Bills call Tyrod Taylor the quarterback of the future -- but with caveats

Last month, shortly after the Bills took quarterback Nathan Peterman in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft -- and 12 months after they used a fourth-rounder on quarterback Cardale Jones -- new coach Sean McDermott said he wasn't willing to name veteran Tyrod Taylor the starter for 2017.

"Competition is there," McDermott said at the time. "You earn the right to start on this football team. ... Nothing is promised to anyone. We're going to compete every day. [Even] I've got to earn my spot. You guys have heard me say that before."

If that sounds a lot more like coachspeak aimed to foster competition than a commentary on Taylor's place on the depth chart you'd be right. Because McDermott and new general manager Brandon Beane sounded slightly more optimistic about Taylor's future in Buffalo during a recent interview with TheMMQB.com's Peter King.

Specifically, is the Bills' quarterback of the future currently on the team?

"He is, in Tyrod Taylor," McDermott said. "And then when you look at the competition we have behind him. We've drafted Nathan Peterman, we've added T.J. Yates, and then Cardale Jones in the draft a year ago. I'm not sure there is a team out there that has the depth that we do at the quarterback position. So we feel good about that. We're anxious to see how Tyrod develops in his third year as a starter in a new system, a system that he has some familiarity with in terms of [new Buffalo offensive coordinator] Rick Dennison's system in Baltimore a few years back with Gary Kubiak."

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Taylor will have competition in camp. USATSI

But there are no absolutes in the NFL (other than Tom Brady playing forever), which explains this caveat from Beane.

"We have open competition everywhere," he said. "Obviously it is a quarterback league, but with Tyrod ... He has some tools, his speed, he is tough to game-plan for. He has some strengths and he is still a young starter in this league. It is going to be a competition for every position, to let them fight it out and earn the right to start on this team."

Taylor has started 29 games since arriving in Buffalo before the 2015 season and he's thrown 37 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. But he ranked 19th in total value among all quarterbacks last season, according to Football Outsiders' metrics (he was 14th in 2015), and questions of consistency remain.

Still, until there's a better option, Taylor, who is just 27, is the sensible choice. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora thinks Taylor could remain in Buffalo through 2018 though he adds, "Peterman wouldn't be here if new coach Sean McDermott didn't think he had something to offer."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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