Tyrod Taylor had surgery this morning to fix a hernia problem. That wouldn’t normally be news, but in this case, there are nearly $30 million reasons to pay attention, and it all has to do with a massive chunk of money.
First, some background: The Bills benched Taylor for the Dec. 27 season finale against the New York Jets and it was all about money. If Taylor would have gotten hurt, and he could not pass a physical by the third day of the new league year (March 11), Buffalo would be on the hook for $30 million in injury guarantees.
So, Taylor took it one step further. On Thursday, he posted this on his SnapChat account — a photo of him in which he was preparing to go in for sports hernia surgery.
The Bills were not pleased, and released a terse statement that indicated they’ve been kept in the dark on Taylor’s plans.
“Bills QB Tyrod Taylor had a consultation visit yesterday with Dr. William Meyers and elected to have surgery this morning. The Bills were informed late yesterday of this morning’s procedure.”
Taylor said having the surgery now has nothing to do with the guarantee; he just wants to get healthy.
So this is interesting, especially these two parts — he “elected” to have surgery, and the Bills were informed “late yesterday of this morning’s procedure.”
Does that mean the Bills might not have to pick up any injury guarantee if the player had surgery without the approval of someone from the team? Does the player have to inform the team with more notice?
I don’t know the answer to those questions, but it’s clear Taylor and the Bills are not on the best of terms. Even though Taylor signed a massive 6-year, $90 million contract extension before this season, only 2016 was fully guaranteed. Buffalo has the option of picking up the contract each year after that.
Given the dearth of quarterbacks in the NFL. it may be hard for the Bills to release a player who ranked 9th in QBR (as per ESPN),; threw 17 touchdowns (against six INTs); threw for 3,023 yard; completed 61.7 percent of his passes; and ran for another 580 yards.
But this relationship looks badly damaged, and time will tell.