BOCA RATON, Fla. – The agent for Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor isn’t happy with the team’s stance of not giving his client a contract extension before the 2016 season.
“It’s the Bills’ prerogative to do what they want to do as it relates to Tyrod Taylor or any other Bills player,” Adisa Bakari told The Buffalo News in a phone call Monday. “Fortunately, there are 31 other teams that have watched and will be watching Tyrod. And the fact of the matter is what Tyrod was able to do as a first-time starter in 2015 was give the Bills the best quarterback play they’ve had since Jim Kelly.
“If that isn’t enough to warrant an extension, I don’t know what will be.”
The News reported Monday that the Bills have made extending the contract of cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who like Taylor is also entering the final year of his agreement, their top priority now that they have placed a franchise tag on tackle Cordy Glenn and re-signed guard Richie Incognito.
The News also reported that the Bills are looking to get a long-term deal done with Glenn, and that it’s looking more and more as if they will allow Taylor to play the 2016 season under the final year of his contract, which will pay him $3 million.
Part of that is because, with their extremely tight salary cap situation, the Bills don’t have the room to do a third big extension. And part of that is because they aren’t entirely convinced Taylor has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback.
While speaking with reporters at the NFL meetings here Monday, General Manager Doug Whaley addressed the potential psychological impact not extending Taylor’s contact before the season would have on the quarterback.
“I can’t speak for him, but from our standpoint, knowing where he came from, he experienced that being behind Joe Flacco (for four seasons in Baltimore),” Whaley said. “The only downside for us is we may have to pay him if he wins the Super Bowl. So, I can’t speak for Tyrod, but again he went through that by being a backup to a guy that went into that year and bet on himself and ended up winning. He’s seen that situation play out before.
“Hopefully, it doesn’t adversely effect it. He chose us knowing he was going to compete, so I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t try to compete to prove that he’s an NFL starting quarterback. We look at him, everything he’s brought to us, that competitive nature, you can’t just turn that off, especially at that position.”
Whaley also reiterated his stance that the Bills plan to add one quarterback, “possibly two” in the draft, free agency or via trade.
As far as Whaley is concerned, there’s no cutoff for when a quarterback would make sense for the Buffalo Bills to select in next month’s NFL Draft.
The GM said the team could very well pick one with the 19th overall choice, even if the two presumed top two players at the position – California’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz – are gone.
“Any round we could pick any position,” Whaley said. “There’s many possibilities right now, because there’s still some guys out there on the street … There might be some trade possibilities where once we get closer to the draft or draft day, teams may call up and say they have a quarterback (available), so we’re going to keep all options open.”
If the Bills do go the draft route for a QB, Whaley said he wasn’t expecting them to land an immediate starter.
“In this draft, I don’t know if there’s a guy that’s going to be able to step in from Day One and have complete success,” he said. “Of course, there’s always that possibility. But what I feel confident about in this draft is there’s a lot of quarterbacks that need a year or two of seasoning that can project later in their career to be either very good number twos or solid number ones. So we’re excited about that.”
Asked if, as some analysts have noted, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan is the most NFL-ready quarterback from the college ranks, Whaley said, “I would say for us, probably, because he runs the same system we run (because Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman is Stanford’s former OC). Now for everybody else, I can’t say that.”
The Bills still have EJ Manuel as a backup. Whaley said the team has yet to decide whether it would pick up Manuel’s fifth-year option, which would pay him roughly $10 million, the day after the draft.
“We look at everything as an opportunity,” the GM said. “Hopefully it’s an opportunity for Tyrod to solidify himself as our No. 1 and we pay him and then we have to find another guy. We will add one-two more, again, leaving all options open. Out of shear numbers, you can’t go in with just two. You have to have at least three-four going into camp.”