The Buffalo Bills find themselves in a serious mess as they prepare to close out the 2016 regular season. The organization fired Rex Ryan, and the question mark at the head coach position is trickling down to the quarterback position.
Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that quarterback Tyrod Taylor would be benched for the team’s season finale. E.J. Manuel will start in his place. Interim head coach Anthony Lynn confirmed the decision to bench Taylor was a “business decision.” Taylor and the Bills agreed to a five year, $90 million contract extension this past offseason, but in reality it was a one-year deal with the team making a decision on a team option after this season.
The reason for the benching is that they have until mid-March (believed to be the third day of the new league year) to decide on the option, and the deal includes an injury guarantee. If he is not healthy at that point, the Bills would owe him approximately $27.5 million over 2017 and 2018. If he is healthy at that point, the Bills could cut him without owing him much of anything.
And things are getting interesting in regard to that injury guarantee. Taylor sat out Wednesday’s practice with what the team described as a veteran’s day off, but what is now being described as a groin injury. Bills beat writer Vic Carucci reported Taylor has been fighting through a groin injury, and now is traveling to Philadelphia to figure out if he needs groin/hernia surgery.
This sounds familiar to 49ers fans. Colin Kaepernick had three surgeries at different points last fall, and we spent January, February, and March trying to figure out what it all meant for his contract. The 2016 season became guaranteed, Kaepernick stuck around and re-worked his new contract, and now we wait to see what the coming offseason brings.
For Taylor and the Bills, they need to figure out their next head coach. Anthony Lynn is a favorite, but they will go through the full process. Whomever ends up as head coach, the next question is what will happen at the QB position. Does Taylor get released and become available? If the 49ers have the kind of quarterback turnover many of us are expecting, Taylor is one guy that will be speculated upon. In fact, John Clayton already threw his name out there as someone who could potentially pair with Chip Kelly in Santa Clara.
We’ve seen plenty of drama at the quarterback position in Santa Clara, but now Buffalo gets to join in our fun!