The Buffalo Bills made several moves this off-season to shore up their quarterback room. Starting with trading Tyrod Taylor and all the way through mid-season, they were tinkering with the quarterbacks and general manager Brandon Beane provided some insights into the timing of the move on One Bills Live Wednesday.
From Tyrod Taylor and Nathan Peterman through AJ McCarron and Josh Allen to Derek Anderson and Matt Barkley, a lot of players took snaps in Buffalo in 2018.
“We knew coming in that Nathan was coming back,” said Beane. “We had made the decision to trade Tyrod to Cleveland. Before the draft we had one legit quarterback as we entered free agency. There were different guys out there for free agency. We thought AJ was a guy who could come in and compete and potentially win that job. He had showed he could do that, even played some playoff snaps for Cincinnati. We knew we were going to try and draft somebody, hopefully get up. At that time we were still 21 and worked our way to 12 and then to 7 to get Josh.”
After the two additions, Buffalo had three quarterbacks take first-team reps during training camp as they competed for the starting job. Beane knows that’s not ideal.
“I don’t know how I could have done it much different than to have a three-person quarterback battle. I wish it wouldn’t have played out that way,” said Beane, adding he’s going to sleep better this off-season knowing it’s a one-horse race in 2019.
The most emphatic thing he said centered on the veteran backups. Saying that McCarron just didn’t click, he called a do-over on himself.
“I regret not getting Derek Anderson in here earlier,” admitted Beane. “He was a guy we talked about whether to sign him or to sign AJ. It was my error for not getting him here earlier.”
Buffalo traded McCarron at the beginning of September but didn’t sign Anderson until October 9th, after Peterman imploded and Allen struggled. They added Barkley after Anderson and Allen were both injured.
Heading into 2019, the room appears to be set with Allen as QB1, Barkley as the primary backup, and Anderson in the mentor role. Exactly what a lot of folks were advocating for last off-season.