Well done, Brandon Beane

The Bills now look to be all in for a quarterback in draft

Howard Simon
March 10, 2018 - 9:07 am

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

Categories: 

There I was in my man cave getting ready to watch U.B. and St. Bonaventure play in their respective conference tournaments when the news broke. I was mildly surprised the Buffalo Bills were able to trade Tyrod Taylor because I wasn’t convinced a team would give something up for a player who was likely to be released.

I was really surprised the Bills managed to pick up the top pick in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. I was thinking a fifth round choice or maybe a fourth would be the return in any Taylor deal.

Then came the icing on the cake.

The Bills were off the hook for that $6 million roster bonus that was coming due on March 16th. How about a nice round of applause for Bills general manager Brandon Beane ladies and gentlemen, for a job very well done.

I can’t tell you how happy I am with what Beane did here. He got an asset back for Taylor, whom the Bills wanted to move on from. He cleared out over $10 million in cap space, which will come in handy when the free agent signing period opens on Wednesday. Most important, Beane has more draft capital with two picks in each of the first three rounds for a total of six picks in the top-100.

Hello trade up for a quarterback!!!

Yes, indeed, the trade of Taylor means the Bills are definitely going to draft a quarterback in the first round of the draft, and are going all-in in an effort to get the player they desire the most. The Bills will also bring in a veteran signal caller, most likely in free agency as opposed to a trade, but adding a pick means you have more picks with which to sweeten a deal.  

I’m not here to kick Taylor as he goes out the door. He was a good quarterback, but I want great and Taylor was / is never going to be that guy. Whether it was reaction on Twitter or analysis from experts on ESPN or NFL Network, when it came to describing the quarterback the Browns had acquired, the most popular response was Taylor doesn’t turn the ball over. If I have one line to describe my quarterback, it should be this guy wins games or this guy makes plays. His best or most well-known attribute should not be he doesn’t turn the ball over. Think about the top-10 quarterbacks in the NFL; How many of those guys are known for not turning the ball over?

I thank Taylor for what he was able to do in his three years as the Bills' starter. He produced a 22-20 record while throwing for 8,857 yards, 51 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Taylor added 1,575 yards rushing and 14 more touchdowns on the ground. The Bills did him no favor when they fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman two games into the 2016 season, and they saddled him with, perhaps, the worst receiving group in the NFL last season. 

It's a nice move for the Cleveland Browns, who probably figured they weren’t going to get Kirk Cousins and don’t have to spend as much money as they would have for A.J. McCarron. Taylor has just one year left on his contract at a very reasonable base salary of $10 million. I would expect the Browns will still draft a quarterback in the first round, whether it's with the first or fourth overall selection.

As I said, I was really surprised Beane was able to get such a good return in this transaction. However, it sounds like some interest from Arizona and Denver gave the Bills' general manager a little leverage. The Browns wanted to make sure they got their man, so why not up the ante? Cleveland’s offer was said to be better than what Arizona and Denver were thinking. The Browns probably didn’t care about giving up the top pick in the third round. After all, they still have two picks in round one and three selections in round two.

This makes me even more excited for the draft and the maneuvering Beane is planning to get his quarterback, but that is still more than six weeks away. The next question is: Who will the Bills bring in as far as a veteran quarterback?

I’m sure they won’t get in on the Cousins bidding war, and I don’t think they’ll go after Case Keenum, who could get up around $20 million a year or McCarron who could fetch $15 million a year.

As much fun as we make about the McCown’s on our show, I think signing Josh McCown makes perfect sense. He won’t cost what those other guys would cost and you have a mentor for the rookie quarterback, whoever that turns out to be. McCown is coming off a productive season with the New York Jets where he signed a one year, $6 million deal. Prior to that he had a three-year, $14 million deal in Cleveland. Perhaps you can get McCown to sign for one or two years in the $6-7 million range.

If not, the Bills could take a chance on Sam Bradford, who you’d hope can stay healthy or bring in a guy that both Brian Daboll and Brandon Beane know in Matt Moore. He was in Carolina when Beane first got to the Panthers organization and Moore was the Dolphins' starting quarterback in 201,1 when Daboll served as Miami’s offensive coordinator. 

As former Bills coach Rex Ryan once said, “Is this thing on? Cause it's getting ready to be on.”

Comments ()
Tags: