Story by: Kyle Graham
There are very few sports fans that experience the amount of traumatizing pain that Buffalo Bills’ fans endure each and every year. From four consecutive Super Bowl losses in the 90’s, to having the current longest active playoff drought in all of American professional sports, it is quite clear that the football gods despise the city of Buffalo. If I had to take a guess, I would say that they’re jealous of Buffalo’s delicious chicken wings or maybe of how much pain one drunken Bills fan can take from being power-bombed into a flaming table while tailgating (seriously, here is a video of a Bills’ fans tailgate, they’re absolutely nuts).
So how does one cope with all this failure, you might ask? Well the chicken wings here in Florida are crap and I can’t find anyone crazy enough to slam me through a table, so I guess the only thing to do is to wipe all the tears off of my keyboard and talk out my feelings about the asinine situation of current Bills’ quarterback, Tyrod Taylor.
In March of 2015, the Buffalo Bills signed free agent Tyrod Taylor to a two-year contract and he quickly outperformed Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel to become the starting quarterback of the 2015-2016 season. During his first year as a starter, Taylor earned his first Pro Bowl selection by throwing for 3,035 yards with 20 touchdowns and only throwing 6 interceptions in 14 games. He also added 568 rushing yards, which was a franchise record for quarterbacks in a single season, to go along with 4 rushing touchdowns.
Because of this promising play for a first year starter, the Bills’ front office was eager to sign Taylor to a long-term contract which was done during the 2016 offseason. Due to the incompetence of their GM Doug Whaley (Who I will likely discuss in a future article because he’s so infuriating), they signed Taylor to a five-year, $90 million extension with a guarantee of $37 million, of which $9.5 million is guaranteed upon signing and another $27.5 million is guaranteed for injury only. This is where the madness begins:
In the 2016-2017 season, Taylor virtually put up the same statistics as the previous year. In the final game of the season, Whaley and the Bills’ owners basically forced interim head coach Anthony Lynn to bench Taylor for EJ Manuel. The owners were fearful that if Taylor would get hurt, they would owe him the $27.5 million in guaranteed money. The Bills got squashed by the Jets because… well we had freaking EJ Manuel as our QB (Side note: Manuel was a first round draft pick in 2013 by Whaley… because he clearly has a keen eye for talent at the quarterback position).
The best part of it all is that Taylor got hurt anyways and now the Bills are waiting to see if Taylor passes his physical on March 11th and if he doesn’t they will owe him the guaranteed money. However, throughout the entire offseason there has been constant reports that the Bills are waiting to cut him before that deadline.
This is where me and my fellow Bills fans need to voice our goddamn opinion because this is blasphemy! The only drop off in production was that his completion percentage dropped by two percent from the previous year and his QBR dropped from 99.4 to 89.7. Now, I completely agree that Taylor has some areas in his game that he needs to develop. His unwillingness to throw it down the middle of the field and his field vision is something that has to be improved. However, how can you possibly put the blame on the QB that has helped the Bills average 24.9 points per game (which is tied with the Steelers for 10th best in the NFL) and has been a key component in the Bills’ rushing offense that has been ranked number one for two years in a row?
When your defense has been as inconsistent as it has for the past two years in Buffalo and Sammy Watkins being out of the lineup for eight games, the blame should shift towards something else. Now that Rex Ryan is done destroying our defense, there is hope that new Head Coach Sean McDermott will come in and turn it back around. However, there are currently twenty-five unrestricted free agents, including Pro Bowlers Stephon Gilmore, Lorenzo Alexander, and Zach Brown, that we should be focusing on resigning. The Bills should also be focusing on adding a wide receiver in the draft to go alongside the injury-prone Sammy Watkins and not aiming to draft a quarterback in the first round.
But no no no, let’s cut the only guy who has been consistent for us for the past two years and continue going in the direction of mediocrity. Great thinking Terry and Kim Pegula! You guys are wonderful owners! And keep drafting QB’s Whaley! That’s been working great the past seventeen years!
If a franchise misses the playoffs for seventeen consecutive years, you have to put the blame on perpetual failure from the owners and throughout the front office. The point I’m trying to make here is the Bills are about to make another mistake by releasing Tyrod Taylor.
Suck it up Pegulas and pay the man. Although he doesn’t have elite numbers in a league that is dominated by quarterback play, his numbers are still impressive enough to keep his position as the starting quarterback. I mean, he has the highest QBR since Jim Kelly, who is a hall of famer that played with the Bills’ during their glory years.
Let’s take a stand BillsMafia! Let’s protest on One Bills Drive and… yeah that probably won’t change anything, but at least they can finally recognize that we are sick and tired of this same continuous cycle of garbage. At least with Taylor we have a better chance of making the playoffs. The people deserve Tryod… no, America deserves Taylor Taylor gosh darn it! So give the people what they want!
Featured Photo courtesy of Sporting News