BOCA RATON, Fla. – Rex Ryan isn’t concerned about Tyrod Taylor being negatively impacted mentally from not receiving a contract extension before the 2016 season.
On Monday, Taylor’s agent, Adisa Bakari, told The Buffalo News that he wasn’t happy about the team’s approach to negotiations, which appear to be leading toward the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback playing under the final year of his agreement.
“No, I think the agent’s probably the most disappointed of all, obviously,” Ryan told reporters Tuesday during the annual AFC coaches’ breakfast with the media at the NFL meetings. “But there’s a football team to run, not just one player. For the agent, you know, he’s got a player, so I get it.
“But you have to do what’s in the best interest of your team and not just one player.”
The Bills have identified getting long-term agreements with cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who also is entering the final year of his contract, and tackle Cordy Glenn, who received a franchise tag, as offseason priorities ahead of doing the same with Taylor.
Their tight salary-cap situation is unlikely to allow them to do an extension with Taylor until during the season at the earliest, or next year. They also would have the option of putting a franchise tag on Taylor.
“I think first off, our entire organization believes in Tyrod Taylor, I don’t believe there’s any doubt,” Ryan said. “However, sometimes when you look at your situation cap-wise, or whatever, anything that would include an extension for him would have to be in the best interests of both Tyrod and the Bills. And I think right now … it’s probably hard to bring those two things together with our cap situation.”
For all of the positives the coach sees in his quarterback, one negative he mentioned was the need to have Taylor do a better job of attacking the middle of the field in the passing game. Along with targeting Sammy Watkins, something that improved dramatically through the second half of last season after the receiver made a public demand for more balls to be thrown his way, Ryan wants to see greater involvement from tight end Charles Clay.
Watkins led the Bills with 60 catches for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns last season, while Clay ranked second with 51 receptions for 528 yards and three scores.
“I think with Charles Clay being able to take advantage of his athleticism, too, is going to be something that we’re looking into,” Ryan said. “We’ll probably make a point of emphasis to try to get him the ball, and taking advantage of the middle of the field more than we have in the past. And that specifically comes to Tyrod. He did a great job on the outside.
“It’s easy to say, but we get very little Cover Two coverage because of his run ability. Most of your throws are going to be to the outside in those situations, which he does a great job with. But when a team does play some version of two high safeties, be able to take advantage of the middle of the field a little more than we did last year.”