If there was any “big” Bills news at the NFL Combine, it was the same story that’s always biggest in Buffalo.
Sean McDermott said the Bills had no plans of cutting Tyrod Taylor. At least, not right now.
“It’s way too early to take anything off the table,” McDermott said Wednesday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. “Whether it’s Tyrod or any of our players, you look at what’s out there and see what’s in the best interest of your football team.”
The Bills must pay Taylor a six million dollar bonus on March 16th if he’s still on the roster. That would seem to be decision day, but the Bills aren’t stressing.
“I’m not really worried about the bonus,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said. “I see him on our roster right now. Until something changes, hell be here through that part (of the offseason).”
McDermott made sure to point out Taylor can now say he was the quarterback that ended the Bills playoff drought, before going through the standard refrain with Taylor. “He’s a good quarterback. His intangibles are unmatched.”
Beane noted there are more veteran quarterbacks available in free agency than in most years. He says the Bills will scan the field and if they see something they like, they’ll make a move.
However, Beane capped the thought with this classic NFL Combine non-committal gem: “We’re happy with where we’re at with Tyrod and Nathan (Peterman). Until we decide different.”
Beane sees many different “flavors” and “skill sets” and “personalities” among the QBs available in the draft. The key is to find the right “fit” for the Bills.
To that end, it’s the position the Bills will spend the most time researching and interviewing this week in Indy.
“There’s so much expected out of that position. It’s the closest thing to coach on the field. We’ll vet quarterbacks probably more than any other position. in Carolina, the guy we vetted most was Cam (Newton).”
Beane said when the Panthers drafted Newton in 2011, they hadn’t even met hime at this point in the offseason.
The Bills do have draft board for now, but they’ll change it again in April after gathering information over the next month at the Combine and at pro days. As a result, Beane says he hasn’t even considered any sort of trade up or down in the draft.
When the time comes to make a move, Beane says he’ll trust his scouts, his vision and (wait for it) his process.
“Anytime you’re packaging picks to move up, you gotta know you’re doing it for right guy,” Beane says. “There’s a time to be aggressive. Part of it is your gut. Part of it is all the stuff you’ve done to learn.
If I value this guy at 12, and he falls past ten, then we go get him. If I were in the 3rd round and had 2nd round grade on the guy, we have to believe in the 2nd round grade and go up and get him.”
The quarterback on the roster with the best chance of still being there in September is Nate Peterman. McDermott sees only improvement in year two.
“I thought Nathan had some good moments and some moments he’d like back, much like myself,” McDermott said. “I’m sure hes wired the right way. He’s confident and a guy that works hard. When you look at his DNA, he’s a fit for us in that regard.”
On other fronts, Beane said the signing of Vontae Davis does not prevent E.J. Gaines returning to the Bills, if it’s the right price.
The Bills did plenty of research before adding Davis.
“We had some people who had been with him in Miami. We did our recon on him in Indy and what happened last year,” Beane said. “We thought he’d be a good fit. He brings size, speed, experience.”
Davis will likely begin offseason as the starting corner across from Tre’Davious White. He did play in the slot some last year with the Colts.
“We’ll start off outside and go from there,” McDermott said. “We have some flex with Vontae and Tre. This time of year, nothing’s off the table.”
The most surprising comment of the day from the Bills head coach was his candid assessment of the team, even after (finally) making the playoffs.
“The biggest thing for us is making sure to hit the reset button. We’re not maybe as far along as some people think we are,” McDermott said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Work that continues this week at the Combine.