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Buddy Nix Admits Buffalo Bills Need Franchise Quarterback

You'll have to read between the lines to see Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix make his most public comments against quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Rick Stewart

Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix made his weekly appearance on radio station WGR 550 in Buffalo this morning, making some interesting comments about the state of the team after the bye. Amidst talk of retaining head coach Chan Gailey (likely) and the playoffs (he never promised them in 2012), Nix closed his remarks by discussing that ever-elusive franchise quarterback.

Nix was not keen on the idea of firing Gailey, indicating that it would be starting over on the team's rebuild. In a follow-up question, The Howard Simon Show co-host Jeremy White asked Nix if inserting a new starting quarterback would merit the same reaction.

"No, it's not [starting over]," said Nix plainly.

And thus opened the door to a conversation Bills fans have been having for well over a year: does Nix think Ryan Fitzpatrick is "the guy"? Based on his comments this morning, it's pretty clear he doesn't believe Fitzpatrick is the long-term answer at quarterback.

"Listen, we have said from day one that we want to draft a good young quarterback," Nix said. "I don't want to leave here without a franchise guy for the future in place. I have not said that before, but I'm saying it now because it's fact."

Maybe it's burying the lede - maybe the real story here is Nix's apparent approaching departure - but he is certainly saying the Bills don't have their quarterback of the future on the team. It's less than a ringing endorsement of Fitzpatrick, who he didn't mention by name.

"We had so many needs that we would have had to give up what Washington gave up to get there," said Nix, explaining why the Bills never traded up. "It's the same with Carolina that got there by losing. So it's a deal here where that has to fall into place for us, and hopefully it will."

Nix and Gailey have selected exactly one quarterback in their three years at the helm of the Bills' draft, picking Levi Brown in the seventh round in 2010. They brought in Vince Young, who flopped in pre-season play, before trading for Tarvaris Jackson just prior to the season opener. Jackson and Fitzpatrick (both 29), as well as Tyler Thigpen (28), certainly don't fit the "young quarterback" mold.

With a few teams ahead of the Bills potentially selecting a quarterback, Buffalo is going to have to lose a lot more games to secure a quality draft slot to draft a quarterback. That, or Nix is going to have to make a huge trade. Kansas City and Jacksonville will certainly be on the lookout for a new signal-caller come April and are ahead of the Bills in the current draft order, with Cleveland, Arizona, Philadelphia, Oakland, and the New York Jets possibly in the market, as well.