NFL rumors are swirling around EJ Manuel. According to ESPN, the Buffalo Bills have decided not to pick up on his fifth-year option. That means that he is only under contract with the franchise for another season. It also means that the Bills are pretty close to admitting that they made a mistake by drafting Manuel. The quarterback position for Buffalo is unstable right now, yet they will not give him another chance to redeem himself.
The Buffalo Bills thought they had found their quarterback when Tyrod Taylor emerged last season. The surge ended up becoming a problem for the Bills. Taylor now wants to be paid, and Buffalo simply does not have the salary cap space to accommodate that desire. Unless the front office can make some sort of miracle happen, there is a very good chance that Taylor is wearing another NFL uniform after this upcoming season.
For insurance, the Buffalo Bills made sure to nab Cardale Jones in the fourth round of the NFL Draft last week. The former Ohio State Buckeyes star is definitely a project and will need time to be developed. If Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel are both gone by next year, then that developmental time isn’t going to be long enough. Jones might be required on the field faster than the Bills coaching staff would prefer.
While there is a small chance that the Buffalo Bills might give EJ Manuel another chance during the season, the price of paying for his option was too much for management. He would have been owed a salary of $11.3 million in 2017. That’s a pretty big gamble for a player that has already disappointed the front office. Manuel was the very first quarterback chosen in the NFL Draft in 2013. The Bills were hoping for a bit more than what he has already provided them.
Even though the Buffalo Bills have what could be a dominant defense, the team is still going to need some stability at the quarterback position if they want to make it to the NFL Playoffs. Head coach Rex Ryan has a tremendous defensive mind, but he can only do so much if the offense cannot move the chains and put up points. They’re not very confident in EJ Manuel being able to do that for them at this point in time.
A potential option for the Buffalo Bills is to wait to see if any of these disgruntled veteran quarterbacks in the NFL becomes available in the upcoming weeks. The Los Angeles Rams have Nick Foles and Case Keenum behind Jared Goff, the first overall selection in the draft this year. They might not seem like the most optimum choices, but a change of scenery might do them well. Another option is Sam Bradford, who has been trying to get the Philadelphia Eagles to trade him to another team.
As for EJ Manuel, he might have some options in the NFL. The former Florida State Seminoles star is just 26-years-old. That’s young enough to where a team might be willing to give him another chance, especially if they have a strong quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator on the staff. Someone out there in the National Football League might feel that Manuel can become their next reclamation project.
Every year, there is excitement whenever players are chosen in the NFL Draft. Every year, we find out that many of those players do not live up to their potential. EJ Manuel isn’t the first franchise quarterback that failed to truly claim that mantle. There’s a very good chance that he won’t be the last.
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