The Buffalo Bills made a big move on Friday in locking up starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor for the next six seasons. As of now the initial numbers being released are an extension of 5 years, $92 million, but it will be interesting to see if there any other escalators or performance-driven conditions in the deal.
While many people thought the Bills should wait to see how Taylor follows up his solid 2015 performance this season, others liked the idea of investing in the mobile quarterback now. Count me in with the crowd that was expecting a “bridge contract” to develop for about 2-3 years, essentially giving each party what they wanted.
We were wrong, sort of. And now that Buffalo has reached an agreement with Taylor for five additional years beyond this upcoming season, it looks as if the team is “all in” on T-Mobile, right? Well the length of the contract does scream long-term investment, but the Bills have reportedly protected themselves with some “trap doors” or “outs” on the deal in case Tyrod’s play isn’t up to par.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) August 12, 2016
The conditions are different but the Bills did something similar with former quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the extension he signed midway through the 2011 season. Essentially, the team has an option after a certain amount of time whether to continue with the contract or not. Ian Rapoport explains an important detail further:
#Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will make $9.5M in ’16, then the team has an option. If they pick it up, he gets $27.5M in ’17 & the extension begins
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 12, 2016
If the above is correct, Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills have essentially agreed to a glorified one-year deal that pays him more money this year ($9.5 M) than he was set to originally make. Then, following this upcoming season the team would owe him $27.5M for 2017 which is spread out over a signing bonus and salary and really kick offs the five-year extension if picked up.
After that big payday, the contract is reported to be basically year-to-year with the team having the option whether or not to continue with deal following each season. Smart move for Bills and a risky one for the quarterback. While the agreement does give Taylor more money right away and could lead to big bucks, it also could blow up in his face.
That $27.5M is a big sum of cash even for elite quarterbacks in the NFL so this upcoming 2016 season will have a major impact on what happens next summer. And unless Taylor plays lights out, it’ll be interesting to see if the team will pay him that much next year. I’m sure the front office and money people can figure it out but this is definitely more of a “prove-it deal” with extra financial stability for Tyrod. Some more details on the contract:
Tyrod Taylor’s deal is $92M over 6; $90M over 5 in new cash. $37M in injury guarantees. If option is picked up, $40.25M is fully guaranteed.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 12, 2016
Bills fans: Are you happy with the move to extend quarterback Tyrod Taylor while also protecting the team with an option after this season? Or would you rather wait to see how 2016 plays out?