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Assessing the underwhelming veteran QB market

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills are feeling good that they’re going to get a quarterback they like in the NFL Draft.

That’s the obvious conclusion to be drawn as the unrestricted free agency season hits its third week. The Bills were willing to let Ryan Fitzpatrick leave town and have stood pat so far with Tarvaris Jackson as their only veteran on the roster.

On Tuesday another veteran who is not "the final answer" to a team’s quarterback solution, Jason Campbell, signed with the Cleveland Browns.

The Bills are among the teams that "have discussed" backup Matt Flynn with Seattle, which is trying to trade him, according to a CBS.com report. Kevin Kolb, released by Arizona, is the most viable veteran still on the market, which also includes Brady Quinn, Rex Grossman, Byron Leftwich, Matt Leinart, Kellen Clemens and ... ex-Bill Tyler Thigpen.

As far as Flynn is concerned, one would expect the Bills to discuss any QB on the market. However, it’s hard to imagine Bills General Manager Buddy Nix giving up any draft pick of note for Flynn, who entered the league as a seventh-round draft pick, has made two starts in five NFL seasons and brings fewer tools to the table than Fitzpatrick.

Seattle gave Flynn a contract last year that included $10 million in guaranteed money. Of course, the Seahawks were only too happy to see rookie Russell Wilson vastly outplay Flynn. Would the Bills give up a fourth-round pick for a QB with Flynn's limitations given the fact they aim to start a rookie anyway? Seattle would do well to get anything more than a sixth-round pick for Flynn.

Kolb, 28, has a 9-12 record as starter over six seasons. His big problem has been an inability to stay healthy. Kolb likely is biding his time waiting to see if another opportunity opens up.

Oakland might release Carson Palmer for salary cap reasons. Palmer would look good staying close to his West Coast roots and landing in the downfield passing offense of new coach Bruce Arians in Arizona. Kolb? Maybe the Raiders would be interested. But if the Raiders are thinking quarterback in the draft, Kolb could be left practically begging for a job.

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2013 free agency
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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