Schopp: Drama building on Taylor's future
The Tyrod Taylor Saga continues -- if one exists.
Taylor leads Bills to last-minute, likely game-winning touchdown drive in Week 16 against Miami, throwing a go-ahead TD pass on fourth down. A win keeps the Bills' playoff hopes alive going to the season finale.
Taylor is deactivated for meaningless Week 17 game (turns out) against Jets, with the prospect of the Bills being forced to pick up his expensive contract option in the event of a serious injury. The Bills were so concerned about this one scenario that they fired their coach over it.
Media speculation begins that Taylor won't be back with the Bills in 2017, both drawing from the Week 17 events and, presumably, getting that vibe from informed sources.
Taylor opts for early off-season surgery, after which the Bills curiously worded a statement that made sure you knew that it wasn't their call.
Sean McDermott is hired to replace Rex Ryan as head coach and says he and Taylor have had a few conversations. The Bills fill out their coaching staff, and general manager Doug Whaley states more than once that new coaches will have input on what happens with Taylor.
Media reporting on Taylor's future is consistent only in its uncertainty. One reporter thinks it's decided and Taylor's gone. Another thinks a decision hasn't been made. Another thinks Taylor will need to restructure his contract in order to stay. Another thinks he'd never do that.
And here we are.
Let me right here reject any speculation that WGR hosts are handling the puppet strings on this story. It's beautiful for us, there being no clear consensus on what will happen, but we don't have that much power. We're just happy you're so interested!
Wait -- you are interested, right? Yes it's been 17 years since a playoff game and even that was crushing, but you're still a fan. Even though almost anything the Bills could have done since 2000 doesn't really matter because it wouldn't have made them better than the Patriots anyway, even though New England just won its fifth Super Bowl since the Music City Miracle, you're still hopeful.
I really don't know what's going on with this. I'd like to think it's possible Whaley is telling different reporters different things, just to have fun with them, but I don't think he's quite swift enough for that. Maybe it's always been decided, decided since Miami came back and won here in Week 16, decided since Oakland came back and won from 24-9. Maybe it's not been decided. Maybe their third choice for offensive coordinator (at least) will decide whether the Bills will pay Taylor 30 million dollars, or more.
I've taken up this much of your time so I owe you my guess. My guess is that it's always come down to options, and for NFL Network's Ian Rapoport to be saying (again) that the possibility of Taylor staying is more than remote, my guess is the Bills have found out they can scratch one or more of their other earlier options. Tony Romo, namely, probably.
It feels like the story has changed a lot but maybe it hasn't changed at all. Maybe this whole time they've been truthful and open about their process, or maybe this whole time they're just saying different things to hold you off.
Take your time, Bills. We could use the audience.