In news not related — yet, very related — to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills fired their head coach Rex Ryan today, as well as announced they will bench QB Tyrod Taylor in favor of EJ Manuel for their last game of the season against the New York Jets.
There has been speculation for a while that the Bills might not want to hold onto Taylor much longer, even though he signed a five year, $90 million contract extension with the Bills last August (per Spotrac.com).
Word has it that Rex Ryan was one of Taylor’s biggest supporters in Buffalo, so his firing does not appear to be doing Taylor any favors.
When some in upper management wanted to bench Tyrod Taylor, it was Rex Ryan who kept him on the field. GM Doug Whaley wants to see EJ Manuel— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 27, 2016
Promptly, the speculation that Taylor will be released this offseason has begun to spew. This is where the Jaguars get involved.
As I’m sure everyone knows, Blake Bortles has had an awful season, minus last week’s game against the Titans. All in all, however, he has looked uncomfortable as can be throwing the football and his mechanics have regressed to worse than what they were in his rookie season. He has just as many pick-sixes as he has career wins — 11.
Naturally, the tweets and conversations about the idea of Taylor being a potential free agency target for the Jaguars have begun. They should stop now.
Tyrod Taylor is a gifted QB. In two seasons as the Bills starter, Taylor has completed 62% of his passes, and has put together 7541 total yards, 48 total TDs, and has only thrown 12 interceptions.
His skill-set and leadership in Buffalo led to his massive contract extension. Considering the extension hadn’t even kicked in yet, and that Taylor is in his prime at 27 years old, he will be looking for that kind of money, and maybe even more, this offseason, if he hits the open market.
I see no way that the Jaguars target a QB this offseason who is looking for franchise QB money, if they target a QB whatsoever. GM Dave Caldwell said there would be no mandate to start Bortles next season under a new head coach, but considering Bortles was the 3rd overall pick three years ago and is labeled as “Caldwell’s QB”, it just isn’t logical to believe Caldwell would throw that franchise QB-money at any QB on the market.
I genuinely think Bills GM Doug Whaley would be making the biggest mistake of his career in releasing Taylor. He has the ability to lead a franchise, so why get rid of him when you already signed him to a big extension? It doesn’t make sense, but the rumors are out there and most certainly seem real.
So, if Taylor does hit the market, I’m sure he will draw interest from almost every QB needy team out there. Just don’t expect it to be the Jaguars.