INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Bills head coach Sean McDermott is all about the “process.” However, the process in deciding whether or not to pick up an option in Tyrod Taylor’s contract seems to be taking excessively long.
Perhaps there’s a reason for that.
A report Friday from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora suggests that, according to sources, “a chasm remains between coaches and the front office [over] whether to exercise Taylor’s option, valued at $30.75 million.
La Canfora explains that general manager Doug Whaley, senior VP of football administration Jim Overdorf and team president Russ Brandon have collectively felt since benching Taylor ahead of Week 17 as a business decision, that the 27-year-old is not worth the money his option would guarantee. That group apparently has interest in veteran QB options like Tony Romo and Brian Hoyer.
Conversely, according to the report, McDermott and his staff are “not convinced” that a better option than Taylor will become available to them and are comfortable committing to him.
On Wednesday, McDermott – speaking for the team – was adamant that he and Whaley would make the final decision on Taylor together, ironically adding they “have disagreements,” but will “make decisions that are right for the Bills organization.”
Perhaps this is one of the disagreements he was eluding to.
McDermott also mentioned that they’re not afraid to take their decision on Taylor’s option right up until it’s deadline at 4 pm on March 11, if need be.
“If that’s what it takes, yes. If that’s what it takes, McDermott said. “We’re going to be methodical in all our decisions. This position is critical. The quarterback position in the league is critical to the success of a football team, so we’re going to take all the time necessary to make the right decision for this organization both in the short and the long term.”
When McDermott was introduced as head coach in early January, he and the Bills were adamant that Whaley would retain control of the 90/53-man roster, but this power struggle over the team’s most important offseason decision is sending a much different message.
Details surrounding the hottest topic in Western New York had been largely kept in house for the Bills until this latest report broke earlier today. Truthfully, it follows suit with what’s been said since McDermott was hired: they haven’t decided what to do with Tyrod Taylor. At least now – assuming the report is accurate – we have a better idea why they don’t know.
Unsurprisingly, the Bills brass is on the side we all knew they were on since Taylor was benched ahead of Week 17. The group of Doug Whaley, Jim Overdorf and Russ Brandon want to move on, create some more cap space and attempt to upgrade at the most important position. Their stance on Taylor has been obvious, and truthfully it’s hard to blame them for thinking that way.
Opposing them however, is this new regime of coaches, most notably McDermott, who fears that parting with Taylor will leave them with a hole at QB that they won’t be able to fill with someone better. A valid concern by McDermott’s and his staff.
This would certainly fall under that category of “disagreement,” that McDermott eluded to.
So, what should they do? I’ve shared my stance on it numerous times, but I don’t see Taylor as the long-term solution at quarterback, so piecing it together around him in the hopes of making the playoffs is extremely shortsighted. If it were up to me, I’d cut him, open up an additional $13.06 million in cap space and either lure the best QB on the market to Buffalo in an effort to contend now, or find a cheaper QB to hold down the fort while the search for a franchise QB continues, using the extra money to build a stronger roster.
Since it’s not up to me though, drawing the decision out up to the March 11th deadline makes the most sense if the two sides truly can’t agree. The best thing working for Buffalo right now is that the option doesn’t take effect until the third day of the new league year – at least they got that part of the deal right. This buys them time to use the “legal tampering” period beginning on March 7, and the first few days of free agency to gauge the market, see if acquiring someone like Romo is realistic, or if teams have any interest in trading for Taylor.
It should be interesting to see what transpires over the course of the next 9 days, especially because whichever decision the Bills come to, could reveal who actually has more control over the roster.
What do you think the Bills should do? Come let me know: @Spencito6