Four Reasons Why Bridge Deal With Tyrod Taylor A Bad Idea

Jan 28, 2016; Kahuku, HI, USA; Team Rice quarterback Tyrod Taylor of the Buffalo Bills (5) during practice for the 2016 Pro Bowl at the Turtle Bay Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 28, 2016; Kahuku, HI, USA; Team Rice quarterback Tyrod Taylor of the Buffalo Bills (5) during practice for the 2016 Pro Bowl at the Turtle Bay Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

There are many reasons why the Buffalo Bills signing a “bridge deal” with quarterback Tyrod Taylor is a bad idea. Here are four of them.

Jason La Canfora of tweeted out that the Bills are working towards a short-term “bridge deal” with Tyrod Taylor. The specifics of this deal would be two years for roughly $30 million total.

That’s a pretty good price for the 27-year-old quarterback if he plays as well or better than last season, but it’s still a bad idea for the Bills to pursue this type of contract with Taylor for several reasons.

Quarterback Salaries Exploding:

NFL salaries are exploding across the league, especially for quarterbacks. That was evidenced this offseason with the excessive contracts which were doled out to Brock Osweiler, Chase Daniels, and Sam Bradford.

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The NFL salary cap has gone up 8.1%, 7.7%, and 8.4% in 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively. The average salary cap hit according to for one of the top 32 quarterbacks in the league went up 17.7%, 8.1% and 33.5% in the same order of years listed before.

Overall since 2013, the salary cap has gone up 26.2% while the average cap hit for the top 32 quarterbacks has gone up an astonishing 69.9%. If the Bills sign a bridge deal with Tyrod Taylor for two years, when that contract is up, he is going to be able to command a much higher salary than what he could this year, even with the expensive contracts handed out this offseason.

Harder to Lower Cap Hit

With a short-term deal, it’s harder to be creative when trying to either accelerate or defer salary cap hits in a particular year. The Bills are currently projected to have $11.8 million in salary cap space according to

Part of the problem is Tyrod Taylor is not the only player they are looking to sign. They are also trying to get a deal done with cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore is one of the better corners in the league and is not going to come cheap.

The Bills need to maintain as much salary cap flexibility as they can so that they can get a deal done with both of their stars. A two-year deal with Tyrod Taylor could complicate that process.

Why Rush?

Externally, Tyrod Taylor has not shown any indication that he is furious about his current salary. While it’s well below his worth, the Bills took a chance on him last season and he seems to understand that with a little bit of patience he will get paid.

The team is not forced to negotiate with him right now. While they should continue to talk to his people and work towards the framework of a deal, they shouldn’t actively attempt to get something done in the offseason.

The Bills hold all the power in the negotiations. They not only have him under contract for this year, but they can also franchise tag him next year even if a long-term deal is not done.

Taylor has only started 14 games in his career for the Bills and is an injury risk with his small frame. Waiting until midseason or later to sign him after getting a look at how he performs this year would be the prudent thing to do.

Will Running Skills Decline in Two Years?

While Taylor is not purely a running quarterback, he does use his speed and elusiveness to prolong drives and make critical plays. He almost single-handedly willed the Bills to victory with his feet during the game against Tennessee in Week 5 last season when they won 14-13.

At the end of a two-year contract, Tyrod Taylor would be 29 years old. Not quite over the hill, but not a young buck either. At some point, his speed is going to decline which will limit his impact as a runner. The problem is the Bills will be paying him based on his performance in 2016 and 2017 before his running skills start to decline.

They might get stuck paying a premium to him for his rushing capabilities even though that skillset will likely regress after he turns 29 years old.

What should the team do?

The Bills should wait before getting a deal done. Get a larger sample size, see if he is an injury risk, make sure this isn’t Ryan Fitzpatrick 2.0. Once they are sure Tyrod Taylor is the franchise quarterback, that’s when you offer him a long-term deal for fair market value.

It may tie up a lot of money each year over a long period of time, but no one in Buffalo will be complaining about it so long as they don’t have to wonder about who will be under center from year to year.

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Doug Whaley, be patient, gather all the information you can, and then if it makes sense lock Tyrod Taylor up to a long-term deal that keeps him in Buffalo for the foreseeable future.