ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have placed their faith in quarterback Tyrod Taylor by signing him to a contract extension.
The team announced the deal Friday, which was reached a day before the Bills open their preseason by hosting the Indianapolis Colts.
Taylor was entering the final year of his contract and set make a $2 million base salary this season. Contract talks ramped up over the past month, and the signing comes a week after Taylor’s agent, Adisa Bakari attended training camp outside Rochester.
Taylor is being rewarded for displaying his dynamic dual-threat potential with his strong arm and scrambling ability in going 8-6 as a first-time starter last season. He completed 242 of 380 attempts for 3,035 yards passing, and threw 20 touchdown passes, 14 going 20 yards or longer. And he set the franchise record for quarterbacks with 586 yards rushing and scored four times.
He did miss two games with a knee injury.
Taylor spent his first four seasons serving as Joe Flacco’s backup in Baltimore before signing with the Bills in free agency in March 2015. He won the No. 1 job in Buffalo following a three-way offseason competition against former starter E.J. Manuel and Matt Cassel.
This year, Taylor has already shown signs of becoming more confident and taking on a larger leadership role.
Numerous offensive players have credited him for being more assertive in the huddle.
Coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Greg Roman project that Taylor has great potential to build off of last season because he’s more familiar with the playbook.
Buffalo’s offense made significant jumps under Taylor last year, and after the team retooled its roster by adding several established threats, including running back LeSean McCoy and tight end Charles Clay.
The Bills led the NFL with 2,432 yards rushing and finished 13th with 5,775 net yards offense, the most since 1992.
Taylor becomes the latest candidate to fill what has been an unsettled position in Buffalo since Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly retired after the 1996 season. Since then, the Bills have had 12 quarterbacks, including Taylor, start at least eight games. It’s a group that included Todd Collins, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards and Kyle Orton.
Drew Bledsoe, from 2002-04, was the only quarterback to retain the starting job over a three-season stretch.
Taylor becomes Buffalo’s third quarterback to earn a contract extension since Kelly retired, joining Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2011 and Doug Flutie in 1999.
Fitzpatrick’s extension, a six-year, $59 million deal, was notable because it failed to pan out. He lasted just one more season in Buffalo before being cut following the 2012 campaign, and the Bills started fresh by using a first-round pick to draft Manuel.
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