Reports: Bills Trade Tyrod Taylor To Browns

Bills to get pick 65 in NFL Draft

Tom Puckett
March 09, 2018 - 6:26 pm

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The quarterback who helped the Bills end their playoff drought has been traded. Reports say Tyrod Taylor is heading down the 90 to Cleveland.

NFL Network and ESPN report the Bills will get the Browns' third round pick (65th overall) in this year's draft.

The teams came to terms on the deal Friday, said the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because NFL rules prohibit trades from being announced next week when free agency opens and the league's new calendar year begins. Cleveland is sending its first pick in the third round to Buffalo, the sources said.

The Browns were expected to target a quarterback in free agency but instead have landed the dynamic Taylor, who will likely take over as Cleveland starter. The Browns are still expected to take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft.

The Browns are still expected to take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft.

Earlier, the Browns worked out a trade with Miami for three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

Trading Taylor leaves the Bills with a significant hole at the position with Nathan Peterman — a fifth-round draft pick last year — the only quarterback left on their roster.

One option is adding one of the many experienced quarterbacks expected to be available once the free agency period opens.

And then there's the growing possibility of selecting one in the draft in April. With the addition of the Browns' third-round selection, Buffalo now has two picks in each of the first three rounds, including the 21st and 22nd overall.

The large number of draft picks provides general manager Brandon Beane plenty of assets to use in trades in the event he elects to move up higher in the draft order.

Taylor's long-term future with the Bills has been uncertain going back a year, when Buffalo was prepared to release him before the quarterback agreed to restructure his contract by reducing it from a five-year to a two-year term.

And questions persisted regarding Taylor's future last season, even though he went 8-6 in helping Buffalo snap a 17-season playoff drought, which had been the longest active streak in North America's four major professional sports.

Taylor's struggles in the passing game following consecutive midseason losses led to him being benched in favor of the raw and untested Peterman.

Coach Sean McDermott's decision backfired immediately after Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers.

Taylor regained the starting job the following week and finished the season winning three of his final five starts, with both losses coming against New England. He then went 17 of 37 for 134 yards passing and an interception before being sidelined by a concussion in Buffalo's 10-3 loss to Jacksonville in an AFC wild-card playoff game.

Taylor finished with a 23-21 record in three seasons after signing with the Bills as a free agent in 2015. He spent his first four NFL seasons serving as Joe Flacco's backup in Baltimore.

In Buffalo, he emerged as the Bills' 2015 season-opening starter after winning a three-way competition between Matt Cassel and returning starter EJ Manuel.

The quarterback change comes at a time McDermott has shuffled their offensive coaching staff. Rick Dennison was fired after just one season as coordinator and replaced by Brian Daboll, who spent last season overseeing national champion Alabama's offense. Daboll also has extensive NFL experience, including offensive coordinator jobs with the Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.

Taylor's mobility was his strength. He set Bills records for yards rushing among quarterbacks in each of his first two seasons.

He was, however, inconsistent in the passing attack in drawing criticism for being hesitant in the pocket and failing to find open receivers downfield. Taylor was at least an efficient quarterback by throwing 51 touchdowns versus just 14 interceptions in 44 games with Buffalo.

The Bills finished last season 29th in total yards and 31st in yards passing.

Not all of Buffalo's offensive struggles could be blamed entirely on Taylor given the Bills' patchwork and injury-depleted group of receivers. Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin, both acquired in trades, missed significant stretches due to injuries.


Comments ()