In 2015, Tyrod Taylor was the first Bills quarterback to make it to the Pro Bowl since Drew Bledsoe in 2003. His replacement, Nathan Peterman, set an NFL record by throwing five interceptions in the first half of his first start.
And despite that, Taylor couldn’t keep his job in western New York.
But he’ll have a strong chance of starting in the NFL again after getting traded to the Cleveland Browns on Friday for a third-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
What does this mean for the Browns?: Taylor now joins a young roster that traded for wide receiver Jarvis Landry earlier Friday. Shortly after, the Browns traded last year’s starting quarterback, DeShone Kizer, to the Packers for cornerback Damarious Randall.
The Brows now have a quarterback in Taylor, a few dynamics targets for him (Landry, Josh Gordon, David Njoku), a versatile running back (Duke Johnson), and a sturdy offensive line.
While Taylor will likely earn the starting role in Cleveland in 2018, he’s probably a stopgap solution as a mentor for a young quarterback. The Browns own the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the first round and will likely use one to draft the team’s presumptive quarterback of the future.
It’s a cheap way to get a veteran in the fold, but perhaps what’s most interesting is that it probably means the Browns won’t go after quartberack AJ McCarron in free agency as was expected.
What does this mean for the Bills?: It wasn’t difficult to see Taylor’s departure coming. He was a candidate to be cut last spring before restructuring his contract with the team. The writing on the wall got even darker when he was benched for Peterman in Week 11 despite a 5-4 record. While Taylor would return to mark 14 starts on the season and help get the Bills to the playoffs for the first time since 1999, the franchise’s lack of faith in him meant his days in New York were numbered.
He still thanked the team following his three seasons in Buffalo
Thank you Buffalo! God's Plan. The marathon continues pic.twitter.com/CUhTzZKvqU— Tyrod Taylor (@TyrodTaylor) March 10, 2018
With the skeleton of a playoff roster intact, expect to see the Bills make some bold moves this spring — especially when it comes to quarterbacks. They’ll have plenty of draft picks to work with, too:
When the Tyrod Taylor trade is official, the #Bills will hold five of the 2018 draft's first 65 picks.— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFLDraft) March 9, 2018
Rd. 1, No. 21
Rd. 1, No. 22 (via #Chiefs)
Rd. 2, No. 53
Rd. 2, No. 56 (via #Rams)
Rd. 3, No. 65 (via #Browns)
Buffalo will save more than $10 million in cap space this offseason by moving Taylor. That should leave more than $40 million in spending cash for this year’s crop of free agents.