Trent Edwards Isn't the Answer at QB for Buffalo Bills, So Now What?

Matt SchaeferCorrespondent INovember 12, 2009

MIAMI - OCTOBER 04:  Quarterback Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills reacts on the sidelines late in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Dolphins defeated the Bills 38-10.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

For all intents and purposes, the Trent Edwards era in Buffalo is over after this season.

It is really simple, Edwards just hasn’t been any good.  After watching him play this year, it has just helped draw the conclusion that many people were forming after last season; Edwards should not be starting in the NFL.

He isn’t a rookie anymore, which some people like to argue.  He has played in 30 NFL games, and still hasn’t shown any signs of improvement.  Sure he has games where he puts up solid stats, but they are usually against sub-par defenses and are few and far between. 

In his three years as a starter, he average 177 yards per game, which is absolutely pathetic.  Throwing one more interception (24) than touchdowns (23) doesn’t help the matter. 

Most importantly though, he isn’t a winner either.  His career record of 14-15 as a starting quarterback is dreadful and that includes loses in 10 out of the last 14 games he has started in, with his back-up earning two of those wins.

Not only does he not win, but he can’t stay on the field either.  He was missing time in college and that followed him into the NFL. 

Blame the offensive line if you want, but that is trying to make excuse for a bad player.  Give him the New England Patriots offensive line and he still wouldn’t be a difference maker. 

The reason: he lacks confidence that is needed to play the position.  He doesn’t look down field in the passing game, instead going for the safer, check-down patterns.  He has weapons around him and still can’t get them the ball. 

Go ahead and bring up the fact that Edwards has a career completion percentage of over 61 percent.  That is a stat that is highly misleading.  Looking at that number, you might say that he is a very accurate quarterback, which is certainly not the case. 

His intermediate to deep-ball accuracy is below average, and his check-down completions help pad the numbers.  Remember, this guy has a career average of 6.7 yards per completion.  Think Chad Pennington, but worse.

Blaming the coaches, offensive line, Terrell Owens, and anything else you can think of is just trying to stick with your guy.  I get it, I am a Bills fan.  We don’t want to go through anymore rebuilding, I get it. 

People are still holding out hope for Edwards because of the few flashes that he showed early on last season, and because they don’t want to go through it anymore.

Trent is not the answer we are looking for.  Good quarterbacks stay on the field and win games, even when their team is not playing its best. 

The problem is that the Bills don’t really have anywhere else to turn to as they only have three options to move on with Edwards now out of the equation.

Acquire a Quarterback in Free Agency

Sometimes a team gets a good break when they go out and pick up a quarterback off of the free agent market.  When all of them resemble Edwards' production though, you might just want to pass.

Kyle Orton, Jason Campbell, Chad Pennington, Tarvaris Jackson, Kellen Clemens, Kyle Boller, Charlie Batch, David Carr, Daunte Culpepper, Rex Grossman, Joey Harrington, Jon Kitna, and Troy Smith are all free agents after the offseason (with Smith being a restricted free agent).

Who out of that would you want running your team?

Orton just wins games, but he is most likely going to be resigned by the Denver Broncos.  Campbell and Jackson are two younger quarterbacks compared to the rest, but neither one of them have really developed.  Ditto for Clemens.  Pennington might be able to be a stop-gap solution, but how much longer can he go on a bum shoulder?

The rest of the list just makes me laugh.  If the goal of the game was to collect as many terrible or washed-up quarterbacks as you could, I would like the Bills chances, however, the name of the game is to win and none of these quarterbacks can do it anymore. 

Free agency is out.

Go Get Michael Vick

Now this option is not one I see as very likely, I just wanted to throw it in after the rumors about the Bills being interested in Vick this offseason were confirmed this last Monday by Tony Dungy. 

Vick was never a quarterback who was accurate or read defenses well, he used his physical talents to overcome his shortcomings.

We haven’t seen much of him this season in Philadelphia, but trust me, the arm strength is still there and his legs are still capable of outrunning NFL defenders.   

Character issues and his NFL IQ will be his downfall to teams, and many won’t give him the chance.

In my mind though, he is worth a shot in Buffalo.  He can use his feet to make plays and can get the ball down the field to Lee Evans.  His confidence was always high and after a year working on his footwork and fundamentals, along with an offseason to prepare for the season, he might turn into his former self. 

He is still only 29 years old and isn’t really washed up.  Yes I know he isn’t playing now but why would he with Donovan McNabb in front of him?

Again I don’t see this as a likely choice at all, but if Buffalo was interested when he got released from jail, why wouldn’t they be after a year on an NFL team?

Draft a Quarterback

This is the most likely option the Bills could go with in my mind.  They are going to have a top-15 pick, maybe even a top-10 with the way they have been playing. 

The Bills will have some top prospects to pick from as Jimmy Clausen, Sam Bradford, and Tim Tebow, who I would personally love to see them get.

Go ahead and jump all over me for wanting Tebow, but I believe that with his attitude and leadership abilities, he can help change the culture for the better at 1 Bills Drive.  Plus you wouldn't have to worry about him not being able to suit up for a game, he is just an absolute warrior.

Well that and the fact that other teams need help at the quarterback position and the Bills are not going to want to trade up into the Top 5 and lose picks and money to draft one player.

With a new coach likely coming after this season, he is going to want to bring in his own players and start from scratch.

We can all sit here and argue about what the Bills are going to do, whether going to get Vick or drafting a quarterback. 

One thing we should all be decided on is the fact the Trent Edwards isn't getting the job done, and someone needs to be brought in who will.


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