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Signature Is the Easy Part of Tyrod Taylor’s Year With Buffalo Bills

Romantic movies always tell the story of how the couple met.  But that’s only the start.  Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan embracing in Manhattan is a sweet tale for those who need more sap in their diets.  There’s a reason Hollywood doesn’t show the relationship from the second day forward, as that’s when coping with actuality begins.  The drudgery isn’t nearly as climactic.  As for a less treacly story, Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills extended their pairing in the hope of building on what’s started.  We can hope for a happy ending even though fans are acutely aware results are unscripted.

We’re expecting Taylor to overcome fate.  It’s no big task or anything.  Reversing the fortunes of a team that’s seemingly banned from the playoffs is only one simple job, after all.  Well, maybe it’s not easy.  But at least he gets the chance.  The new coach gets to work with the constrained yet auspicious quarterback who was already here.  The lack of alternatives out there makes an obvious choice easier.

Bracing for the Bills to do something silly is part of being a fan.  The chance to be pleasantly surprised for once is their offseason gift to you.  Unlike the postseason push, thank the Bills for ending suspense early.  A franchise with tendencies to flatline didn’t even wait until March 11 to realize the best option was already under contract. He even took a reduction from what was previously negotiated for the privilege.

This team shrewdly figures Taylor can continue improving. First, they had to pay him for another year.  Seeing if he can maximize potential has to wait.  It doesn’t work the other way around on account of how contracts work.  The XFL tried giving more to winners after the fact, a novel idea that only exists now in a 30 for 30.  As someone internally motivated, Taylor doesn’t need to put He Hate Me on his jersey.  Know he’s pumped even if his expression changes less frequently than Tim Murray’s.

A committed team doesn’t give a promising quarterback a chance to pick his franchise.  Taylor’s appeal on the open market is a pain we avoided, which is tough to sense but important to appreciate.  I’m glad I don’t have to write about how quickly he’d be snapped up in free agency.  It would’ve happened already unless Taylor decided to savor offers.  Re-signing acknowledges his talent just like letting another club nab him would.  The team apparel he wears makes all the difference.

Taylor has a fair amount of time after the Bills took theirs.  He’ll only be 28 at season’s start, which is good news if he can refine his touch on long passes and wait for the ideal moment to scramble.  We want him to get better concurrently with his team.  We also want beer that burns calories, but every dream come true seems impossible at first.

Better weapons would make it easier for him to attack.  He’s struggled as expected when the wideout pool has been drained.  But at least they’ve added skill and haven’t let anyone leave, right?  Let me just check.  Oh, dear.  Well, let’s hope for an exciting draft.

Of course, Tyrod’s not guaranteed playing time even if he has a job.  The team wouldn’t rule out Cardale Jones starting as proof football can be entertaining even while it’s not being played.  At least we can keep debating until the opener.  This front office is not out to create intrigue, although that’s a side benefit.  As with waiting to retain Tyrod, they’re just keeping open options.  Management probably wasn’t trying to give us something to argue about to fill these dreary non-game hours, but starving fans can’t complain.

Blame the cruel system where players may be under contract to one of 31 other teams.  Finding a superior replacement is a tricky proposition.  Instead, the Bills are giving the incumbent a chance to build on what he established.  Signing someone with a better rating or touchdown-to-interception ratio than Taylor would’ve been as tough as Brock Osweiler finding someone who wants him.

The prospect of chasing away someone who’s intermittently displayed proficiency is why being a Bills fan often seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Demanding instant success only prolongs continual failure.  We can stop the spiral, but only after we realize it exists.  The twist of retaining someone good is pleasant for a change.  As with finding a prom date, one must be calm when courting a partner.  Overeagerness means not missing that week’s Star Trek: The Next Generation.  For once, the Bills asked the question without mumbling the words.

Be glad the front office and new sideline boss Sean McDermott took their sweet time.  There’s nothing wrong with that aside from the tension it created.  And we could use drama until the schedule begins.  It’s better for fans to spend February wondering about quarterback depth than October.  And the team’s thorough scrutinization gave our reporter friends chances to have fun with a theses about who could’ve potentially taken Taylor’s place.  Giving any random front office employee a venue is the most fun part of journalism.

Remember when they might part ways with Tyrod?  Those rumors should stay in mind when hearing about the team’s alleged draft preferences.  A team’s job is to try to fool everyone.  Football is a game of deception, and not just during play-action fakes.  The only thing that matters is the actual decision.  At least we won’t have to wonder about who will replace our guy.  That could work out or not.  But it beats being listed as a potential suitor for Jay Cutler.


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Anthony Bialy

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy lives in New York City and acts like he's still in Buffalo. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He knows every bodega in Manhattan which sells Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

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