Well, the Bills certainly gave their fans something to talk about this weekend.
Buffalo dropped big news on the NFL world early Friday evening, trading quarterback Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland in exchange for a third-round draft pick. Taylor, who polarized fans with dazzling athleticism and pedestrian passing statistics, will go down in the city’s sports history as the man who led the Bills to their first playoff berth since the 1999 season, ending the longest postseason drought in major American professional sports. But his future in Buffalo was never secure.
“The writing was on the wall regarding his time as the team's starter dating back to Week 11 of last season, when he was benched for rookie Nathan Peterman before the team's game in Los Angeles,” The Buffalo News’ Jay Skurski writes for BNblitz. “After Peterman melted down in spectacular fashion in that game against the Chargers, Taylor returned to the starting lineup the following week in Kansas City. He would ultimately finish out the season as the starter – save a one-week absence because of a knee injury – leading the team to a 9-7 record.”
‘Thank you Buffalo’: Regardless of fans’ opinions on Taylor’s play, most would agree he was always a class act, and true to form, he thanked the city on Instagram: “Thank you Buffalo! God’s Plan. The marathon continues.”
A ‘coup’ for Beane: News columnist Jerry Sullivan called the Taylor deal “a coup” for Bills general manager Brandon Beane. “I have to say I'm a little stunned by the news,” wrote Sullivan, who was in Cleveland for the MAC basketball tournament. “Not that Brandon Beane would trade Taylor, but that any NFL team would be willing to give up that much, knowing that the Bills might well cut him.”
Twitter reaction: Reactions to the Taylor trade on Twitter included this from the Bills’ Tre’Davious White: “T Mobile… NOOOO.”
What’s next: The Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci writes that the Bills are now likely to bring in quarterbacks through both free agency and the draft. Available (and realistic) free agents include Case Keenum, AJ McCarron and Josh McCown.
The draft outlook: The Bills now own nine picks in the upcoming NFL Draft with the addition of Cleveland’s third-rounder, which is the first pick in that round. Buffalo has six picks in the first three rounds, which should help them should they want to trade upward.
Salary cap impact: The trade also means more salary cap room for Buffalo. The team will net $10.44 million in savings when the trade becomes official at the start of the league year Wednesday.
Watch: Jay Skurski and Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News and Adam Benigni of WGRZ discuss the Taylor trade.
In other news: Former Bills receivers around the league have been cashing in. But that’s no reason to miss them, Carucci writes.
Titans to release Cassel, Searcy: The Tennessee Titans have informed former Bills Da’Norris Searcy and Matt Cassel that they will be released, the team announced Friday.
Listen: In the Daily Drive Podcast, Paul Peck and Kevin Sylvester from Buffalo Sports Page discuss the potential transgressions that could turn teams off from free agents.
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