Tyrod Taylor is known to many fans and pundits as one of the premier backup quarterbacks in the NFL. His winding career has taken him across the country to six different NFL franchises and has seen him play in 78 games, with 53 as the starting QB. Now, heading into the 2022 NFL season, Taylor is gearing up to back up Daniel Jones for the New York Giants. But how did Taylor get here, and might he take on a more prominent role as the season progresses?
Teams Tyrod Taylor has played for
How it began: Baltimore Ravens
After four seasons at Virginia Tech, Taylor was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Over four years with the Ravens, Taylor appeared in 14 contests as a reserve QB but never started a game. He spent all four seasons backing up starter Joe Flacco and earned a Super Bowl ring for the team’s win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
Ascension to starting quarterback: Buffalo Bills
Taylor signed a three-year, $3.35 million deal with the Buffalo Bills during the 2015 offseason. As training camp commenced, he competed with former first-round pick E.J. Manuel and Matt Cassel for the starting job, which he eventually won just weeks before Week 1 kicked off.
In his first season as a full-time starting quarterback, Taylor performed well, completing nearly 64% of his passes for 3,035 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just six interceptions. Being a mobile QB, he also rushed for 568 yards and an additional four scores, breaking Buffalo’s single-season franchise record for rushing yards by a QB.
Taylor also earned himself a nod to the Pro Bowl. The Bills ended the season 8-8 and just missed the playoffs, but Taylor had established himself as a potential long-term option.
Entering the 2016 season, Taylor was the presumed starter, and Buffalo awarded him with a six-year, $92 million contract extension. He played in 15 games and recorded near-identical statistical production to the year prior, throwing for 3,023 yards, 17 touchdowns, and six interceptions with a 61.7 completion percentage on top of 580 yards and six scores on the ground.
Rex Ryan, Taylor’s head coach during his first two seasons in Buffalo, was fired following the 2016 season after another failure to reach the playoffs and was replaced with Sean McDermott. Still, McDermott opted to retain Taylor as his starting quarterback for 2017.
That season represented somewhat of a roller coaster for Taylor, as he was replaced twice by rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman due to a combination of injury and poor play. Nevertheless, Taylor managed to lead Buffalo to a Wild Card spot in the playoffs, the franchise’s first postseason appearance in nearly two decades. The Bills were defeated by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round.
The trade: Cleveland Browns
During the 2018 offseason, Taylor was traded to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a third-round pick. Cleveland went on to draft Baker Mayfield first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft but committed to Taylor to begin the year as the starter.
Meanwhile, Mayfield was to sit, watch, and learn. However, during the Browns’ Week 3 game against the New York Jets, Taylor suffered an injury, and Mayfield was forced into action. Due to the rookie’s impressive play, he never relinquished the position back to Taylor.
Los Angeles Chargers
Taylor’s contract expired following the conclusion of the 2018 season. He then went on to sign a two-year, $11 million contract with the Chargers. In 2019, Taylor backed up Chargers legend Philip Rivers. But heading into 2020, Rivers and Los Angeles parted ways, leaving Taylor as the next man on up the team’s depth chart.
Once again, a high-profile rookie was drafted to sit behind Taylor, as the Chargers selected Justin Herbert No. 6 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Taylor started Week 1, leading Los Angeles to a win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but another injury prematurely removed him from the starting role, as a punctured lung suffered pre-game before Week 2 pulled Taylor from the lineup.
Herbert went on to light up the Kansas City Chiefs defense in a narrow loss and never looked back, retaining the starting job for the rest of the season.
During the 2021 offseason, Taylor signed with the Houston Texans and was elevated to the starting QB once it became clear that Deshaun Watson was going to sit out the year. However, for the third time with as many teams, Taylor suffered an injury that paved the way for a rookie quarterback to take his place.
This time, it was a hamstring injury suffered in Week 2 that allowed Davis Mills, a 2021 third-round pick out of Stanford, to take over. Taylor was placed on injured reserve, and though he returned later in the year, he was eventually replaced by Mills full-time.
New York Giants
In March 2022, Taylor agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal with the New York Giants. He is slated to appear in the team’s preseason opener on Thursday and back up starter Daniel Jones this season.
That said, a new regime headlined by first-time general manager Joe Schoen and first-time head coach Brian Daboll inherited Jones. Should the former first-round pick perpetuate his career-long struggle with turnovers, it’s possible the coaching staff pivots to the more reliable Taylor.
What is Taylor’s net worth?
Over the course of his 11-year career, Taylor has accumulated just over $59 million in contract earnings. He’s slated to earn an additional $11 million should he complete the entirety of his contract with the Giants.