Daily Archives: Mar 10, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Leading the Bills to their first playoff appearance in 18 years wasn’t enough for Tyrod Taylor to secure his long-term future in Buffalo.

The Bills are starting over at quarterback after agreeing to trade their three-year starter to the Cleveland Browns on Friday, according to two people with direct knowledge of the trade. Cleveland is sending its first pick in the third round to Buffalo.

They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because NFL rules prohibit trades from being announced until next week when free agency opens and the league’s new calendar year begins.

The Browns added a proven starter in Taylor a year after going 0-16 on a day they also traded quarterback DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers.

The Bills, by comparison, elected to move on from a quarterback who didn’t fit their long-term plans.

The Bills were preparing to release Taylor a year ago, before he agreed to restructure his contract by reducing it from a five-year to a two-year term.

General manager Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott provided no assurances over the past two months that Taylor would remain the team’s starter entering next season.

The trade was made a week before the Bills were due to pay Taylor a $6 million roster bonus.

Taylor’s departure leaves the Bills with a significant hole at the position with Nathan Peterman — a fifth-round draft pick last year — the only quarterback left on their roster.

One option is adding one of the many experienced quarterbacks expected to be available once the free agency period opens.

And then there’s the growing possibility of the Bills selecting one in the draft in April. With the addition of Cleveland’s third-round selection, Buffalo now has two picks in each of the first three rounds, including the 21st and 22nd overall.

The large haul of draft picks provides Beane plenty of assets to use in trades in the event he elects to move up higher in the draft order.

Beane said at the NFL’s rookie combine in Indianapolis 10 days ago that he planned to meet with every quarterback prospect available to be drafted.

The Browns were expected to target a quarterback in free agency, but instead have landed the dynamic Taylor. Cleveland is still expected to take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.

Earlier, the Browns worked out a trade with Miami for three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

Though noted for his mobility, Taylor was never able to overcome questions about his deficiencies as a passer and performing in the clutch in posting a 23-21 record in Buffalo.

Following two consecutive losses that dropped Buffalo’s record to 5-4 last season, McDermott made what he called a “calculated risk” to bench Taylor in favor of the raw and untested Peterman. The decision backfired immediately after Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers.

Taylor regained the starting job the following week and finished the season winning three of his final five starts, with both losses coming against New England. He then went 17 of 37 for 134 yards passing and an interception before being sidelined by a concussion in the final minutes of Buffalo’s 10-3 loss to Jacksonville in an AFC wild-card playoff game.

As recently as the rookie combine, McDermott hedged when asked to provide Taylor a vote of confidence.

McDermott said that while cutting Taylor was not part of the team’s current plans, he wouldn’t rule out trading the quarterback.

Taylor’s mobility was his strength. He set Bills records for yards rushing among quarterbacks in each of his first two seasons.

He was, however, inconsistent in the passing attack in drawing criticism for being hesitant in the pocket and failing to find open receivers downfield. Including his one playoff start, Taylor was 2-14 when attempting 30 or more passes.

Taylor was at least an efficient quarterback by throwing 51 touchdowns versus just 14 interceptions in 44 games with Buffalo.

The Bills finished last season 29th in total yards and 31st in yards passing.

Not all of Buffalo’s offensive struggles could be blamed entirely on Taylor given the Bills’ patchwork and injury-depleted group of receivers. Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin, both acquired in trades, missed significant stretches because of injuries.

The quarterback change comes at a time McDermott has shuffled his offensive coaching staff. Rick Dennison was fired after just one season as coordinator and replaced by Brian Daboll, who spent last season overseeing national champion Alabama’s offense. Daboll also has extensive NFL experience, including offensive coordinator jobs with the Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.

Taylor signed with Buffalo as a free agent in 2015 after spending his first four NFL seasons serving as Joe Flacco’s backup in Baltimore. He then emerged as the Bills season-opening starter after winning a three-way competition between Matt Cassel and returning starter EJ Manuel.


AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

PHOENIX (AP) — Francisco Cantu said he joined the Border Patrol at age 23 to get an on-the-ground education in international relations.

Now 32, he says he didn’t expect his new memoir examining some of the agency’s uglier aspects would spark protests by far-left groups denouncing him for the enforcement work and forcing him to cancel some talks promoting “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border.”

