Thankfully, there’s Cleveland. Buffalo Bills fans were resigned to once again cheering for lame duck Tyrod Taylor, which is like another KISS tour with Ace and Catman fill-ins. It would’ve been tough to release him with finances in mind. So, send him away while getting a pick in return. But who would trade for him? The Browns can enjoy paying his bonus.
Does Brandon Beane know hockey? His daringness could help him fix the complacent Sabres in true One Buffalo style. At least one area general manager recognizes the opportunity to remake his roster, which is one more than usual. That’s as long as he’s not arrested on his grand theft warrant in Ohio.
Oh, right: they have to get Taylor’s replacement. There’s at least a 50/50 chance they remember. For now, the returning Kyle Williams is the third-string quarterback. I doubt the Nathan Peterman era is about to begin, although I didn’t think the guy above him on the depth chart would’ve been dealt, either.
Only a confident team would send away its starter without a replacement in hand. Admire the boldness for its own sake.
There are more fun ways to draft early than losing 14 games. Accumulate draft slots to create options. Moving up in exchange for Cordy Glenn means the toughest part of getting the quarterback they want is deciding what to trade. Beane has armed himself to climb ahead, but only if he wants to make our dreams come true.
This deal’s even better than it sounds on account of the partner. The selection is on the edge of the second round because of Cleveland’s inability to grasp the nuances of American football.
Buffalo’s new asset may very well be part of a package to acquire the replacement. Trading Taylor ensures there’s an exciting draft ahead, which should help kill time before the first kickoff.
Fearing failure means it’s already looming. This is not a team interested in being just barely good enough. Sticking with Taylor would sort-of be adequate in a comfortable way. But he hasn’t made enough progress and clearly isn’t the staff’s choice, so they’re going to jump out of the plane and don a parachute later.
Ranking him among Bills quarterbacks is as complex as explaining why his ostensibly impressive statistics aren’t that super. Taylor’s not at Joe Dufek’s level. A 91.2 career rating may seem impressive. But it also illustrates why the number doesn’t capture a passer’s performance any more than looking at sheet music explains a symphony’s glory.
There is more turnover in his career than on the field. Taylor only threw 16 interceptions while with the Bills. But it’s easy to protect the ball when one refuses to take risks. By comparison, Jim Kelly threw more than that many in eight single seasons, as he knew attempting to score meant exposing the ball to hazard.
Tyrod’s thanks for getting Buffalo to the playoffs is getting banished to the league’s Siberia. It’s sad that his last moment as a Bill was sustaining a concussion. In a sad way, that play showed how he gallantly put himself on the line even with pieces missing around him. I’d like to see how he could perform with a few more pawns and bishops. Doug Whaley traded them for checkers.
The occasionally accurate Taylor is capable of impressive throws and dashes. He’s just not consistent enough to win playoff games, which is the goal if anyone around here forgot.
Taylor’s play was like a Bad Company song on 97 Rock. It’s not quite appalling enough to shut the app, but you’re waiting for it to be over so Carl Russo can get to the Rolling Stones. Drafting someone with Keith Richards’s timing is the goal.
We can tell a player’s impact by whether or not he’d get booed upon returning. Be kind to Tyrod if he ever makes his way back to Orchard Park wearing different laundry. He’ll return as imperfect yet composed quarterback who always handled himself with dignity. Most tellingly, Taylor could’ve justifiably swore when benched but didn’t even need to be bleeped.
The most impressive thing about the Taylor era is that it existed. A 180th overall choice preferred by Rex Ryan outshone a first-rounder and semi-renowned veteran to become the first quarterback since Doug Flutie to get this franchise to the tournament. Letting him actually start the playoff game is a welcome new team policy.
The only thing more implausible than an obscure backup taking the starting job was him helping end the drought. Taylor will never buy alcohol again if he liked Buffalo enough to settle here after retiring. He’d certainly be welcome to remain our neighbor.
While not consistently great, Taylor was often good enough. The Bills strive to improve on the modest goal he achieved. A nine-win wild card season is hopefully a good start. A man who leaves as the franchise’s top rushing quarterback took the first step.
Editor’s babble: As always, we are grateful to Anthony Bialy for his entertaining posts. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @Anthony Bialy.
Views expressed are the opinion of authors and not necessarily that of the owners of billsmafia.com.