The moment the Bills benched quarterback Tyrod Taylor during the 2017 season, his days instantly became numbered. The Bills have become determined to find a franchise quarterback, and they have determined that Taylor won’t become a franchise quarterback.
But they’re apparently not willing to cut him, and for good reason. With a $6 million roster bonus due in mid-March ($1 million of which already is guaranteed), the Bills could pay the bonus, bide their time, and wait for someone to offer value for Taylor after the dust settles on free agency and the draft.
If quarterbacks are chairs and NFL teams are butts, when the music stop there’s usually at least one team/butt that is looking for a place to sit. Enter the Bills, who after payment of the roster bonus will have Taylor under contract at a base salary of $10 million for 2018. That’s an attractive amount for a one-year dance with a starting-caliber quarterback.
The Bills don’t have to trade Taylor right away. If, as expected from the moment they benched Taylor, they use their pair of first-round picks to fuel a move to the top 10 and draft a quarterback, Taylor can start until the rookie is ready.
Meanwhile, the Bills can wait for an injury or some other circumstance to set the stage for a trade. If, in the end, they pick up a third- or second-round pick for him, it may be worth the $5 million they’ll pay; after all, the Browns essentially paid $16 million last year for a 2018 second-round pick, via the Brock Osweiler hot potato trade.