The Buffalo Bills face a decision this offseason with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and the situation is now a little more complicated. Taylor suffered a groin injury at some point in the closing weeks of the season, and on Thursday he posted pictures in a surgery smock. The Bills confirmed via press release that Taylor had consulted with a doctor on Wednesday, and decided to have his surgery Thursday morning.
The decision to have surgery now makes for an interesting issue heading into the spring. Taylor’s contract says that if he fails a physical on March 11, his 2017 salary, and I believe some of his 2018 salary, become guaranteed. He is due $12 million in 2017 base salary, and has a cap hit of $15,913,334. If he passes the physical, the Bills will be able to release him and face minimal cap implications.
The Bills fired head coach Rex Ryan, and even before the injury there were questions about Taylor’s future with the team. He signed a five year, $90 million extension this past preseason, but it was essentially one year and then “we’ll see.” The Bills have an option to exercise, and if they were to not exercise it, they would release him. Taylor was benched for the season finale in order to prevent injury while the team figured out what to do next. That obviously did not work out so well.
The team’s statement was a bit terse, saying Taylor “elected” to have surgery, and that the team was informed late on Wednesday about the Thursday procedure. There are certainly some issues to be resolved within the organization on this front.
The 49ers interviewed Bills interim head coach and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn on Wednesday. We don’t fully know his opinion on Taylor. If he likes him and the quarterback hits the market this offseason, he is certainly one possible option if the 49ers were to end up hiring Lynn. And even if the 49ers went in another direction for head coach, Taylor could still be an option. But the salary guarantee implications could result in Taylor sticking with Buffalo for the time being.