Buffalo Bills Should Have Looked at Danny Brannagan

Steve ThompsonAnalyst IIIMarch 23, 2010

ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 3: (L-R) Joe Klopfenstein #87, Kirk Chambers #73, Richie Incognito #62 and Geoff Hangartner #63 of the Buffalo Bills look on as snow falls on the field during a break in play in their NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills defeated the Colts 30-7. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Last week, the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL signed the most outstanding quarterback of the CIS for the last two years, Queen's University quarterback, Danny Brannagan, who led his team to a Vanier Cup triumph last year.

The Argonauts offered Brannagan a nothing-to-lose minimum contract to see if he can save their floundering quarterback situation.

Toronto, by the way, had also signed Buffalo third stringer, Gibran Hamdan to try and become the No. 1.

Before Buffalo fans start laughing their heads off, they had better remember the sobering reality of their own team's talent level.

Buffalo is scheduled to be the team their division rivals will beat up every time next year.

It's unlikely this year's draft choices will lift them above that status.

Though the CIS has stocked the CFL with some outstanding players, graduating quarterbacks get no respect.

Since the legendary Russ Jackson's playing days back in the 1960s, you can count the number of starting Canadian quarterbacks on two hands.

Whether Brannagan gets a fair chance to show what he can do is speculative. Until he got a minimum offer, he was fated to becoming an accountant in Hamilton. So he'll be in there trying no matter how little chance he'll get.

But Brannagan was the type of player Buffalo needed to look at. A winner is a winner no matter what league he comes from.

His situation is the very type that Buffalo had to investigate if they are to have any hope of improving themselves quickly.

Buffalo is thin in talent at almost every position. Last year, they signed Terrell Owens to improve themselves at wide receiver and then through lack of quarterbacking talent and a questionable game plan, found a way not to throw the ball to him.

If Canadian University quarterback status is in fact a myth, Buffalo should be looking north of the border to give themselves some depth at that position. What have they got to lose?

Brannagan was the best quarterback in Canadian University football for the past two years. Surely that merits even the most minimum crumb.

There is one other reason to look at Brannagan.

Ralph Wilson has actively pursued Canadian money and fans. Surely he could throw them a bone in return.

As I stated before in a previous article, Buffalo needs to examine almost every possibility and be prepared to take chances if they want to move up the ranks.

Bart Starr was a 17th round draft choice from an Alabama team that didn't win a game.  That's far worse credentials than Brannagan's.

But Buffalo's leadership shows little imagination or daring. Their very existence in Buffalo is being threatened by Los Angeles and a bad economy. 

Top coaches like Bill Cowher take one look and then conclude that it is "not the right situation" for them. To make up for it, Buffalo has to be willing to take chances elsewhere.

It won't cost them much. What have they got to lose?

Perhaps it is true. CIS football is really far inferior to American university level. Canadian quarterbacks are a joke and Brannagan would get sent packing one week into training camp.

But Buffalo, with its thin talent level, could at least take the trouble to find out if that is true.