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Tyrod Taylor's contract gives Bills options in offseason

The terms of Tyrod Taylor's contract always dictated that a franchise-changing decision would be made by the Buffalo Bills after the season. He signed a six-year, $90 million extension in August, but in reality, it was essentially just a one-year deal.

Taylor will make $9.5 million fully guaranteed, and the team has an option to pick up the rest of his contract -- which would entail a $27.5 million combined financial commitment in 2017. The team hasn't decided what it will do, sources said.

Sitting at 6-6, their playoffs lives on the line vs. the Steelers, Taylor's future with the Bills could be made soon. General manager Doug Whaley, however, said this week on WGR-AM 550 in Buffalo that the team has made no decision about his future, saying the quarterback has "got four more games to write this chapter."

That's not necessarily a bad thing.

As one source explained, Taylor's contract is giving the Bills "another season to evaluate" the quarterback, which is exactly what it was intended to do.

They'll make the decision on his total body of work, meaning he still has a quarter of the season to state his case. The Bills are also aware that Taylor is only in his second year as a starter, so they aren't rushing to judgment.

If the Bills decide Taylor is their guy for 2017 and beyond, they can pick up his option or, perhaps more likely, redo his contract to something more palatable. As it stands now, including incentive, the entire six-year deal could be worth $112 million.

If the Bills decide Taylor is not their quarterback of the future, expect them to be active in the veteran quarterback market with a possible eye on Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick also could be on their radar.

Currently, Taylor has a passer rating of just 84.6 ... but that's better than Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who he once backed up.

As for Taylor's future, the full evaluation will wait until after the season. A source said no talks have yet have taken place regarding who will be their 2017 quarterback. Perhaps a loss Sunday will accelerate those discussions, but they haven't happened yet.

Another issue is, Taylor is still young in the football world. He has just 26 starts. The team wants to see more. But if they decide to move on, this team figures to be very active in free agency trying to replace him.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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