What Does Trade of Tarvaris Jackson Mean for Buffalo Bills?
This trade is another example that the Buffalo Bills aren't content with the current state of affairs of the team. Based on the performance of both Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen in the preseason, the Bills' front office and coaching staff couldn't have been very happy with the performance of their veteran backups.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Vince Young was allowed to play in the second half and threw two interceptions. The week before, Tyler Thigpen and Brad Smith both threw pick sixes to Minnesota Vikings' seventh-round draft pick linebacker Audie Cole.
Jackson had been the starting quarterback for Seattle in 2011 and has a total of 34 career starts under his belt. His career record as a starter is 17-17. Fitzpatrick on the other hand has 52 starts in his career, and his record is 18-33-1.
In the 2011 QB Passer Ratings, Jackson was ranked No. 21 overall, while Bills starter Ryan Fitzpatrick was ranked right behind him at No. 22 overall.
Comparing the starters numbers from last year, Jackson had 14 touchdown passes to 13 interceptions, while Fitzpatrick had 24 touchdowns compared to 23 interceptions. While Fitzpatrick was sacked the least in the NFL last year (22 times), Jackson was sacked 42 times.
This trade likely spells the end of the road for both Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen. There has been no formal announcement yet by the Bills on the status of the other quarterbacks, but it would make sense to begin preparing Jackson to take over the reps with the second unit.
If the Bills deem that Jackson is mobile enough to run the Wildcat offense, that could also make it interesting to see what the Bills do with Brad Smith, who hasn't seen many passes in the preseason as a receiver. His value as a kickoff returner is almost nil due to the rule changes last year in kickoffs.
This also means that the Bills will not hesitate to put Jackson in the game if Fitzpatrick is hurting. We all recall the painful second-half slide from 2011, after London Fletcher laid out Fitzpatrick with a big hit. If the Bills had a quarterback they believed in, they could have turned to him, rather than ask Fitzpatrick to play in a limited capacity lobbing up one interception after another.
In conclusion, this is another indication that the Bills fully intend to win this year, as this is the third year of the Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey regime. They intend to make the playoffs, and if there is a move they can make now to get them over the hump, they will not hesitate to pull the trigger. I must admit that I find the new direction to be rather refreshing.
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