Until Tyrod Taylor's contract status is resolved one way or another, there will be speculation about what the Buffalo Bills' quarterback's future holds.
For his part, Taylor is handling that speculation perfectly. He's said all the right things about not letting it become a distraction, most recently in comments to ESPN.
"The contract situation will play out. My mindset is to go out there and win games," Taylor told the network in an article from James Walker, while attending a business conference put together by his agent Adisa Bakari. "Do whatever it takes to win games, lead the guys, be the leader on the field, off the field and a commander. But I'm not necessarily focused on the contract. I can't control that. ... I've always been one that focuses on the things I can control, and that's going to be my preparation and how I go out there and play. I'll let everything else take care of itself."
Taylor feels like the Bills are ready to put an end to the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.
"Yes, we're definitely positive in the locker room," Taylor said. "We want to be the ones that change that mindset. The community is definitely ready for something to happen, as far as a playoff run, and I think we have the talent to do so."
The topic of Cam Newton's MVP season with the Carolina Panthers also came up during Walker's interview with Taylor.
"Our skill sets are similar," Taylor told Walker. "Do I believe I can be potentially an NFL MVP? I definitely have the confidence in my game. But I just gotta take it one game at a time. I definitely see the growth from last year to this spring. I just gotta continue to take steps forward and perfect my game."
If Taylor approaches Newton's level, it's a good bet the Bills will be successful in getting back into the postseason. Taylor will also be in line for a huge contract. The Bills have the option of using the franchise tag on Taylor after 2016 if they can't work out a long-term deal.
Even if the Bills don't make the playoffs and Taylor has a season similar to his first as a starter in 2014 – 3,035 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 99.4 passer rating and an 8-6 record – he could still command a large deal.
Is it possible that could come from a team other than the Bills? ESPN senior writer John Clayton speculated on that possibility in a recent article for ESPN Insider (subscription required).
"A sleeper free-agent pickup for the Denver Broncos next offseason? How about quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who has one year left on his contract with the Bills. Denver could sign Taylor to another one-year deal, and he could help bridge the gap if first-round pick Paxton Lynch isn't ready to start in 2017."
A few things would have to happen for this scenario to play out. The Bills would be either unable or unwilling to pay Taylor, or he'd tell the team he had no interest in staying. Secondly, he'd have to find a one-year deal with the Broncos more appealing than any possible long-term contract offers from other teams.
Clayton wasn't done with his predictions regarding the Bills, either. He sees 2016 as Rex Ryan's last with the team.
"The Bills need to make the playoffs, and the odds are against it," he writes.