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The Bills refuse to be content with Tyrod Taylor, and it makes no sense

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In a recent interview the head coach and GM went from pointing to Taylor as their quarterback of the future to making him compete for his job, and it only took three paragraphs.

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Michael Adamucci/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills have a new head coach and, as of last week, a new general manager. But just like the last regime, coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane already started sending out mixed messages about quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s status with the team.

In an interview with Peter King at the MMQB, they’re asked whether the quarterback of the future is in Buffalo now. McDermott points to Taylor, and for the same amount of time it takes you to read that sentence, the Bills finally have given their starter from the last two years the public vote of confidence he deserves.

Then, Beane pulls the rug out from under the veteran quarterback a mere paragraph later. He promises a competition, in the same breath as praising Taylor’s skills.

McDermott gets the message and changes his tune right after Beane speaks.

I think that’s the key. Going back to your question, Can we guarantee he is on our roster right now? That remains to be seen and that is true at a lot of positions on our roster.

Three paragraphs. That’s all it took for Taylor to go from being the quarterback of the future in Buffalo to a guy competing for his job against the likes of rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman, Cardale Jones, and career backup T.J. Yates.

In the same interview they also talked about how good their depth at QB was, so ...

In two seasons, marked by all the discord former head coach Rex Ryan usually brings to his teams, Taylor started 29 games and threw for a total of 6,058 yards, 37 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, completed 62.8 percent of his passes and had a respectable 7.5 yards per attempt. During that same stretch, he rushed for 1,148 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Despite that, the widespread belief after the season was that the Bills would release Taylor. He got benched in Week 17 thanks via management edict; they didn’t want to risk him getting hurt and forcing the team to payout his full $30.75 million guarantee. In the end, they did keep him albeit with a reworked contract to take away a mountain of guaranteed money. Now, he gets $15.5 million in guaranteed money and a wad of incentives after 2017, essentially making it a one-year deal.

It’s possible that this is just a motivational tactic the tired, old NFL say about forcing everyone to compete for the jobs. However, that one’s usually reserved for highly drafted rookies this time of year, not veteran quarterbacks who have given the Bills the best two-year stretch of QB play the team’s had since Jim Kelly had the job.

Here’s an idea — give the guy a vote of confidence in the press. In a league where there aren’t enough above average quarterbacks for all 32 teams, Taylor clearly gives the Bills their best shot to win now and even into the future.