In his introductory press conference this past Wednesday, new Buffalo Bills quarterback Matt Cassel told reporters that he expected to compete for the team's starting quarterback job this summer with third-year pro EJ Manuel. There may (or may not) now be a third competitor in the race, as well.
In a Thursday morning radio appearance, Bills head coach Rex Ryan let slip that the team had signed free agent quarterback Tyrod Taylor, a fifth-year, former sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens. The signing has not been officially announced, and financial terms are therefore unavailable.
Taylor, who turns 26 in August, has attempted just 35 passes in his pro career, buried behind Joe Flacco on Baltimore's depth chart. The 6'1", 208-pound athlete was a four-year contributor at Virginia Tech, finishing his career there with 7,017 passing yards (on 57.2 percent completions) with 44 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, while adding 2,196 rushing yards (at 4.4 yards per carry) with 23 rushing touchdowns. During the pre-draft process in 2011, Taylor ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, had a vertical leap of 37.5 inches, and a broad jump of 10'6" to show off his athleticism.
In reality, Taylor probably does not have a great chance of factoring into the starting quarterback race, as the Bills have made bigger investments in Cassel and especially Manuel, who are also more prototypical of the position. But Taylor would be a tremendous upgrade over Jeff Tuel as the third quarterback, both in terms of athleticism and upside, and at a cheap price, an upgrade is an upgrade. And he certainly has a better shot at playing time in Buffalo than he would have in Baltimore, or pretty much anywhere else, for that matter.