BOCA RATON, Fla. -- It appears more and more as if the Buffalo Bills will allow Tyrod Taylor to enter the 2016 NFL season under the final year of his contract rather than work out a long-term extension with the quarterback.
There has been little, if any, progress in negotiations to extend Taylor's deal, an NFL source at the league meetings here said.
The Bills' larger immediate priority, according to the source, is doing an extension for cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who is also entering the final year of his agreement. The team presented Gilmore, who is due to receive $11.082 million this year, with an offer before the start of the NFL's free-agency period on March 9.
By spreading out dollars in a long-term contract, the Bills would get some much-needed salary-cap relief for the present and future, but whether they could satisfy Gilmore's desire to be paid as an "elite" cornerback remains to be seen. At the moment, the Bills seem to be inclined to sign Gilmore to a deal that would average between $12 million and $12.5 million per season.
Whatever the team does with Gilmore, it also has to keep in mind the financial implications it would have on a second contract with their other cornerback, Ronald Darby, who had a highly impressive rookie season in 2015 and whom the team sees as having better "ball skills" than Gilmore.
Additionally, the Bills are putting forth efforts into getting a long-term deal done with offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, who after receiving a franchise tag has a guaranteed one-year contract worth $13.7 million. That, too, is seen as an important cap-relief measure for the present and future.
No long-term offer has been made to Taylor, the source said, although Taylor's representative is known to have approached the Bills with a proposal in January. Taylor is due to receive $3 million this year, $2 million in base pay and an incentive bonus of $1 million.
Despite Taylor's solid first season as an NFL starter in 2015, the Bills aren't convinced enough that he is their franchise-quarterback answer to make a financial investment commensurate with that status, the source said.
The quarterback market has been greatly impacted by recent deals such as the one the Houston Texans gave to former Denver Broncos free agent Brock Osweiler: $72 million over four years, with $37 million guaranteed in the first two seasons. The $18-million-per year average is believed to be in the ballpark of what Taylor is looking for.
The Bills appear willing to take their chances on Taylor showing dramatic improvement in his second season as a starter and, therefore, commanding big money as an impending free agent. That would put them in the position of either signing him before he were to hit the open market or giving him a franchise tag.