Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane gives a lukewarm endorsement of Quarterback Tyrod Taylor at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday.
Cleveland general manager John Dorsey apparently wasn’t kidding last week at the NFL Scouting Combine when he said if a team calls looking to transact, he’s willing to listen.
The Bills called Friday, Dorsey answered, and the teams struck a deal. According to multiple reports, the Browns have sent the first pick of the third round, No. 65 overall, to Buffalo in exchange for quarterback Tyrod Taylor, thus ending Taylor’s three-year tenure as the Bills’ starting quarterback.
With this trade, the Bills avoid paying Taylor the $6 million roster bonus he was due on March 16. Also, they now have six picks in the first three rounds – Nos. 21 and 22 (first), 53 and 56 (second), and 65 and 96 (third).
In other words, they have even more draft capital at their disposal if they intend to trade up into the top five of the first round to procure one of the top quarterbacks, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield.
According to the sports contract website, spotrac.com, the Bills clear $10.44 million off their salary cap with this move, but they do incur a $7.6 million dead cap hit.
Taylor’s time with the Bills was complicated, to say the least. He posted a record of 23-20 as a starter, and he helped end Buffalo’s 17-year playoff drought, but the Bills’ passing game was never proficient with Taylor under center. The Bills ranked 28th, 30th and 31st in passing from 2015 to 2017.
Taylor completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 8,857 yards with 51 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
To get a third-round pick for a player probably destined to be released next week was impressive work by general manager Brandon Beane, especially since he doesn’t have to pay the roster bonus. There had been one of school of thought that the Bills, if they couldn’t trade Taylor before the bonus was due, would pay it and continue to seek a trade rather than cutting him without getting any compensation.
Now the Bills are down to Nathan Peterman as the lone quarterback on the roster, but that won’t last for long. The Bills are known to be exploring the veteran free agent market, and they were one of the teams that reportedly inquired about a trade for Philadelphia’s backup quarterback, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
And then, of course, there’s the draft,