Tyrod Taylor deal gives player more money now, team more flexibility later

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The official numbers are in on the Tyrod Taylor deal. Put simply, the player took a fattened bird in the hand for 2016, and the team retained the ability to search for the proverbial two in the bush as of 2017.

Taylor’s compensation for the current season increases from $3 million to $9.5 million, but with no guarantees at signing for 2017 or beyond. Contrary to a report from ESPN that emerged on the day the deal was done, there is no $10 million buyout or any other security for Taylor in the event the team decides to not keep him beyond this year. (It’s one of the more bizarre errors in contract reporting we’ve ever seen, with all due respect.)

The ability to move on after one year is critical for the team; if ownership decides to fire G.M. Doug Whaley and coach Rex Ryan after the season, the next regime won’t have its hands tied by Taylor’s contract.

If the Bills keep Taylor, he’ll earn a $15.5 million option bonus and $12 million base salary in 2017, with the salary becoming fully guaranteed if Taylor is on the roster on the fourth day of the 2017 league year. That’s $27.5 million for 2017.

Taylor’s $13 million base salary for 2018 becomes fully-guaranteed on the third day of the 2018 league year; $3.25 million of that amount becomes guaranteed for injury if/when the option bonus is exercised in 2017.

The next three years after 2018 are all non-guaranteed, with base salaries of $13.6 million in 2019, $13.85 million in 2020, and $14.55 million in 2021.

There’s also a one-time $250,000 bonus for taking at least 50 percent of the offensive snaps in a Super Bowl, $500,000 in incentives available for 2018 through 2021 based on passing yards, rushing yards, and touchdowns, and a $3 million incentive package for 2021 based on passing yards, rushing yards, touchdowns, and playoffs.

It’s a five-year extension and a straight six-year deal. As a practical matter, it’s a Russell Okung-style one-year, $9.5 million contract with a team option for the larger payments due in the second and third years.

While giving the Bills the flexibility to move on from Taylor, the contract also allows the team to keep him at payments less than the franchise tag for 2017 and 2018, with much lower salaries for the next three years. As a result, the Bills are protected against Taylor regressing — and they’re protected against him becoming a star. If he ends up somewhere in the middle, the Bills could have a difficult $27.5 million decision to make.

6 responses to “Tyrod Taylor deal gives player more money now, team more flexibility later

  1. So let me see if I got this right…GM Doug Whaley negotiated a contract with Taylor’s agent that makes it easier for the Bills to move on from one, himself, two the coach of the team and three the teams starting quarterback should this season not prove successful.
    No, GM’s aren’t wired to think that way, nor should he be worried about next year

  2. “The ability to move on after one year is critical for the team; if ownership decides to fire G.M. Doug Whaley and coach Rex Ryan after the season, the next regime won’t have its hands tied by Taylor’s contract.”

    Hang on a sec,

    “The ability to move on after one year is critical for the team; if he pulls a Ryan Fitzpatrick after one season, the regime won’t have its hands tied by Taylor’s contract.”

    There, fixed it for ya.

    You’re welcome.

  3. It’s not like Tyrod would have a $27.5M cap hit in 2017 though. The cap hit is a reasonable $15M for 2017.
    If he plays this season as well as he did last season, then I look at that $27.5M payment as payback for playing the past 2 seasons well below what most NFL QBs make. Basically, it’s just postponing the big lump sum payment most players get upon signing a new contract into next year.

    I couldn’t be happier with this contract.

  4. (It’s one of the more bizarre errors in contract reporting we’ve ever seen, with all due respect.)

    As bizarre as a newscaster lying about being in a helicopter shot down by enemy fire?

  5. It doesn’t really matter. WHen he starts to get worse and worse with more and more film on him like with ALL run-first QBs like what happened to Kaeperdick, this contract will be seen as a waste of money and time.

    How does a back up QB who no one even knows of in Baltimore become some entrusted starter with that kind of a contract?

    If he doesn’t have a top 5 run game again, he’s in serious trouble.

    This is a pass first league if you want a Super Bowl.

    Well, unless you’re Gomer Manning and use undetectable Chinese PEDs from Guyer and cheat the salary cap like in Denver.

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