The Buffalo Bills aren't waiting around to provide quarterback competition for third-year pro EJ Manuel. They have veteran Josh McCown, who was released last week by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in town today and are attempting to work out a deal with him, per ESPN's Adam Schefter and Mike Rodak.
Former Bucs QB Josh McCown is in Buffalo, where the two sides are trying to work out a deal today, per me and @mikerodak.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 16, 2015
In fact, it appears that McCown was spotted at last night's Buffalo Sabres game with offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
This time last year, McCown was a hot name on the open market, having performed remarkably well as an injury replacement for Jay Cutler with Chicago in 2013 (149-of-224, 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns, one interception in six games with extended action). That production, plus his veteran status, led Tampa Bay to sign him to a two-year, $10 million contract last March, and he was immediately inserted as their starter.
Clearly, things did not go well. McCown hurt his thumb early in the season after a few games' worth of ineffective play, lost some playing time to Mike Glennon after returning to full health, and then was put back into the lineup later in the season. En route to a No. 1 overall pick season, McCown completed just 56.3 percent of his passes for 2,206 yards with 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, four fumbles lost, and 36 sacks taken in 11 starts. Tampa Bay released him rather than committing more than $5 million to their 2015 salary cap for him.
Turning 36 in July, McCown clearly would't be viewed as anything more than short-term competition for the Bills at quarterback; his role would be just the same as Kyle Orton's would have been had he not opted to retire. We'll see if the Bills are able to close the deal today and set up, at minimum, a Manuel-McCown competition this summer, but the veteran also reportedly has more visits on his schedule if he needs them.