Tyrod Taylor contract details: Why Giants starting Tommy DeVito could cost veteran QB $1 million

The Giants decided to stick with undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito in Week 14 even with veteran Tyrod Taylor healthy after missing four weeks with a rib injury.

The decision wasn’t too surprising. After all, DeVito, an undrafted rookie, led the Giants to back-to-back wins ahead of the team’s Week 13 bye. And with New York out of playoff contention at 4-8, getting a longer look at DeVito instead of the free-agent-to-be Taylor seems like a sensible choice.

That said, the decision did not please Taylor, who expressed his disappointment about it ahead of Week 14

“It’s tough, obviously as a competitor, not being able to go out there once healthy, it hurts,” Taylor told the New York Post Tuesday. “But at the same time, it’s the nature of the business. … It’s tough. It’s disappointing, but it’s also out of my control.”

This isn’t the first time in his career that Taylor has been benched in favor of a younger quarterback. When he was with Cleveland in 2018, he started just three games before he was knocked out with a concussion and replaced permanently by Baker Mayfield.

And with the Chargers in 2020, Taylor made just one start before puncturing his lung on a routine medical injection in the hours before the team’s Week 2 game. That allowed Justin Herbert to get the starting job and run away with it.

So, Taylor’s disappointment is certainly understandable. He just wants to play, but he can’t seem to get a break.

MORE: Is Giants QB Tommy DeVito related to Danny DeVito?

However, there are also some key financial ramifications he could face if he can’t get on the field in the final four weeks of the season. Here’s what to know about Taylor’s contract and the incentives on which he might miss out because of his injury and benching.

Tyrod Taylor contract details

Taylor is in the final season of a two-year, $11 million deal he signed with the Giants during the 2022 offseason. That average annual value (AAV) of $5.5 million ranks 31st among quarterbacks for the 2023 season.

That low-bar price tag has made the 34-year-old Taylor a good value for the Giants, who have only had a maximum cap hit of $6.9 million from his contract, per Spotrac.com. Below is a full breakdown of the deal, which contains within it a void year in 2024.

Year Base salary Bonuses Cap hit Dead cap
2022 $1,250,000 $1,405,000 $2,700,000 $8,225,000
2023 $5,450,000 $1,405,000 $6,900,000 $8,300,000
2024* $0 $1,400,000 $1,400,000 $1,400,000

* Void year (player is accounted for on the salary cap but isn’t actually on the roster).

As team-friendly as the deal was for the Giants, it might become even more so if Taylor doesn’t get on the field over New York’s final five games. Why? Because Taylor had a shot to make up to $1 million in 2023 had he met certain playing time and passing yard incentives.

The incentives were connected to the following, according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Incentive Value
Play 40-49 percent of the snaps for the season $250,000
Play 50-59 percent of the snaps for the season $250,000
Post a minimum 92.5 passer rating on a minimum 224 throws $250,000
Complete 65 percent of passes with at least 224 throws $250,000

MORE: How much money is Tommy DeVito making in 2023?

Entering Week 14, Taylor had played in 25.7 percent of the Giants’ offensive snaps this season. Had he been given a chance to start, it’s possible that he could have gotten to 50 percent of the snap share by Week 18.

Taylor also had a passer rating of 92.1 and a completion percentage of 65.5 percent, so he was within striking distance of those two incentive marks. He just needed to improve upon the 87 total throws he had; but over a five-game span, that wouldn’t be difficult.

Instead, Taylor will be backing up DeVito Monday and, presumably, for the rest of the 2023 NFL season. That will deny him a chance to achieve those incentives, barring a change of plans from the Giants.

It is worth noting that the Giants could still choose to pay Taylor even if they don’t play him. That would be a decent gesture considering that he signed in New York with the expectation of being its backup.

Still, Taylor acknowledged that the decision in either regard is out of his control.

“I don’t know if there’s fair in this business,” Taylor said. “Some stuff happens that’s out of your control and unfortunately this is one of them.”

MORE: Where is Tommy DeVito from?

Tyrod Taylor career earnings

The good news for Taylor is that he has made plenty of money throughout his career, so missing on that $1 million shouldn’t prove too damaging to him.

Taylor has earned more than $70.6 million during his career. Most of that came during his three-year stint with the Bills.

Below is a year-by-year breakdown of Taylor’s earnings.

Year Team Earnings
2011 Ravens $480,308
2012 Ravens $465,000
2013 Ravens $555,000
2014 Ravens $645,000
2015 Bills $1,150,000
2016 Bills $9,506,240
2017 Bills $14,500,000
2018 Browns $16,000,000
2019 Chargers $6,000,000
2020 Chargers $5,005,626
2021 Texans $5,323,529
2022 Giants $5,500,000
2023 Giants $5,500,000
Total All $70,630,703

So, while Taylor will be disappointed not to have a chance to earn more of his keep, he still should be set for life financially if all goes well.

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