We are in the middle of the NFL’s deep offseason and it’s time to begin our series previewing the Buffalo Bills heading into training camp. One of the positions that saw the most upheaval in the 2022 offseason was the quarterback room, where around stud Josh Allen, the Bills have completely overhauled not just the players but the coaches.
After losing offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to the New York Giants, assistant quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney went with him as did veteran backup Davis Webb. With young backup Jake Fromm already on the Giants, the Bills also saw their primary backup, Mitch Trubisky, head to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a chance to start. That’s everyone.
So the Bills promoted quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey to replace Daboll, brought in Joe Brady to serve as quarterbacks coach, and added a couple faces to the roster to back up Allen.
Our first stop on our look at the state of the Buffalo Bills’ roster heading into training camp is in the quarterback room.
Contract status: Under contract through 2028 season ($16,372,281 cap hit, 7.78% of total salary cap)
Age: Turned 26 on 5/21/2022
2021 Playing time: 17 games (17 starts), 1,161 snaps (96.91% of team offensive total)
Key 2021 statistics: 409/646 (63.3%), 4,407 yards, 36 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 92.2 quarterback rating, 60.6 QBR, 122 carries, 763 yards, 6 touchdowns
Midseason lull aside, there really wasn’t much that Allen didn’t do last year. He showed that he could be patient and methodically pick apart defenses when they played two-high safety looks against him. He proved that even when a team spies him, he can still run for big gains, as his 726 rushing yards set a career-high mark. He proved that he could still make superhuman plays—see his Week 5 hurdle of L’Jarious Sneed or basically everything he did in the fourth quarter of Buffalo’s playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs—while giving the Bills a chance to win each and every week. It wasn’t perfect, but it was damn close, and as long as Allen is healthy and wearing a Buffalo uniform, the Bills are a championship contender. After 20 long years in the wilderness at quarterback, the Bills have their man for the foreseeable future, as Allen is under contract through his age-32 season.
Contract status: Entering final year of renegotiated contract ($3.5 million cap hit)
Age: Turned 34 on 2/17/2022
2021 Playing time: 7 games, 2 starts for Cleveland Browns, 174 snaps (15.72% of offensive total)
Key 2021 statistics: 47/72 (65.3%), 462 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 91.3 QB rating, 36.9 QBR, 12 rushes, 22 yards for Cleveland
The Bills traded for Keenum this offseason after Trubisky left—and he should be firmly slotted in as the backup quarterback. He’s proven to be a capable starter in a pinch, and showed last year that he could come in cold and be productive. He’s won playoff games as a starter and he has a great deal of experience. It’s probably only a one-year fit for the 34 year old, but in an important year, the Bills have a genuinely solid backup in case of injury.
Contract status: Signed a one-year, veteran minimum deal this offseason with a tiny signing bonus ($920,000 cap hit on Veteran Minimum Benefit)
Age: 31 (Turns 32 on 9/8/2022)
2021 Playing time: Spent time on Tennessee Titans practice squad before being added to Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons rosters
Key statistics: N/A
Barkley bounced around in 2021 after the Bills chose to move on from him after 2020. He is back in the room now as a sounding board for Allen and to add some familiarity. He was originally with Buffalo from October 2018 through the end of the 2020 season. It’s unlikely he makes the final roster, but he could be a key member of the team’s practice squad and weekly routine as a member of the quarterback room.
Allen is a top-three quarterback in the NFL (or better). They have a solid veteran option at backup QB. They have a depth guy who can add a lot of value from the practice squad as the third quarterback. The only thing they don’t have is a developmental prospect. Given the age of their two backups, that’s at least a little surprising but at this point in the offseason, nothing is likely to change there.
Barring injury, the pecking order and position room are all set. It’s all about acclimating to the changes in the coaching staff during training camp.