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The Bills and Kevin Kolb: Mutual desperation?

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills and Kevin Kolb look like they could be a match made out of necessity … or perhaps mutual desperation?

The Bills need more insurance behind whatever rookie quarterback they pick in the NFL draft. Right now they have only veteran Tarvaris Jackson and Aaron Corp on the roster. Kolb needs to land a job before the draft, because teams usually are much less enthusiastic about veterans once they stock their roster with rookies.

The Bills reportedly have interest in Kolb, sources tell The Bills currently have the least amount of competition at quarterback of any NFL team.

The Arizona Cardinals released Kolb earlier this month in a move that resembled the Bills' release of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Kolb was cut loose just before Arizona was due to pay him a $2 million bonus.

Kolb, who turns 29 in August, has had too many injuries to step in as the favorite for a team's starting QB job. He played in only five games last season, getting knocked out for the year in Arizona’s Week Six loss to the Buffalo Bills due to detached ribs and a sprained shoulder. Kolb suffered a serious concussion that caused him to miss the last three games of the 2011 season. He missed two games in the 2010 season due to a concussion, as well. He played nine total games in 2011 and five in 2010. His overall record as an NFL starter is 9-12.

Besides the Bills, the teams with the most unsettled quarterback situations are Oakland, Jacksonville, the New York Jets and Arizona. Oakland’s starter, Carson Palmer, might be released if he does not accept a pay cut. Terrelle Pryor is Oakland’s backup. Jacksonville's top two QBs are Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. The Jets' list includes Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Tim Tebow. Tampa Bay could use a backup quarterback. The Bucs have Dan Orlovsky behind entrenched starter Josh Freeman. Arizona is left with Drew Stanton, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Lindley and John Skelton.

A total of 48 different players started NFL games at quarterback last season, which actually represented more stability than normal in an NFL campaign. Many years see more than that number starting games. There were 63 different starters, for instance, in 2010.


2013 free agency | Kevin Kolb | Ryan Fitzpatrick | Tarvaris Jackson
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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 |

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 |

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 |