Changes are coming to the Buffalo Bills. Mere minutes after the team announced that it has fired head coach Rex Ryan, a new question has surfaced regarding its quarterback situation.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Buffalo is planning on benching quarterback Tyrod Taylor for its season finale against the New York Jets this upcoming Sunday. Former first-round bust EJ Manuel will likely replace Taylor under center.
“Bills are planning to bench QB Tyrod Taylor vs Jets on Sunday to start EJ Manuel, per league sources. This is a business decision so the Bills are not at risk for the $30.75 million left on his contract that would become guaranteed if Taylor suffered a significant injury. A week after the Titans lost Marcus Mariota and the Raiders lost Derek Carr, the Bills are not planning to take any chances with Taylor; thus EJ Manuel is now expected to start the regular-season finale against the Jets.”
Schefter may have pointed out the injuries to Mariota and Carr last week, but this is similar to what the Washington Redskins did with Robert Griffin III throughout the 2015 season.
Knowing full well he would not be back, Washington didn’t want to risk injury to RGIII. The same can pretty much be said for Taylor, who has nearly $31 million guaranteed remaining on his deal — all of which is for injury only. Should the Bills decide to part ways with a healthy Taylor before March, that money would go off their books.
Taylor has had an up-and-down second season as a starter in the NFL. He’s coming off a career-best 329-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Miami Dolphins this past weekend. All said this season, Taylor has tallied 23 total touchdowns compared to six interceptions.
Though, his passing numbers have been pedestrian at best. He’s averaging 201.5 yards per game and has put up less than 200 passing yards in nine of his 15 starts this season.
With Ryan now gone, Taylor’s biggest fan within the organization is no longer. That will surely play a role in the decision Buffalo makes on its starting quarterback. But Tuesday’s report tells us a story of a team that’s fully prepared to move on.