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Opinion: Bills need to take two-pronged approach to backup QB this offseason

Buffalo needs to keep adding QB talent

The Buffalo Bills are down to just one quarterback on their roster as Mitch Trubisky enters free agency. So how are they going to address the position this offseason behind Josh Allen and his major contract? Hopefully, it’s a few different ways.

First, I think the Bills should sign a veteran backup in the $3-5 million range. Marcus Mariota is the best style fit while Andy Dalton is the best mentor fit. Mariota made $3.5 million plus had a bunch of incentives built into his contract a year ago, and a similar deal in Buffalo would make sense especially with new leadership for the Las Vegas Raiders. Dalton is in a similar boat, with the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff recently fired. He knows he would get a warm reception in Buffalo, too.

You keep giving the veteran support to Allen. His QBs coach is young and hasn’t been in the NFL for very long. He has a first-time offensive coordinator. His assistant QBs coach and offensive coordinator are gone, as are the guys he’s leaned on recently inside the room. A calming presence who has been there and done that but know he’s not going to take the job can be so beneficial.

If you’re more interested in diving into the free agents, here’s our early primer on the position.

That can’t be where the Bills stop, though. They need a longer plan in place. Jake Fromm was supposed to be that longer-term solution but he was signed by the New York Giants off Buffalo’s practice squad. Investing another late-round pick in the QB position to get a cost-controlled four-year plan could be a good option, but that guy would need to be part of the 53-man roster to ensure he sticks around. I’m not sure head coach Sean McDermott is interested in that option.

Then you sign an undrafted arm and/or a vet minimum guy to round out your four QBs for minicamp and training camp. It’s a simple, effective plan similar to 2020 when they had Matt Barkley under contract (vet backup), added Fromm (late-round draft pick), and re-signed Webb to be their depth options behind Allen.

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