The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be looking at an unlikely candidate for the starting quarterback job next year — and its not E.J. Manuel or Matt Cassel.
The Bills have spent the offseason upgrading their offense, a unit largely responsible from keeping them out of the playoffs last season, but the biggest question mark has remained at quarterback. Last year, veteran Kyle Orton was just average enough to keep the offense sputtering along and let the defense win games, but with Orton’s retirement, the Bills were once again in limbo.
Third-year quarterback E.J. Manuel looked shaky at times before being benched in favor of Orton, so the Bills traded for journeyman Matt Cassel. While many believed that Manuel and Cassel would fight it out for the starting quarterback spot, an unlikely new face may actually have the inside track.
This week the Bills signed Baltimore Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor. He has played little behind the durable Joe Flacco, but has good athleticism and playmaking ability.
Here is the real kicker — Taylor turned down larger offers in order to come to the Buffalo Bills because he believes he has a real shot at starting there. The Bills obviously feel the same way, giving Taylor a contract heavy with incentives. If he wins the starting spot, Taylor would be paid $7 million.
“There is going to be a competition,” Taylor said. “No one is really ahead of the other guy right now. They’re looking forward to us coming in and pushing each other to make this team better.”
Rex Ryan is very high on Taylor, saying that he tried to land him with the Jets but was unable.
“I actually tried to trade for (Taylor) when I was with the Jets,” Ryan told CJCL in Toronto. “If he’s not the fastest quarterback in the league, he’s certainly up there with them. He’s got great run skills. I’m not gonna say he’s Russell Wilson, but he’s got a little of that in him, where he’s able to run zone-reads and pull the ball down and be effective.”
Whoever wins the starting quarterback spot for the Buffalo Bills will have a lot of help. The team has spent a great deal of time upgrading their unit, bringing on wide receiver Percy Harvin and running back LeSean McCoy. The Buffalo Bills are also rumored to be pursuing Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay, with insiders saying they could finish the deal in the next couple of days.
[Image via SB Nation]