The Buffalo Bills were rumored to be parting ways with E.J. Manuel, but a new vote of confidence from head coach Rex Ryan may still not be enough to save the starting job for the former first-round pick.
After reports emerged earlier this month that the Bills were seeking a trade partner for Manuel, the team has moved to squash the rmuors. This week coach Rex Ryan said all three of the team’s quarterbacks — Manuel, Matt Cassel, and Tyrod Taylor — would likely end up on the final roster going into the season.
When asked by WKBW’s Joe Buscaglia if all of the quarterbacks were guaranteed a spot on the roster, Ryan answered:
“I would think – it’d be hard for me to fathom that those three won’t be on the roster. Unless Peyton Manning gets cut, or something like that – I don’t see that happening; maybe Archie Manning will be available – but yeah, I think it’s a safe bet to say those three will be on the roster.”
The answer doesn’t seem too unusual. The Bills picked up both Cassel and Taylor this offseason and did not draft a quarterback, so it seems they are set going into the year. It would be highly unlikely that the team goes into the season with just two quarterbacks, and with no new faces entering the quarterback race that seem to set it in stone for the three on the roster now.
But finding his way back to the starting job might be difficult for E.J. Manuel. He lost the starting job last year after going 2-2, with veteran Kyle Orton stepping in and leading the team to a 7-5 record, just shy of a playoff berth.
Now it seems the job is getting further out of his grasp. Reports have circulated that Tyrod Taylor could be taking over the starting job, and Ryan isn’t shy about his affinity for the former Baltimore Ravens backup.
“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.”
While there is a long way to go before the Buffalo Bills and their quarterbacks take meaningful snaps, it’s likely the rumors will continue until one of the three steps forward and officially seizes the starting job.
[Image via Getty Images]