He said he agrees with much of the criticism from the left — even though it caught him off guard — and had expected most of the backlash to come from the right.

Cantu told his detractors on Twitter: “To be clear: during my years as a BP agent, I was complicit in perpetuating institutional violence and flawed, deadly policy. My book is about acknowledging that, it’s about thinking through the ways we normalize violence and dehumanize migrants as individuals and as a society.”

Cantu said he wrote the book to make sense of his time with the patrol.

“Writing the book was a way to come to terms with what I had participated in, a job that made me normalize a certain amount of violence,” Cantu said. “I tried not to draw conclusions, but offer descriptions of what happened and a reflection of my state of mind.”

Released last month by Riverhead Books, the memoir has collected positive reviews for its elegant prose about issues at the forefront of the nation’s conversation on immigration and other border issues.

It braids together the history of the U.S.-Mexico boundary, Cantu’s experiences with the migrants encountered by day and the dreams that haunted him at night.

Raised in Arizona’s borderlands as the only child of a Mexican-American woman, Cantu thought several years in the agency would provide real-world experience for a diplomatic or legal career after graduation from American University. He joined the Border Patrol even though his mother warned of possible consequences.

“‘You can’t exist within a system for that long without being implicated,’” he recalled her saying.

Cantu worked for the agency from 2008-2012 trekking through the Arizona, New Mexico and Texas deserts. He encountered desperate migrants abandoned by traffickers in the desert, moved to bandage a woman’s blistered feet and buy a man dinner at McDonald’s.

He also spent countless, monotonous hours gathering intelligence at a listening post about sinister figures who lurked in the shadows and closely monitored the movements of Border Patrol agents.

When Cantu joined the force, he had “an idea about changing the system from the inside or bringing some good to it” but found the system “designed to break you down and rebuild you into an enforcement agent.”

He wrote that agents’ behavior depended “on what kind of agent you are” when fleeing migrants leave supplies behind.

“It’s true that we slash their bottles and drain their water into the dry earth, that we dump their backpacks and pile their food and clothes to be crushed and pissed on and stepped over, strewn across the desert and set ablaze,” he wrote.

That passage was cited by some of his Hispanic detractors when they protested his book and recounted their own stories about relatives immigrating to the U.S.

Cantu acknowledged that resentment — even though many agents are Mexican-Americans who grew up near the border.

Latinos were among activists who disrupted his reading at BookPeople in Austin, Texas’ largest independent bookstore. Protest organizer Defend Our Hoodz called Cantu a “vendido,” meaning sellout. The group did not respond to written questions.

Insults by another group of immigrant rights activists calling Cantu a “hipster Border-Pig” prompted him to cancel talks at San Francisco and Oakland bookstores a week later. He signed books instead.

He’s scheduled to appear this weekend at the Tucson Festival of Books.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials haven’t said anything about the book.

“It’s just one person’s opinion,” Border Patrol spokesman Chris Sullivan said.

After leaving the patrol, Cantu was a Fulbright scholar for a year documenting the lives of refugees who were refused asylum in the Netherlands.

With his memoir as a proposed project, Cantu was accepted into the nonfiction master of fine arts program at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2014. The winner of a 2017 Whiting Award for emerging writers, he has also published essays and translations.

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (AP) — La embajada estadounidense en México ha reducido su advertencia de viajes a ciudad turística de Playa del Carmen, sobre el Caribe, en medio de lo que llama una “amenaza en curso a la seguridad” cuando la temporada de vacaciones de Semana Santa está por comenzar.

Sin aclarar en qué consiste la amenaza, las nuevas restricciones dicen que los funcionarios estadounidenses deben evitar cinco barrios en una ciudad turística llena de hoteles, bares y restaurantes, pero levantan la prohibición general de ir a Playa del Carmen.

El alerta del viernes aclara que la amenaza no tiene que ver con los problemas de los buques que van de Playa del Carmen a la isla de Cozumel.

Una explosión a bordo de un buque el 21 de febrero causó heridas a 26 personas, incluidos ciudadanos estadounidenses. También aparecieron artefactos aparentemente explosivos sujetos al fondo de otro buque.


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