The Tyrod Taylor mystery has been solved.
The move puts to bed months of speculation about where Taylor might wind up in 2017. In the end, it was simply a matter of money.
- FIRST LOOK AT 2017 SEASON
▹ Ranking the 5 best offseasons
▹ Who will snap playoff drought in '17?
▹ Projected Starters (NFC):
▸ East | North l South l West
▹ Projected Starters (AFC):
▸ East | North l South l West
▹ All-32: One major question for every team
▸ AFC | NFC
▹ Most vulnerable division winners
- 'TOP 100 PLAYERS OF 2017'
▹ Ike Taylor's Rankings:
▸ 100-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51
"They worked on that yesterday, worked on that today ... despite what so many have thought for the last couple weeks and months," Rapoport told NFL Network of Taylor's restructured contract.
Set to make $30.75 million guaranteed this season, Taylor's newly minted pact will certainly bring that astronomical figure back down to earth while giving new coach Sean McDermott stability under center.
"We are excited about the opportunity to keep Tyrod with the Bills," McDermott said in a statement. "I've gotten a chance to know Tyrod and study him over the past several weeks and he is both a great person and competitor. Doug and I are confident this was best move for the Bills at this time."
Rapoport reported weeks ago that that there was a "better chance" than not that the Bills would find a way to keep their 27-year-old passer in house.
"To me, it seemed like an obvious conclusion," Rapoport said. "I know it probably sounded crazy when I was saying it a couple weeks ago, but the direction this always seemed to head was the Bills and Tyrod Taylor to come together on some sort of restructured contract -- not a pay cut -- but some sort of contract restructured to help his cap and really help the Bills sign some more players and fill out the roster as they deal with the new coach, Sean McDermott."
If general manager Doug Whaley seemingly has been slow to warm up to Taylor, Rapoport made it clear that the exciting young passer has plenty of support within the building, saying: "The coaches I have spoken with always wanted Tyrod Taylor to be their quarterback, and there are several other people inside the organization that wanted this as well. It was really a matter of working out the contract and making sure the price was right."
It was also a matter of seeing the quarterback market explode. With Mike Glennon likely to net $15 million-plus annually from the Bears, "all of a sudden, paying Tyrod, say, $30 (million) over the next two years probably doesn't seem so bad, so this really was the outcome that the Bills wanted all along," Rapoport noted.
Taylor is a unique player who forces coaches to construct an offense around his saucy mobility and cunning deep ball. He's a passer who opens up the running game and creates problems for defenses, but he also keeps you from running a scheme designed around a pure pocket quarterback.
The Bills know all the plusses and minuses -- they know Taylor behind the scenes -- and McDermott also understands what Year 1 under his control might look like without a competent signal-caller.
Taylor was always the better option for the Bills.