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Buffalo Bills seeking competition, rookie starter at quarterback?

The Bills are reportedly interested in acquiring Matt Flynn, leading some to believe more than ever that they'll be starting a rookie quarterback in 2013.


Last night's report from Jason La Canfora that the Buffalo Bills are among a few teams considering a trade for yet another backup quarterback in Seattle got me thinking about the Bills and the quarterback position again. It led to this mind-dump (of sorts) post - and since y'all love talking about quarterbacks so much, I figured I'd run it in the morning and let the debate rage on all day. Everything that follows, of course, is my opinion.

The Bills were serious about keeping Ryan Fitzpatrick

Flynn, like Fitzpatrick, isn't a guy that can simply be handed a starting job. When Fitzpatrick was released, reports surfaced that the team had offered him a contract worth $3 million annually, but which could escalate to $7 million annually if he hit performance incentives. If true, the team clearly wanted to keep him around - and more to the point, I think they wanted to have two veteran quarterbacks on the roster to pit in a competition if things don't go according to plan on the rookie front. This seems re-confirmed to me with the Flynn report surfacing.

The Bills really aren't too high on Tarvaris Jackson

It's also pretty clear at this point that one way or another, Jackson is going to be, at most, competing for the Bills' starting job next year. Whether he's even on the depth chart with another veteran like Flynn, a rookie or (perhaps ideally) both, Buffalo doesn't seem too keen on the idea of giving Jackson an unimpeded path to the starting job, as he does with the roster in its current state.

The Bills won't trade (2013 picks) for Matt Flynn

Buffalo is already out one of their seventh-round picks this year after flipping it to Seattle for Jackson last August. They only have six picks this year - easily the lowest amount of the Buddy Nix tenure, and not enough to work with as the team continues to try to plug its many holes. If they are willing to trade for Flynn, you have to imagine they're trying to get the Seahawks to agree to a deal involving a 2014 pick. (If they were shrewder still, they'd just wait for Flynn to be released - or look in another direction. When has a team ever traded for two quarterbacks they don't plan on starting long-term?)

The Bills may very well end up starting a rookie

I've written it several times in the past few weeks, and the Flynn report only strengthens my conviction: the Bills are planning on starting a rookie at quarterback next season. They clearly don't want Jackson in the starting lineup, and they're targeting competitive-level guys that could compete with Jackson, but shouldn't be handed starting jobs. With more rhetoric daily centering on taking a quarterback at No. 8 (or maneuvering around the board a bit to take one in a more convenient location), a new coaching staff and an event to energize the fan base needed, I'm expecting a rookie starter next season even more than I was yesterday.

And hey - if they're desperate enough at the position to consider trading for two guys from Seattle in nine months, then they're certainly desperate enough to reach for a quarterback at No. 8. Right?