Back up 2 years, the Buffalo Bills came flying out of the gates in the 2008 season to a 4-0 start, led by their young, upstart QB Trent Edwards. Edwards was playing the best football of his career, fearlessly throwing the ball all over the field, and received national attention as a potential MVP candidate. Then Week 5 rolled around and the Bills traveled to Arizona. That's where everything changed. Very early in the game, Cardinals S Adrian Wilson blitzed off the edge and drilled Edwards into the ground, resulting in a concussion.
This was, as many Bills fans will tell you, the end of Trent Edwards as we knew him. From here forward, Trent Edwards would simply be known as "Captain Checkdown" for his unwavering ability to dump the ball off to a RB, regardless of how many WR were open down field, how much time he had in the pocket, or what down it was.
Now, after dealing with "Captain Checkdown" for two more years, the Bills have finally cut ties with the former Stanford product, a week after benching him in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. It was reported on Sunday that the Bills were shopping Edwards, but even a team desperate for a QB with experience would have to be hesitant to give up a draft pick or a player for a man who isn't good enough to start for the Buffalo Bills.
So where does this leave the Bills at QB? A team that has gone through as many QB's as years since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly's retirement after the 1996 season now sees the passing of another QB into the likes of Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, and JP Losman who were deemed as a "Savior" far too early and could never lead the Bills back to the playoffs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a career backup who, despite showing flashes throughout his career (see: first 3 quarters against Patriots on Sunday), is not a long term answer due to his inconsistency and lack of accuracy. Behind Fitz is former Packer Brian Brohm. You know Brohm, as a Junior at Louisville he was seen as a potential top 10 pick, but after staying for his senior season his draft stock fell and he was scooped up by the Packers in the late 2nd round. He was then beat out for the backup job to Aaron Rodgers by LSU's Matt Flynn, a 7th round pick from the same draft as Brohm. The Bills then signed Brohm off the Packer's practice squad after he failed to make the 53 man roster. He has many good qualities for an NFL QB, but has never been able to grasp the NFL game or put his tools to good use. He is young, but unless Fitz goes down and Brohm shows us something amazing this season, he is also not the long term answer for the Bills.
Finally, there is Levi Brown. A 7th rounder from the 2010 draft out of Troy. The Bills cut Brown after the preseason, but Adam Schefter reported that the Bills are likely to re-sign the 6'4 225lb QB after releasing Edwards.
Once again the Bills will have to look to the draft for a QB, which has not worked well for them since they grabbed Kelly with the 14th pick in the great QB draft of 1983. Bills fans have to hope that either one or both of Stanford's Andrew Luck or Arkansas' Ryan Mallett declare for the 2011 draft as the only senior QB with real first round potential, Washington's Jake Locker, has looked shaky at best this year for the Huskies.
Edwards may not have been the worst QB on the Bills roster, but the front office and the fans both knew that the time had come to move on. This move was necessary and will improve the Bills in the short term, while they look for that elusive "Savior" QB for the long term.