One conclusion some in the media reached after Wednesday's news that Tyrod Taylor received medical clearance from the Buffalo Bills related to the groin surgery he underwent in January was that the quarterback might file a grievance insisting he, in fact, isn't healthy.
The motive, of course, would be to maintain Taylor's eligibility for the $27.5-million injury guarantee he has coming if he can't pass a physical examination by the March 11 deadline for the team to decide whether to exercise his contract extension.
The thinking was mainly driven by the fact ESPN's Adam Schefter cited a "team source" for the information that Taylor was medically cleared. Why else would something like that come from the Bills and not someone else (such as Taylor or his agent) unless they were eager to position themselves to avoid making the payment?
Here's one reason: Because both sides agree with the results and the quarterback's side is perfectly fine with that.
Let's start at the beginning. About a week before Taylor was to be examined to determine whether he would need the surgery, a source close to him said if the procedure were done, Taylor's recovery would only be a matter of weeks and that he would be fully recovered before March. There was no mention of the injury clause.
For their part, the Bills also made no attempt to treat Taylor's recovery as any sort of cloak-and-dagger situation. General Manager Doug Whaley told reporters at last January's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., that Taylor was on schedule for a full recovery and that the surgery would not have any bearing on the team's decision regarding the option.
Furthermore, Taylor posted videos showing himself dropping back and making other athletic movements that indicated all was well with him physically. Not exactly the type of thing one would expect from someone angling to take advantage of a contractual clause.
That's because there's ample reason to believe Taylor has no desire to go that route. Consider the following:
*The Bills could very well be pleased with the medical clearance because they intend to keep him and also be on the hook for additional guaranteed money that would push the total to $30.75 million. (And if they don't want him, their concerns about paying the $27.5 million are alleviated because of an insurance policy they purchased that would protect their financial interests.)
*The Bills and Taylor could work out a restructured deal that allows him to get the full amount of guaranteed money (because, according to someone close to the situation, he is unwilling to accept a pay cut) but adjusts the payment schedule to reduce its impact on the team's salary cap. In this case, it would behoove both sides for him to be healthy.
*If Taylor does become a free agent, he and his agent would have every reason to want to shop him as a healthy commodity. By most accounts, he would receive plenty of play in the open the market and could very well receive every bit as much as the Bills were willing to pay him, if not more.