"We do not have [a franchise quarterback] as of right now," Kelly told ESPN's "First Take" on Wednesday. "Tyrod Taylor, he did a lot of things this year and last year that a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL cannot do. But consistently, he just wasn't what we needed. He had to be more consistent on his throws. When we needed the first down to move the chains to win games, when we needed the first down to move the chains to continue that control of the ball to take time off the clock, we just didn't have that there."
The Bills have until March 11 to pick up Taylor's option for the 2018-21 seasons that would guarantee him $30.75 million. If he remains on the roster March 12, Taylor will be guaranteed $27.5 million for the 2017 season, so the Bills must cut Taylor by March 11 if they wish to avoid paying him a substantial amount.
Kelly, who formed an early bond with Rex Ryan when he was hired in January of 2015, also reflected on Ryan's ill-fated tenure as Bills coach.
"I bought into it," he said. "That's what we wanted. We needed that energy in that locker room. We needed that energy in the city. He brought everything we wanted. But it all just started falling apart. Last year he gave glimpses of a future for the city."
Kelly also expressed concern with how the franchise has operated in recent weeks and months.
"When you watch and you're there all the time and you see the way some things are handled, it makes you worry about it," he said, before adding that he has "total faith" in owners Terry and Kim Pegula.