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ESPN predicts Alex Smith will be Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback in 2018

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ESPN Insider Mike Sando foresees a Bills trade for Kansas City’s signal caller

Benching Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman sent a loud and clear message that general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott are not in any way committed to Taylor after the 2017 season. While the team has remained competitive with Taylor as the quarterback, they don’t view him as the long-term answer at the position.

In an ESPN Insider article, Mike Sando predicts the Bills will move on from Taylor by working with frequent trading partners Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs:

Projected 2018 starter: Alex Smith
Alternate projection: Baker Mayfield

The Bills own additional picks in each of the first two rounds of the 2018 draft. They acquired the additional first-rounder from Kansas City in the trade to draft Mahomes. Why not send another pick back to the Chiefs for Smith?

Buffalo also could draft a quarterback such as Mayfield to compete with Nathan Peterman, whom they like but cannot realistically bank on based on early returns.

"Are they going to start a rookie in the coach's second year, go through the growing pains and get fired?" an insider asked.

It's clear the Bills aren't interested in paying Tyrod Taylor the $16 million he would receive in 2018 under his existing deal. Smith is set to earn $17 million in 2018, which is the final year of his current deal with the Chiefs.

"Alex would be a good fit," an insider from the AFC East said. "It's a West Coast zone-blocking system and Alex is mobile enough to run the naked. [Sean] McDermott could promise him a decent defense. Alex fits that bill."

Sando does not address the price of such a trade for the Bills, but the team could potentially recoup at least some of the cost by trading Taylor to another QB needy team, such as the Arizona Cardinals, or by trading left tackle Cordy Glenn.

Although he’s dropped off a bit from the meteoric heights he reached during the beginning of the season, Smith is still averaging 267 passing yards per game, has a completion percentage of 67.8 and has only thrown five interceptions. Still only 33 years old, Smith would represent an upgrade over Taylor, especially if the team intends to commit to offensive coordinator Rick Dennison.

Poll

My response to this suggested scenario would be...

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    I’d love it
    (2194 votes)
  • 51%
    Great, but I’d still want them to draft a quarterback
    (4088 votes)
  • 20%
    No thanks, I’d prefer a different veteran quarterback or none at all
    (1633 votes)
7915 votes total Vote Now