Two of the Buffalo Bills' most important players are entering the final year of their respective contracts.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor and cornerback Stephon Gilmore will be unrestricted free agents after the 2016 season, barring a contract extension between now and then or the use of the franchise tag by the team.
Both players are included in a list of the top 25 2017 free agents compiled by ESPN's John Clayton.
Gilmore ranked No. 25, with Clayton writing "Gilmore has threatened to hold out of training camp because of his contract. He's likely to get a big extension from Buffalo."
Taylor was No. 16 on the list. Clayton writes "Taylor proved last season that he can be an above-average starting quarterback. With a big season in 2016, he could get a long-term deal in Buffalo or from another team on the open market."
The top spot on the list went to Carolina defensive tackle Kawann Short.
The Bills could retain the services of both players by reaching a contract extension with one of them, which would then allow the team to use the franchise tag on the other.
To do so, however, would come at a significant cost. The price for a quarterback who got the franchise tag in 2016 -- Washington's Kirk Cousins is an example -- is $19.953 million. It will easily be more than $20 million next season.
Cornerbacks who got the franchise tag in 2016 received a guaranteed one-year contract of $13.952 million -- a cost that will surpass $14 million next year.