All signs continue pointing toward Tyrod Taylor playing elsewhere in 2017.
Keeping Taylor on the roster through March 11 would effectively lock in a $15.5-million bonus and guarantee a staggering $30.75 million over the life of the contract extension he signed in August.
Parting ways beforehand would see the Bills rid themselves of the vast majority of the five-year agreement and incur nothing more than a minor salary cap hit in 2017.
Such a move appeared inevitable when the Bills - reportedly looking to avoid an injury that would stop the team from releasing Taylor by March - elected to bench the quarterback for their meaningless regular-season finale.
Taylor's recent groin surgery has the potential to complicate matters in that regard, and a team statement confirming the procedure Thursday appeared to hint that the arrangement was made without team input.
An expected six-week recovery should have him healthy in more than enough time for Buffalo to cut ties and, as a separate report from Schefter adds, the Bills were involved in the decision-making process.
Taylor's standing among the league's top signal-callers remains very much up for debate. However, given the success he enjoyed across his first two seasons as a full-time starter - providing Buffalo with its best quarterback play since the Jim Kelly era - it's curious, to say the least, that management would be so set on parting ways.
The 27-year-old Taylor completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 3,023 yards, 17 touchdowns, and six interceptions across 15 starts in 2016, adding another 580 yards and six scores on the ground.
If he's indeed allowed to become free agent, there should be no shortage of quarterback-needy teams interested in Taylor's services. The annual average salary of $18 million that Buffalo was initially willing to dish out over the summer may only scratch the surface of what he could demand on the open market.
Taylor's replacement would presumably be targeted either when free agency opens or at some point early in April's draft. After a 7-9 record in 2016, Buffalo owns the No. 10 overall pick in the opening round.