With Joe Flacco out of the fold and Robert Griffin III entering free agency, Baltimore will be looking for a backup to Lamar Jackson this offseason. Bringing back RGIII appears to be the most likely scenario, but there are several other options the Ravens could explore.
One of these alternatives could be bringing in Tyrod Taylor, who spent the first four seasons of his career in Baltimore. Taylor was drafted by the Ravens in 2011 and served as Flacco’s backup until joining the Buffalo Bills in 2015.
Taylor only appeared in 14 games as a member of the Ravens, completing 19 of 35 passes for 199 yards and two interceptions. While he never got an opportunity to start in Baltimore, he quickly made an impact for the Bills.
After winning the starting job in his first season in Buffalo, Taylor went on to play 44 games in three seasons, completing 62.7 percent of his passes and throwing for 8,857 yards. Taylor threw just 16 interceptions compared to 51 touchdowns.
Much like Lamar Jackson, Taylor was effective as a rusher as well. He averaged 525 rushing yards per season and totaled 14 touchdowns on the ground. In 2017, he led the Bills to a wild card berth for Buffalo’s first playoff berth since 1999.
His success in Buffalo enticed the Browns to trade a third-round pick for him last offseason. Taylor entered the season as Cleveland’s starting quarterback, but a mid-game injury against the Jets in Week 3 created an opportunity for Baker Mayfield to seize the job.
Taylor was less than stellar in his short stint as a member of the Browns, but he still possesses valuable skills that make him an attractive option on the free agent market. Now that he’s looking for a new home, would Taylor entertain a return to Baltimore?
It’s very possible that Taylor will be looking for a starting role, which he wouldn’t find in Baltimore. The market may be there too, given his starting experience and leadership skills. However, if Taylor is willing to slot into a backup role, he would be a strong option for the Ravens to sign in free agency.
Taylor’s rushing ability and athleticism mirror that of Jackson, making him a natural fit behind him on the depth chart. In his press conference last Friday, John Harbaugh hinted that finding a player similar to Lamar will guide their thinking.
Harbaugh on the #Ravens possible backup at QB: “I would lean towards the backup similar to Lamar.” Said that Robert Griffin III and Tyrol Taylor are both options.— Kyle J. Andrews (@KyleJAndrews_) January 25, 2019
Finding a backup quarterback is just one of several roster needs that general manager Eric DeCosta is tasked with addressing this offseason. While it may be less of a need than other positions, the importance of having a capable, stable backup cannot be understated.
Between RGIII and Tyrod Taylor, it’s fair to say that Taylor is the better overall player at this stage in his career. However, both players are experienced veterans and make for suitable quarterback options.
While RGIII is the more likely to be brought back, a reunion between Taylor and the Ravens should not be entirely ruled out. Should Baltimore find a way to sign him this offseason, it would be a welcome return for both parties.