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Bills, Tyrod Taylor agree to 6-year contract extension

Taylor had the best season of any Bills quarterback in over a decade.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrod Taylor is coming off the best season any Buffalo Bills quarterback has had in over a decade, and Buffalo announced it has rewarded him with a brand new contract.

Taylor, 27, was under contract through the 2017 season, however, a clause in his contract would have voided the 2017 season if he played 50 percent of Buffalo's offensive snaps, which means he would have become a free agent after the 2016 season.

The contract locks Taylor in for up to six seasons, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, but the team does have some flexibility built into the agreement. Taylor will make $9.5 million this year, but the Bills can still cut him next March without taking a hit. If instead they pick up his option next year, then Taylor can make a total of $27.5 million, in both salary and bonuses, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.

This is quite a turn of events for the 2011 sixth-round pick, who was set to make just $2 million this year before his new deal. The Bills acquired Taylor to little fanfare last March shortly after they traded for Matt Cassel, who was expected to compete with EJ Manuel for the starting quarterback job in training camp. Instead, Taylor earned the job and became a starting quarterback for the first time in his career.

Taylor's numbers were impressive last season, too. He posted a 99.4 passer rating -- the same as league MVP Cam Newton -- and threw for 3,035 yards in 14 games. He also ran for 568 yards, scoring four rushing touchdowns.

Perhaps most impressively, Taylor seldom turned the ball over. He only threw six interceptions, which is a testament to his decision-making ability. Taylor missed two games due to a knee injury in the middle of the season. The Bills went 0-2 in his absence.

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman credits Taylor's effort as the reason for his success and the team's confidence in him moving forward.

"In order to take those steps it has to come from the player," Roman said via the team's website. "The player has to embrace the challenge of self-examination, self-awareness. He has done that A-plus, plus. I couldn't be happier with his commitment to that process. He's improving in every aspect of his game. I'm very happy with how he approaches his job."

Head coach Rex Ryan believes Taylor's talent and skill set will serve the team well moving forward.

"I see the confidence that his teammates have in him and we think we're going to get it done with Tyrod at quarterback," Ryan said. "He can beat you with his arm, with his deep ball, his accuracy, and he can beat you with his legs, so I think those are some great things. We think that we've got a really good one there. We've got a fine, outstanding quarterback."

Despite Taylor's success last season, there's risk for the Bills to extend a relatively unknown commodity. They could have waited to see how Taylor performed in his second year as a starter before committing to him for the long haul, especially with two younger quarterbacks -- Manuel and rookie Cardale Jones -- on the depth chart. But the Bills have started 14 quarterbacks since they last made the postseason in 1999 and if they think he's their quarterback of the future, it's best to lock him up now.

With Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods at receiver, the Bills have the makings for a potent offensive attack. Now it's up to Taylor to hold up his end of the bargain.