It's hard to envision a scenario that has Tyrod Taylor on the Bills' roster when the 2018 season gets underway in six months. But between now and then, the expectation is that Taylor isn't going anywhere, reports NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, and the reason is simple.
Until Buffalo has its next franchise quarterback lined up, Taylor will stay put -- even if that means paying him a $6 million roster bonus with no real intention of keeping him on said roster. Taylor is due $6 million on the third day of the league year, which is March 17. He's also due $10 million in 2018 but this assumes he's not released or traded.
Taylor has had a tumultuous stint in Buffalo despite throwing 37 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions in his first two seasons. In 2017, under first-year coach Sean McDermott, Taylor was benched for unproven rookie Nathan Peterman. The results were disastrous -- Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half against the Chargers in Week 11, and McDermott was forced to reinsert Taylor into the lineup after halftime.
And while Taylor started six of the Bills' final seven games -- including its first playoff game since 1999 -- it was clear from the moment he was benched in Los Angeles that he wasn't in the team's long-term plans. In fact, in our most recent mock draft, we have the Bills trading up to No. 5 to take quarterback Baker Mayfield.
In fact last April, shortly after the Bills took Peterman in the fifth round of the NFL Draft -- and 12 months after the team used a fourth-rounder on quarterback Cardale Jones -- McDermott said he wasn't willing to name 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."
With few options, McDermott did name Taylor the starter only to bench him 11 weeks later. And even after Peterman's five-picks-in-30-minutes performance, McDermott didn't second-guess the move that everyone else on Planet Earth second-guessed.
"I don't regret my decision,". "I regret the result. ...This is in part about winning now and in part about winning in the future."
And any winning in the future the Bills do won't involve Taylor. When the two sides finally part ways, Taylor should have little trouble finding work. Demand for replacement-level quarterbacks far outstrips supply, and we wrote back in November about six potential landing spots for Taylor, who is still just 28 years old.