Tarvaris Jackson May Be Buffalo Bills' Best Option at QB for 2013

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Tarvaris Jackson May Be Buffalo Bills' Best Option at QB for 2013
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The Buffalo Bills re-signed quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to a one-year deal Friday, according to Buffalobills.com. Jackson re-signed despite not suiting up for a regular-season game with Buffalo in 2012.

Jackson re-signing with the Bills means he will get a shot at the starting job with the new coaching staff.

Doug Marrone already gave the line that every new head coach gives, saying there will be a competition at every position, and quarterback won’t be any different.

As long as the competition between Jackson, Ryan Fitzpatrick and any rookie Buffalo brings in is a real competition, Jackson’s athleticism and experience will help his case.

If it’s like the “competition” Buffalo had between Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards three years ago that ended with Edwards winning the job and being cut after two regular season games, it’s just coach talk.

The belief for this year’s quarterback draft class is there isn’t a player worthy of being taken in the first round.

The premium on quarterbacks always forces them higher in the draft than most should be taken. Buffalo taking a quarterback early in the draft this April may cause more harm than good in the long term.

This year’s class reminds me of the 2007 draft quarterback draft class. That year had names like JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Kevin Kolb, Trent Edwards and Tyler Thigpen. Not only were these not franchise quarterbacks, they were barely second-string quarterbacks.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Some draft classes just don’t have starting-caliber quarterbacks in them.

Last year, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were both completely worthy of being the top two picks, and the way they played during their rookie seasons only stamped that point further.

Buffalo missed the boat the last two years on quarterbacks, and when they’re finally gung ho on taking a franchise quarterback, that player isn’t there.

I think Jackson may be the Bills’ best quarterback option for the 2013 season but 2013 only. They’ve seen enough out of Fitzpatrick to know what he can and can’t do, and Buffalo needs something different.

The fact that Jackson didn’t even dress on game day once last season was a farce.

Having Jackson start will fill the gap until the 2014 draft that is shaping up to be a loaded quarterback class. That class will include: Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Aaron Murray (Georgia), A.J. McCarron (Alabama) and Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois).

That’s not including underclassmen that will be draft eligible like Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) and Marcus Mariota (Oregon).

There will also be plenty of quarterbacks that haven’t been given the publicity these players have that will shoot up draft boards a year from now.

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The Bills would help themselves more by waiting until next year instead of reaching for a quarterback this year. They still need to draft one but not in the first two or three rounds.

It would be worth it for the Bills to see what Jackson can do with a new coaching staff. Instead of forcing in a new quarterback, find other pieces to put around this year’s quarterback.

Those pieces will give a 2014 rookie more to work with as well.

Jackson’s legs make him more of a threat to run in any read-option plays offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett may want to call, and his arm is much more capable to stretch the field vertically.

Hopefully, Marrone and Hackett understand the offense needs to revolve around C.J. Spiller anyway and ask whomever is under center to do less.

Jackson also has a better record as a starter than Fitzpatrick.

Jackson is 17-17 in his career, and Fitzpatrick’s career record stands at 23-41-1.

If Jackson does beat out Fitzpatrick in training camp, Fitzpatrick will be gone after the 2013 season. No team will pay a backup $10 million a year. If Buffalo brings in a rookie in 2014, he won’t have a divided locker room to deal with.

A lot can change between now and the first day of the draft on April 25, but by re-signing Jackson, the Bills may already have their starter for 2013 on the roster.

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