The Buffalo Bills may find themselves the beneficiary of a trade that didn't even involve them.
With the Oakland Raiders having already traded for quarterback Matt Flynn and the Arizona Cardinals having just traded for Carson Palmer (via Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports), most of the teams picking in front of the Bills are all but out of the race for one of the draft's top quarterbacks.
Here are the seven teams picking before the Bills, and their starting quarterbacks:
- Kansas City Chiefs — traded for Alex Smith
- Jacksonville Jaguars — drafted Blaine Gabbert in the first round two years ago
- Oakland Raiders — traded for Matt Flynn
- Philadelphia Eagles — Michael Vick
- Detroit Lions — Matthew Stafford
- Cleveland Browns — drafted Brandon Weeden in the first round last year
- Arizona Cardinals — traded for Carson Palmer
Granted, given the short-term nature of most of those quick-fix situations at quarterback, there's no guarantee that all the quarterbacks will be on the board for the Bills at No. 8.
With general manager Gene Smith recently gone and former head coach Jack Del Rio long gone, the Jaguars brass has changed entirely from the group that selected Gabbert 12th overall in 2011.
The Raiders didn't give up much in the trade for Flynn, but given the number of first-round picks they've recently invested in quarterbacks, it's not likely they'll do so yet again, especially with so many other holes on the roster.
Vick is the quintessential short-term answer, on a one-year deal worth $7 million. If Chip Kelly identifies a quarterback he likes at the top of the draft, nothing should stop him from drafting one.
The Bills have their own answer at quarterback, though it's not really an answer from this vantage point. Adding Kevin Kolb provides the team a stop-gap solution, but much like the three teams mentioned above, that stop-gap shouldn't prevent them from going after a quarterback they like.
Thus, while the trade has lessened the likelihood that any of the seven teams picking in front of them will take a quarterback, it's still not entirely out of the question.
Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.com. Follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise noted, all stats obtained from Pro-Football-Reference.com, and all quotes obtained firsthand or via team press releases.