MOBILE, Ala. – It’s easy to conclude, from comments and suggestions from General Manager Doug Whaley since the end of the 2015 season, the Buffalo Bills aren’t quite prepared to commit to a long-term relationship with Tyrod Taylor.
Whaley added another log to that fire Tuesday when he told reporters at the Senior Bowl the Bills would “absolutely” consider selecting a quarterback early in April’s NFL Draft.
The approach seems reasonable enough, considering the crop of quarterback prospects is viewed as being fairly deep and the Bills have questionable depth behind Taylor in EJ Manuel and Josh Johnson.
But it’s also reasonable to think there might be more than a little bit of posturing at work here.
Taylor, who has one year left on his contract, is in the process of putting the finishing touch on a surprisingly strong first season as an NFL starter with his selection, as an alternate, to the Pro Bowl. He and his representation undoubtedly want the Bills to get off the fence and demonstrate that they do, in fact, believe the best quarterback they have had in a long time is their franchise QB.
And they want to be paid accordingly, well above the roughly $2 million Taylor is scheduled to receive in 2016. Something in the range of, say, $18 million per season?
And if the Bills are, in fact, going to start showing anything approaching that kind of love, the time to do it is now as they take their initial steps toward the two biggest business decisions of the offseason: what to pay pending free-agent offensive linemen Richie Incognito, who is also in the Pro Bowl, and Cordy Glenn.
The Senior Bowl and next month’s NFL Scouting Combine at Indianapolis are when GMs and player agents start having contract discussions.
Taylor doesn’t want to enter the ’16 season as a lame duck, any more than Whaley did before the Bills gave him a contract extension. The Bills are very aware of that, and it’s at least part of the reason Whaley is making it known that, yes, if the right quarterback is available, the Bills wouldn’t hesitate using a premium pick on him.