Tyrod Taylor’s days as a starter in the NFL are likely behind him. However, for the last number of years, he has settled into an important backup role. While Daniel Jones stayed healthy for a full slate in 2022, the New York Giants rely on Taylor to hold the fort if Jones should go down. There is almost no depth behind him, making his health and veteran presence that much more critical.
By the numbers
Contract: Final year of two-year, $11 million deal; $8.2 million guaranteed | 2023 cap hit: $6.9 million
Career to date
Taylor was drafted out of Virginia Tech by the Baltimore Ravens with the 180th pick (sixth round) in 2011. He played out his rookie deal in Baltimore, appearing in 14 games but seeing limited action. The Bills picked him up in free agency and installed him as their starter after their draft pick did not work out. Over three years in Buffalo from 2015-17, Taylor started 44 games, throwing for more than 8,800 yards and 51 touchdowns.
Taylor’s biggest claim to fame was avoiding turnovers, as he posted interception marks of 1.6%, 1.4%, and 1.0% over those seasons with the Bills. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 when he posted a 77.0 Pro Football Focus grade and rushed 104 times for 568 yards and four scores to go along with 3,035 passing yards and 20 touchdowns.
Taylor had a one-year stint with Cleveland in 2018, where he started four games. He then bounced to the Chargers for two years, where he lost his starting job to Justin Herbert after an injection gone awry caused a punctured lung. He spent 2021 in Houston before joining the Giants before the 2022 season.
Last season, Taylor completed 6 of 8 passes for 58 yards with one touchdown and one interception in three games. He missed one game with a concussion.
At 34 years old, Taylor is just looking to fill out a roster as a backup quarterback. Since the Giants’ lone other quarterback on the 90-man roster is undrafted free agent Tommy DeVito, the team is counting on Taylor to be durable as the second quarterback. Jones had some injury problems in 2020 and 2021 before finally staying healthy in 2022, so it is important for the Giants to have someone competent at the position to back him up. Taylor is a savvy veteran who shouldn’t blow up the offense a la Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon.
Ultimately, the Giants hope that Taylor will see as little action this season as he did last year, and for the same reasons.