The Buffalo Bills have a clear starter at quarterback in Josh Allen. While the young signal caller’s future isn’t certain, what is clear is that he is the present at the position. That, of course, doesn’t mean that the team should stop adding quarterbacks, but what it does mean is that any player added to the roster comes in knowing that he’s looking for a backup role.
This year the Bills drafted a quarterback presumably to develop as a backup. The ideal backup quarterback is a guy who comes to work every day, is ready to step in for the starter at a moment’s notice, and doesn’t make any headlines.
In today’s installment of “91 players in 91 days,” we profile a young quarterback who has found himself at the center of a maelstrom of unwanted attention.
Name: Jake Fromm
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 215 lbs.
Age: 21 (22 on 7/30/2020)
Experience/Draft: R; selected in the fifth round (No. 167 overall) by Buffalo in the 2020 NFL Draft
Acquired: Fifth-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Fromm’s four-year rookie contract contains $899,760 in guarantees, and is worth a total of $3,597,960. If he makes the final roster, his cap hit for 2020 will be $685,740.
2019 Recap: Fromm’s junior year began with lofty expectations, as he was considered to be one of the top quarterback prospects heading into the season. However, Fromm set career-lows in touchdown passes, yards per attempt, air yards per attempt, and completion percentage in a year where he set a career high in passing attempts. While he did set a career-high in passing yards, he only threw for 99 more yards than his previous career-high while attempting 78 more passes. Overall, Fromm completed 60.8% of his passes for 2,860 yards, 24 touchdowns, and five interceptions while leading the Bulldogs to a 12-2 record.
Positional outlook: Fromm will fight for the right to be Allen’s backup, competing with veteran Matt Barkley and third-year man Davis Webb. The Bills have only kept two quarterbacks out of camp in the last two years, and while they did keep three in 2017, one of them, Joe Webb, was kept as a special teams player, not as a quarterback.
2020 Offseason: Fromm apologized for text messages he sent in March 2019 that were leaked this June. In those messages, he said that he wished that gun suppressors were “very expensive so only elite white people can get them.” The Bills have said that they allowed Fromm the chance to apologize to the team in a Zoom meeting, and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said that Fromm was “very sincere” in that apology.
2020 Season outlook: The Bills appear set to give Fromm a chance to learn from his mistakes and play his way onto the roster—much as they did with linebacker Tyrel Dodson, who was arrested on charges of domestic violence and eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges last offseason. Even with that opportunity, he’ll have to beat Davis Webb for a chance at the 53-man roster as the inactive quarterback on game day, and he’ll have to beat Barkley for a chance at being Allen’s primary backup. It’s likely that Fromm can beat out Webb, and while I’m not a Barkley fan, I can’t see Buffalo going into the season without a veteran on the roster. Unless more damaging information leaks about Fromm’s past, he’ll make it through the preseason and, if he plays well, then he has a chance to find himself on the 53-man roster. I don’t anticipate that he’ll be active in any games, but if the team thinks he can develop into a solid backup, then they’ll look to keep him.