WAHIAWA, Hawaii -- For Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the moment was almost surreal. A career backup and former sixth-round pick, he waited out his entire rookie contract for a legitimate chance to start in the NFL.
That chance in Buffalo led to 3,035 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns and just six interceptions, and now he was standing among the best players in the NFL waiting to see which Pro Bowl team he would play for.
A vacation here in Hawaii affords him the opportunity to ignore all the noise; even after season during which Taylor proved he was a legitimate NFL starting quarterback, the Bills have not made a move past next season. General manager Doug Whaley has said that if a good deal arises for the Bills they would think about extending him early, though Taylor is one of the best deals in the NFL next season at his current salary. Whaley also said that he wouldn't think twice about drafting a quarterback if the right one fell to the Bills, clouding the organization's long-term stance on Taylor.
"Of course I want to be the long-term guy," Taylor told Around The NFL on Wednesday night at the Pro Bowl draft. "I love playing for the organization, I love playing for the coaches, I love being around the guys. Like I said, I want to be the long-term guy for them. Ultimately that's up to them. I know I'm under contract for another year, but right now I'm out here just taking it all in."
Taylor, like most of the players in attendance Wednesday, spent the evening mingling with the servicemen and women stationed at Wheeler Army Airfield. He signed autographs and took in some impromptu drills on the turf field behind the hangar.
"When you think about where you were a year ago, you sit back and reflect on how your year has been," Taylor said. "I've been working hard, and God has blessed me of course."
He added: "Definitely an honor. Short of me playing in the Super Bowl, on a personal level, you want to make it to the Pro Bowl. It's an honor to be around some of the greatest players in the league."
Barring any moves from the Bills' front office though, it might be a year before Taylor is recognized monetarily. Had he entered the free-agent market this offseason, he could have been one of the most sought-after options next to other pending free agents like Kirk Cousins, Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford. But Taylor is well aware that sometimes good things take time, and for now, he's enjoying the sun and sand in Hawaii.