How Kevin Kolb Affects Buffalo Bills' Draft Plans

Ryan DavenportContributor IMarch 31, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 4:   Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to pass the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 4, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

For the second time in three years, Kevin Kolb is on the move. 

At one point, Kolb was the heir apparent to Donovan McNabb with the Philadelphia Eagles, but Michael Vick's resurgence forced Kolb to relocate to Arizona

As a Cardinal, Kolb's track record was checkered at best, which is why he'll be wearing yet another new NFL uniform this fall. 

According to the Associated Press (via, the former University of Houston star will be taking his talents to Buffalo.  

A person familiar with negotiations said the free-agent sixth-year player agreed to a two-year contract potentially worth over $12 million with Buffalo on Saturday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Bills haven't announced the move.

So now the question is: How do the Bills feel about their depth at quarterback? 

With Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson in the fold, the Bills have two quarterbacks who could challenge for the starting job in training camp. 

But before new coach Doug Marrone and general manager Buddy Nix get into breaking down each quarterback's chances at being successful in the Bills offense, April's NFL draft will take priority. 

The Bills were widely expected to be interested in taking a quarterback with their first-round draft pick, but how plausible is that now? 

As recently as last week, according to CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson, Buffalo was working out Geno Smith and considering both Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib (whom Marrone coached at Syracuse) as possibilities for their Round 1 selection, which is early at No. 8 overall. 

Hypothetically speaking, it seems ridiculous to think that Nix would shell out more than $12 million to Kolb if he was planning on taking a quarterback with the team's top selection.

Obviously, Smith may or may not be around at No. 8, but at least one of Barkley or Nassib will be on the board by the time the Bills are on the clock, and this signing will almost certainly have an impact on Buffalo's planned course of action in Round 1. 

Unlike last year, there aren't any surefire star signal-callers in the talent pool, so unless Buffalo's plan is to draft a project and bring him along slowly, it would seem irrational to suggest that the Bills are still in the market for a young quarterback early in the draft. 

But that hasn't stopped many, including Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star (via the Miami Herald), from suggesting that the Bills are a virtual lock to take a quarterback with the No. 8 pick. 

I'm not saying that Kolb is a safe bet to emerge as a viable starter, but I am saying I think it was a bad decision to sign him to a $12 million contract if the team doesn't intend on giving him a fair chance to be the team's franchise quarterback. 

Regardless of what the organization says, if they draft a quarterback with their first selection, Kolb will be looking over his shoulder constantly (as he was in Philadelphia), and that generally is not a recipe for success. 

If I'm Buddy Nix, I'm looking to grab one of the available elite corners or wideouts, because with such a high pick, the Bills could probably get the best of either at No. 8, and to be honest, none of the quarterbacks in this year's crop of prospects are anything close to being slam-dunk starters.