Free agency officially begins on Thursday, March 9, but the market for quarterbacks began to take shape on Wednesday. Here’s the status of the quarterback market heading into free agency.
Jay Cutler: The veteran has not yet been released by the Bears, but it is expected to happen soon. Romo will likely be teams’ highest priority, but once he is off the market, teams may gravitate toward Cutler because of his experience despite a lackluster performance in a 2016 season cut short by injury.
Toward the end of last season, Bills general manager Doug Whaley didn’t sound committed to Taylor, but this was a move the Bills felt they had to make. This is a weak year for free agent quarterbacks, with players like Mike Glennon expected to make around $15 million. A restructured deal with Taylor makes more sense than paying the same amount, or more, for greater uncertainty.
Taylor is not a prolific passer like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, but he is a dual-threat quarterback who can make plays with his arm talent and legs. He is risk-averse with the football in his hands, but didn’t put the Bills in bad situations. Over the past two seasons, he threw 37 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions.
The Bills still have Cardale Jones on the roster, but he’s entering his second year in the season and still unproven. EJ Manuel, the Bills’ first-round pick in 2013 and former starting quarterback, is now a free agent.
Now that Taylor will return to the Bills in 2017, the team can focus on major draft needs like receiver and cornerback.
Buffalo’s new head coach Sean McDermott, like a lot all first-time head coaches, wants continuity at quarterback and Taylor provides that. If Buffalo can surround the veteran quarterback with more playmakers, this team could make a run for the playoffs in 2017.