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Taylor says he wasn't looking to leave Bills

Tyrod Taylor made the case that he wasn't truly shopping himself around to the rest of the NFL.

"It was a few teams out there," the quarterback said about exploring the market for his services before deciding to restructure his contract to remain with the Buffalo Bills. "But I was still under contract. It wasn't like I was released or anything, so I couldn't do too much. But I wasn't looking to do that."

Taylor insisted during a news conference Thursday that what he was looking to do was find a way to remain with the Bills, even though they had no intention of keeping him under the terms of his previous deal that called for $30.75 million in guaranteed money to be paid over two years.

It was known that Taylor's agent had conversations with representatives of the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and San Francisco 49ers during last week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Taylor described those talks as "casual."

In the end, no other team was offering a strong enough deal to pull him away from the one that made him a first-time starter in 2015. No other team had something else Taylor liked about the Bills: the new coaching staff.

He met coach Sean McDermott on Jan. 3, the day he was introduced as Rex Ryan's replacement, and liked what he heard about  his vision. Ditto for his conversations with new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison (with whom Taylor worked in 2014 when he was a backup quarterback in Baltimore and Dennison was the Ravens' quarterbacks coach) and quarterbacks coach David Culley (with whom he worked at the Pro Bowl) during the two months he spent at the Bills' facility for rehabilitation after his January groin surgery.

"I mean, this is the place to be," Taylor said. "I said from Day One, my commitment is to this team, to this community, to do whatever it takes to get a winning tradition back and I'm still committed to doing that each and every day."

Not that there weren't some hard feelings for him to overcome.

One of the biggest was his relationship with General Manager Doug Whaley, who saw to it that Taylor was benched for the 2016 regular-season finale against the New York Jets. It was no secret that Whaley was ready for the Bills to move on from Taylor late last season. Taylor spoke out about his anger over the benching the day after the season ended.

Asked how things now stand between him and Whaley, Taylor said, "We were able to come together on terms as far as the contract. What happened, we learned from it, put it behind us. If it was a bad relationship, I wouldn't be standing in front of you today. Like I said, we got a deal done, so it's good."

Taylor admitted that he had no idea whether he would be returning to the Bills at the end of last season, and that it contributed to some of the ill feelings he had about the organization in early January.

"But I've learned from that situation and I put it behind me," he said "... I put what happened the last week of last year's season behind me. Was I happy about it at the time? No. Would it still fuel me doing workouts and moving forward? Yes.

"Ultimately, I'm happy that I'm back here competing with the guys in this locker room."

Taylor said the decision to restructure his deal, which was made only "a couple of days ago," was done "to help bring in some more pieces." He stressed that it was all about doing what was best for both sides.

"My focus this past offseason was to get healthy, first and foremost, having the surgery early January," Taylor said. "So my sole focus was to get healthy and let my agent find a way to make things work here. We were able to get something done" Wednesday "and I'm excited to be back."

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