After a season in which the Bills rotated starting quarterbacks, Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman - the team's starter for all 16 games in 2006 - has told the Associated Press that he wants out of Buffalo. The desire is hardly surprising, considering his solid '06 campaign, the way the Bills have flip-flopped at quarterback over the past three seasons, and head coach Dick Jauron's likely commitment to Trent Edwards as the 2008 starter.
Opinion is highly split about Losman - most feel that he's worn out his welcome in Buffalo, while a smaller contingent feel he has the tools necessary to start full-time in this league - but it's hard to deny that despite this request, Losman is a team player. Losman has indicated that if he does not get moved this off-season, he will honor the final year of his contract in Buffalo, likely as the backup, in 2008. His agent, Gary Wichard, also indicated that if he honored said year of the contract, Losman would walk away after '08 - without coming close to considering an offer from the Bills.
Which, of course, begs the question: do the Bills have to move Losman? Can they?
Mike Florio, he of Pro Football Talk fame, believes that the Bills won't move J.P.:
Let's get it out there right now: the Bills aren't getting a first-round pick for Losman. They may not even get a first-day pick. But in a weak quarterback market this off-season (Derek Anderson isn't leaving Cleveland, folks) - and with plenty of teams looking for a young, veteran quarterback - Losman is sure to draw at least some interest.
Two teams that may have some interest in Losman are the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions (yes, from my standpoint, this is purely speculation). Atlanta's quarterback situation has been in flux ever since Michael Vick's infamous run-in with the law, while the Lions have to have grown weary of Jon Kitna's mediocrity - and they only have first-year man Drew Stanton on the shelf as a potential heir. Both Atlanta and Detroit have former Pro Bowl players looking for trades out of town as well - CB DeAngelo Hall in Atlanta; WR Roy Williams in Detroit. It's no secret that both of those players would help Buffalo immensely - and Jauron coached Williams for a short stint two years ago in Detroit. If the Bills can package Losman and one of their picks for an impact player such as Hall or Williams, why wouldn't they take advantage of the interest in Losman?
While those are trades that simple seem astronomically unlikely, remember that young, athletic quarterbacks that still have upside are extremely hard to come by in this league. (Remember they're only examples, as well.) With Losman prepared to walk after the '08 season, it makes the most sense to get something of value for the former first-round pick, acquire a veteran backup to Edwards, and cut their losses. Regardless of how it turns out, one fact remains: it's hard to blame J.P. for wanting out.
Story originally broken in this diary by B3J.