With the offseason underway for all 32 National Football League teams, the quarterback position is being evaluated for the Bills. It seems every year we have the same discussion. Keep our guy or move on?
Every Bills fan has his or her opinion on Tyrod Taylor. Some love him, some hate him, and some are neutral. His statistics have been pretty steady since being signed in 2015. He had a steady passer rating of 89 percent and 2,700 passing yards last year. His main negative: his height. This year, Taylor will force the Bills to take an $18 million cap hit. That is 11.31 percent of the total cap. Will the Bills keep him or move on?
NFL.com rates Taylor as the number one candidate to be cut in the AFC. The Bills could use $18 million in cap space or let him go. Trading him may get the Bills something in return, but nothing that would really help the Bills, unless they trade him to a quarterback-needy team, which would be a different story.
If they do move on, they have some good options. They include Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, 26, who took over for the injured Carson Wentz, and took the Eagles all the way to Minneapolis and the Lombardi Trophy.
Since taking the starting role, Foles has definitely proven himself as a starter. Many quarterback-needy teams are already on the phone with the Eagles front office trying to get Foles.
If and when General Manager Brandon Beane decides to try to get him, they have the bait.
As of now, the Bills hold nine draft picks, the 21st and 22nd overall. Some think Foles’ talent may not transfer to the Bills with their poor offensive line. If the Bills draft well, that may change.
Another guy on the Bills’ radar is Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins, 29, a now-unrestricted free agent, has been franchise-tagged the past two years and is set to move out. The Redskins are in the process of trading for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Whether the Bills will make an effort to get Foles, he has a lot of talent. He has had four consecutive 4,000-yard seasons, with a fairly decent touchdown-to-interception ratio.
You also have consider the amount of money the Bills have to pay these guys. As of now, the Bills have $29.2 million in cap space. That’s a pretty tight number. Left tackle Cordy Glenn and quarterback Taylor are the top two on the list for the highest cap. Cutting one of them will add more room to negotiate. Glenn only played three games this year due to injury, but he made $12 million this year alone. He has talent at the position, but if he can’t play, I would trade or cut him.
There have been rumors of the Bills trading up to a top pick in the coming draft. That’s where a trade including Glenn or Taylor could happen.
But is signing a free-agent quarterback the answer? If the Bills decide it isn’t, drafting a quarterback may be the smarter thing to do. There is a pretty solid quarterback class this year.
Some top names are Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson. We’ll see these players show off their talent at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis next month.
Evan Przybylak is a sophomore at Hamburg High School.