I’m an optimist, but I’m not an idiot…
Everyone can stop worrying about another year of Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm for the Buffalo Bills. The team announced on Tuesday that they would be releasing Fitz after he went 20-33 as a starter over four seasons. The decision was made easier by the fact that Fitzpatrick was due a $3 million bonus Wednesday and $10 million next season if he wasn’t released.
So now that Fitz is gone…where does that leave the Bills? Answer: not in great shape. It leaves them with one experienced quarterback on their roster — Tarvaris Jackson, who re-signed to a one-year contract last month.
Everyone knows (or at least I hope everyone knows) Jackson is not the answer either…..so the Bills and GM Buddy Nix will finally be forced to take a quarterback in this year’s draft. Why couldn’t they have realized this last year??
This year’s quarterback class isn’t very strong…at least from the standpoint of being NFL ready. Considering that fact, Buffalo has put themselves in the pretty bad position to look to the future. There is now not only an urgency to draft, groom, and commit to a quarterback this year, but whoever the Bills select will be thrown into a pretty tough situation. Buffalo has a ton of holes which they have yet to fill, they have a completely new coaching staff, and whoever they draft won’t have the luxury of sitting back for a while to learn the system.
I do think there are a few QBs in this year’s draft that could really turn into solid players if they get the proper coaching and have a chance to develop.
The Bills need to address many positions in the draft and my feeling is that they won’t go after Geno Smith if he’s available at the 8th pick. Buddy Nix already doesn’t like the fact that they only have 6 picks this year, so I can see the Bills trading down to acquire additional picks. If they do that, I predict they use their late first round pick to fill another gap and then pick up Ryan Nassib in the 2nd round.
Buffalo hasn’t done much in the first week of free agency…..other than releasing Fitzpatrick, and losing starting guard Andy Levitre (Levitre signed a five-year, $39 million contract with the Tennessee Titans).
The Bills only had one franchise tag and used it on Jairus Byrd (well deserved). However, I’m still baffled that Buffalo made it a priority to re-sign backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (one year, $4.5 million) and backup cornerback Leodis McKelvin (four years, $20 million) to sizable contracts before making Levitre a priority.
Nix said that the Bills weren’t going to be as aggressive as they were last year in free agency. However, I would love to see the Bills make a play at one of the available wide receivers in the free agent market.
The problem is…the Bills are going to have to overpay to sign a decent free agent. Who wants to come to Buffalo? We have a new coaching staff with no previous NFL experience, no QB, and the last time we made the playoffs, the price of gas was $1.26 a gallon (go ahead, look it up).
So, while I’m an optimist and would like to think that the Bills will be good this year, I just don’t see it happening (no matter how they do on draft day)….for a while.
I guess it could be worse though…..I could be a Jets fan.