Tyrod Taylor moving on from the New York Giants this offseason seems like a fait accompli. But, should it be? Let’s focus on the veteran backup quarterback as we continue diving into Giants’ unrestricted free agents.
Reasons to keep Taylor
With Daniel Jones’ availability to start the 2024 season uncertain, the Giants are, in the words of GM Joe Schoen, “going to need somebody that can hopefully win you some games early on if he’s not ready.”
Despite DeVito-mania, the 34-year-old Taylor is a better bet to do that than Tommy DeVito. He is also as good or better than many of the backup quarterbacks who could be available on the free-agent market this offseason.
Taylor still has a howitzer for an arm. He can still make plays with his legs. He is imperfect and inconsistent, as are most backup quarterbacks, but he can still do a lot of things that should make him desirable to a number of teams this offseason.
Whether the Giants draft a quarterback in April or not, they will need a veteran to add to the room. Among the quarterbacks likely willing to accept a backup role, Taylor might be as capable as any.
Reasons to let Taylor go
First of all, I think Taylor wants to go. He was a good soldier when he did not initially get the starting job back after returning from breaking four ribs. He was, though, clearly hurt by the decision. It is probably too late for this, but Taylor also likely hasn’t given up on the idea that there are teams where he might get a legitimate opportunity to compete for a starting role.
The other reality is cost. Taylor’s contract with the Giants was for two years and $11 million. Jones carries a $47.105 million cap hit in 2024. The sixth overall pick will carry a cap hit of $6.023 million, per Over The Cap. Use that pick on a quarterback, that’d more than $53 million (more than 20% of the estimated $242 million 2024 cap).
The Giants might be hard-pressed to carry another quarterback cap hit like the $6.9 million one Taylor had in 2023.
Schoen has left the door open for Taylor to return, but I don’t think it is going to happen. If the Giants intend to draft a quarterback, I think they would be likely to add a cheaper veteran quarterback who could function as a backup, or even be a player who is simply a camp arm to help get them through until Jones is able to practice.