Tyrod Taylor's surgery might be latest indication he and Bills are headed for split

Once the Buffalo Bills were out of playoff contention, team higher-ups decided to bench Tyrod Taylor in the season finale (a decision that, according to Rex Ryan, played a role in his split from the Bills). Taylor’s 2017 salary is currently guaranteed only for injury, so sitting Taylor was protection against him getting hurt.

Except, he was already nursing an injury, and on Thursday, Taylor made the decision to get it fixed – a decision that doesn’t appear to have gone over well with the Bills.

On Thursday morning, Taylor posted a story to his Snapchat account indicating he was headed into surgery, and a short time later, the Bills released a statement saying Taylor basically sprung his decision on them on Wednesday:

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.

But this, not surprisingly, seems to be a case of spin by the Bills. The Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci reported last week that Taylor had been fighting through a “severe” groin injury for a month, and that the quarterback would be traveling to Philadelphia “in the near future” to determine whether he needed surgery.

Did Buffalo’s medical team not know Taylor had been hurting for a month? Did they not know Taylor might need surgery to fix it? Or do they want the public to believe this came out of nowhere? Not many players, or anyone really, would opt to have surgery unless they had to have it.

Of course, this goes back to the exact reason the Bills opted to bench Taylor for Week 17: money. Just as Buffalo made a business decision, Taylor did too; whether he’s with the Bills or another team next season, he wants to be healthy.

But there’s also this: if Taylor can’t pass a team physical by March 11, the Bills are on the hook for his 2017 salary.

Ryan hand-picked Taylor to be his starter when he was hired by Buffalo less than two years ago; the Bills won 15 games with Taylor at quarterback, the best two-year total any Bills’ quarterback has had since Drew Bledsoe in 2003-04.

But while Buffalo wants to paint this situation one way, the team could have a fight on its hands.

The MMQB’s Albert Breer outlined the predicament, saying that if Buffalo were to release Taylor before he’s healthy, the NFL Players’ Association would argue that he’s entitled to his money for 2017 – a $15.5 million option bonus, the dispersion of which triggers the guarantee of his $12 million base salary.

The current relationship between Tyrod Taylor and the Bills does not appear to be a good one. (AP)

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor has surgery to repair sports hernia

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor is having surgery to repair a sports hernia that contributed to a groin injury he sustained this past season.

The Bills confirmed on Thursday that Taylor was having an operation shortly after the quarterback posted photos of himself in a hospital gown on his Snapchat account. The Bills said they were informed on Wednesday of Taylor's decision to have surgery after he met with William Meyers, a Philadelphia-area-based sports hernia specialist.

Taylor previously said he intended to get a second medical opinion this week on the severity of the injury. He went 7-8 this season and was benched in Buffalo's 30-10 season-ending loss at the New York Jets last weekend.

Taylor first appeared on the Bills injury report with a groin injury in the week leading up to a game at Oakland on Dec. 4.

The operation comes at a time when the second-year starter's future is uncertain in Buffalo.

In restructuring his contract this year and signing him to a five-year contract extension in August, the Bills retained the right to opt out of the deal by March. Next season's portion of the contract, worth about $30 million including bonuses, is guaranteed if Taylor is unable to pass his March 11 physical.

Tyrod Taylor undergoes hernia surgery, says it's 'not about' $27.5M injury guarantee

Tyrod Taylor's season ended ingloriously, and through no fault of his own. Still, some four months after he signed a lucrative contract extension, the quarterback's future in Buffalo is unclear.

He was benched in Week 17, reportedly because the organization didn't want to be on the hook for the $30.75 million left on his contract that would become guaranteed should Taylor suffer a serious injury. And on Thursday, Taylor underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia.

The Bills subsequently issued this statement: "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."

Here's where things get interesting: As the Buffalo News' Nick Veronica alludes to above, if Taylor isn't able to pass a physical before the third day of the new league year, which is March 11 -- nine weeks away -- the Bills will be on the hook for $27.5 million in injury guarantees that are part of Taylor's contract.

Veronica writes that the belief is that Taylor will be ready to go by then.

"I want to be healthy because I want to get back and attack the offseason," Taylor said Monday. "As far as the guarantee in the contract, I want to get this surgery if that's what I need to get done -- I want to get that out of the way. It's not about the guarantee."

The Bills finished the season with a 7-9 record, missed the playoffs for the 17th consecutive year and it cost Rex Ryan his job. Hopefully Anthony Lynn, the Bills assistant who appears to be the front-runner to replace Ryan, knows what he's getting himself into.

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