BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Tyrod Taylor said he would like to remain the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, but he will not accept another pay cut to do so.
"Nah, that's not really part of the plan right now," Taylor told The Buffalo News Friday, while making appearances at the media center for Super Bowl LII on behalf of designer eyeglass frames he's promoting. "Definitely not part of my mindset. I've done that before (last year, when he accepted a $10-million salary reduction over two seasons). I don't think there's a need to do that again. That's definitely not part of my mindset."
Taylor has not spoken publicly since the Bills' Jan. 7 wild-card playoff loss at Jacksonville. He was not made available immediately after the game or the next day, as the Bills cleaned out their locker room for the offseason, because he was in concussion protocol.
Taylor believes the fact the Bills snapped a 17-year playoff drought with him at quarterback should count for something regarding his contract -- which calls for him to receive a $6 million roster bonus in March on top of a $10-million base salary and carries a cap hit of more than $18 million -- remaining the same.
"I believe so," he said. "It wasn't the smoothest road throughout the season. It was a bunch of ups and downs, transactions made, bunch of uncertainties. But at the same time, myself and the other leaders of the team were able to keep everyone focused and go out there and do something that hasn't been done in Buffalo for nearly 20 years now. So that's definitely something to be proud about. I'm definitely proud about that and, hopefully, I can continue to take that team to a higher and higher level each year."
Asked if he wants to remain the Bills' starting quarterback, Taylor said, "Absolutely. I love playing in Buffalo, I love my teammates. I know the work they put in, day in and day out. I know that's a special group and I see the potential that we have and as a team, we see it as well, too. If you were around Buffalo this past year, it was definitely different from the previous two years. It's a special group and I love competing with those guys, day in and day out."
Although there has been plenty of speculation that Taylor won't be with the team next year because the Bills will seek his replacement via the draft, free agency, trade (or all three), he said he has not been given any indication that his status will change.
"Honestly, I'm a Bill as far as I know," said Taylor, whose T2 line of glasses can be found on www.framegenie.com. "I really haven't had any communications as to what's the plan moving forward. I'm sure that it'll be communicated to me at some point, but as of right now, I'm going to continue to focus on myself mentally, physically, and get ready for another season."
Here are other topics Taylor addressed:
On how tough it was to end the season with a 10-3 loss to the Jaguars: "It was definitely tough. That was a very good team, a very good defense that we played against. They went up to almost beat the team that's in the Super Bowl now, so it wasn't like we lost to a fluke team. Could we have been better that day? Yes. But something to learn from from that game and we've got to put it behind us and move forward."
On his version of the run-pass option where he threw a pass intended for Kelvin Benjamin from the Jaguars' 1-yard line that resulted in an offensive pass-interference penalty and eventually forced the Bills to settle for a field goal late in the first half: "The run-pass option, if it was one-on-one outside with KB, which it was, we give him a chance to make a play. And if we have two guys go out, then we run the football. I mean, people can go back and forth as to what to do in that situation, but a play was called and we ran it how we practiced it. We just didn't execute it. Unfortunately, it was an OPI that pushed us back. That happens. Of course, you don't want it to happen down there. Negative plays are never good, but especially when you're a yard away from scoring, it's definitely not good."
On whether, in hindsight, he wished the Bills had run in that situation: "If you wanted to run, then call a run. When you get the option and you're given the opportunity of doing either one, and if it doesn't happen, then people say to (to the opposite). I'm not going to go back and forth as to what you should do in that situation. That day, against Jacksonville, we really didn't get a lot going in the running game, but you would expect Shady (McCoy) to get a yard there, but like I said, the called play was an option to do either or and we did one. It was just unsuccessful. We had an opportunity to (run), I had both hands on the ball. It was just an unfortunate situation that a PI was called."
On the firing of offensive coordinator Rick Dennison the day after the game: "It's definitely tough when you lose someone that you worked with. I've been able to work with Coach Rico at two different occasions. It's always tough. It's just the nature of the business."
On whether he has spoken with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll: "No, I haven't. I know that they were at the Senior Bowl last week. I'll talk to him at some point or another, but that's definitely a conversation that needs to be had."
On whether the scheme Daboll ran in his previous job, as OC at the University of Alabama, would be well suited to Taylor's running ability because it contains plenty of run-pass options: "Absolutely. They've done some creative things at Alabama. He's had time on task with a mobile quarterback, so as far as what he brings to the table, a smart coach and it looks like he has a great plan. So I'm looking forward to working with him."