The writing was on the wall for the Buffalo Bills offense before the 2009 NFL season started. They fired their offensive coordinator prior to the season opener, didn't have their franchise running back to start the year, and were dancing with the devil (Terrell Owens) in a one-year experiment.
Needless to say, their lack of preparation, weapons, and offensive composure led to very forgettable results.
Yet, here we are again, staring another downhill season in the face with the usual, pathetic suspects at quarterback.
Chan Gailey, who has worked wonders in his career with athletic quarterbacks, gets to pick from a steaming pile of mediocrity in Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Brohm, and recently drafted Levi Brown.
In fact, calling any of these passers mediocre is giving them an energetic high-five and throwing them several "atta boy's."
Here's a quick rundown of five guys who are currently back-ups on other teams. These quarterbacks could both provide Buffalo with a legitimate upgrade a the most pivotal offensive position, and also are solid candidates to find a new home before the 2010 season begins.
Note: List is in no particular order.
There have been quiet murmurs about Hasselbeck being available at the right price, and with the addition of Charlie Whitehurst, there's obviously some wiggle room.
Hasselbeck is in his mid 30s and has been an injury risk the past two seasons, but he can still move in the pocket well, and still has the potential for elite numbers in the right system.
Trouble for him is, Buffalo would be an even worse situation that Seattle was last year. If he loses his job to Whitehurst, Buffalo could become a realistic possibility before the season starts, however.
Tarvaris Jackson (Minnesota Vikings)
New head coach Chan Gailey loves athletic quarterbacks and versatility, so acquiring a project with some high upside and elite athletic ability would definitely be something worth taking a look at.
As soon as (or even before) Brett Favre officially returns" target="_blank">Brett Favre officially returns , a trade between the Vikings and Bills could go down.
Jackson has already signed his tender with Minnesota, which could actually mean it's more likely that he gets traded, rather than sticks behind Favre for another year or two.
He's not Gailey's first choice, but he'd be on the list.
If I were a betting man, I'd lay down everything I had on Vick going to Buffalo . He woudn't love the sketchy offensive line and weak receiving corps, but the offense and philosophy would be right up his alley.
As I said before, Gailey likes athleticism and speed, and despite not being able to get a great look in 2009, Vick does still possess both attributes.
Philly drafted Mike Kafka in the fourth round and has been rumored to be interested in bringing back former backup Jeff Garcia. This move could come before or after shipping off Vick to Buffalo. Landing Vick could then prompt the Bills to take back Terrell Owens, pairing the two with rookie C.J. Spiller , suddenly giving the Bills an offensive with loaded potential.
Tyler Thigpen (Miami Dolphins)
Thigpen is an athletic quarterback who excels in the spread offense, so he could be just what Gailey is looking for. He's not as fast or elusive as Vick, but he's younger, has more potential as a pocket passer, and does provide nice running ability.
He played well with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008, and has been on the trading block as an attractive, versatile pawn ever since joining the Miami Dolphins.
A trade between division rivals doesn't seem likely, but if Vick doesn't call Buffalo his home sometime soon, Gailey and co. could try to acquire Thigpen to make things interesting in camp.
Troy Smith (Baltimore Ravens)
It's not secret that Smith both wants out of the shadow of franchise passer Joe Flacco, along with the right to compete for a starting job.
If you haven't picked up on the theme here, outside of Hasselbeck, four of the top five potential trade pieces for Buffalo are athletic quarterbacks.
Smith is no different. He lacks ideal size, but has a solid arm, good speed, and great overall athleticism. He also arguably has the best quarterback skills, second only to Hasselbeck, of all the passers on this list.