Tyrod Taylor never got the chance playing behind Joe Flacco, but once he left the Ravens nest he evolved into a legitimate NFL starting quarterback.
Can he make the next step and become a franchise QB?
That's the question facing Taylor and the Bills as he essentially enters the final year of his original Bills deal, and that's why Sports Illustrated has featured Taylor as one of the quarterbacks most under pressure this season.
After spending four years holding a clipboard behind Joe Flacco — although there was that whole "high school offense" Wildcat look —Taylor signed a three-year, $3.35 million deal with the Bills as a free agent last spring.
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According to the deal, the last year of that contract would be voided if Taylor played at least 50-percent of the snaps in 2015 or 2016. That happened last season as he quickly seized the starting quarterback job.
Taylor, a former sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, started 14 games, with 20 touchdown passes and six interceptions. And always the running threat, Taylor ran 104 times for 568 yards and four touchdowns.
Will that translate into a long-term deal in Buffalo for Taylor, who turns 27 in August? That appears to be the $64 million (or more ...) question.
"Taylor must prove to Buffalo’s coaching staff and general manager Doug Whaley that he is the long-term solution for a team that hasn’t seen the postseason in this millennium," wrote SI's Doug Farrar. "Buffalo’s 8–8 record and Taylor’s status as an alternate Pro Bowler were steps in the right direction, but it’s clear that as much as he’s shown, the Bills need to see more from Taylor before they give him the lucrative contract extension he desires."
Taylor's first test this season will come at M&T Bank Stadium; the Bills and Ravens face off in the season opener on Sept. 11.
If you want to sign Dez Bryant in 2018, it will have to be on a one-year deal.
The 29 year-old wide receiver turned down a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens in hopes of finding a one-year deal that enables him to test the open market again in 2019, Ed Werder of The Doomsday Podcast first reported.
Bryant - who finished 2017 with 69 receptions, 838 yards and six touchdowns - is predicating a bounce back season in 2018 with hopes of a big money, long-term contract in 2019.
The offer was similar to that of Michael Crabtree's three-year, $21 million deal, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. The Ravens had to offer Bryant a multi-year deal in order to fit his number under the salary cap.
Since turning down their offer, the Ravens signed former Saints WR Willie Snead to a two-year, $10.4 million contract.
Bryant will now have to wait until after the 2018 NFL Draft to work out a deal with an organization, if one is still searching for a wide receiver going in to the tail end of his career.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Receiver Willie Snead has bid farewell to the Saints, which means New Orleans apparently won't match the contract the Baltimore Ravens offered the restricted free agent.
Eager to add a target for quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens on Friday offered Snead a two-year, $10.4 million contract. The Saints had five days to match the deal. Snead indicated Monday on Twitter that he's headed out of New Orleans.
Snead tweeted: "What I'm going to miss most is the men in the locker room & the coaches."
He added: "Even though I'm sad to go, I'm even more excited for the next chapter in my life. I can't wait to strap it on as a Baltimore Raven."
Hampered by a three-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Snead was limited to eight catches for 92 yards last year.
In 2015, he had 69 receptions for 984 yards. He caught 72 passes for 895 yards in 2016.