By Tim Graham
Less than a month ago, Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said this in a press release announcing the club had re-signed Tarvaris Jackson:
"I spoke with Ryan [Fitzpatrick] and Tarvaris and told them we will have an open competition at the quarterback position -- similar to what we will do at all positions on our team heading into our offseason work. I believe that our players will embrace this challenge. We are looking forward to working with our players as we prepare for the 2013 season."
On Friday, according to a recorded phone conversation posted on Deadspin.com, Bills General Manager Buddy Nix had this to say about Fitzpatrick to Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik:
"We're still struggling here with our quarterback, you know, Fitzpatrick. I say struggling; we're not really struggling. He's going to have to do something, or we'll have to. You can't afford to pay that kind of money for a guy that's fighting for probably a backup job."
Those comments don't quite jibe.
Buffalo's head coach publicly states there will be an open competition at quarterback. The GM privately suggests Fitzpatrick will need to battle just to be the backup.
If Fitzpatrick already is viewed as a backup (or deleted from the roster), then it's logical to assume the Bills are ready to turn the team over to a quarterback not currently on the roster.
No way the Bills can be settled on Jackson as their future starter at this point. Jackson didn't dress for a game last year and ran the scout team in practice.
And given the shallow pool of free-agent quarterbacks, the Bills sound ready to let a rookie start for them.
Or at least that's what Nix would like another GM to believe.
tagged2013 draft | 2013 free agency | Buddy Nix | Ryan Fitzpatrick | Tarvaris Jackson