total salary cap hit of $16 million. But they could also restructure his contract.

If the Bills keep Taylor through midnight March 16, pay the roster bonus, then trade him after that, his new team would only have to pay and count his $10 million base salary on their cap.

If they outright release Taylor prior to March 16, they will still take on an $8.6 million salary cap hit in 2018.

There’s a possibility that both McDermott and Beane are publicly saying that they will not cut Taylor in order to force teams who are interested in him to make a deal and give up an asset.

“Well, Tyrod’s our roster right now,” Beane said.  “And that's the plan and we're just taking it day-by-day and, like every position, we're we're trying to get better everywhere.  And so we're looking at every position, including quarterback.  But Tyrod did a lot of good things for us, so I'm not really worried about the bonus. I see him on our roster right now and unless something changes he'll be here through that part.”

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