Jacksonville Jaguars: Ex-Buffalo Bills QB Trent Edwards Worth Jags' Waiver Claim

Jack HarverCorrespondent IISeptember 28, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 19: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 and Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills watch from the sidelines during a game against the Green Bay Packer at Lambeau Field on September 19, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bills 34-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Suggesting that the Jacksonville Jaguars should pick up scraps off the Buffalo Bills' depth chart would have been laughable two weeks ago, especially at quarterback.

Back then, David Garrard had thrown for 170 yards and three scores on 16-of-21 passing in the Jaguars' home opener, silencing his critics for a week.

Back then, second-stringer Luke McCown had a clipboard in one hand and his helmet in the other, ready to take over in an emergency after a standout preseason campaign.

Back then, Jacksonville had outlasted the Denver Broncos in a hard-fought 24-17 win at EverBank Field, earning a 1-0 record to take into a West Coast showdown with the San Diego Chargers.

Five Garrard interceptions, two blowout losses, and  McCown's torn ACL later, the Bills' release of 2007 third-rounder Trent Edwards was no laughing matter for the Jaguars, who claimed him off the waiver-wire Tuesday.

Through three NFL seasons, the book on Edwards has been equal parts big potential and little production.

As a rookie, Edwards fought a back-and-forth battle with incumbent J.P. Losman to be Buffalo's starter, each taking over for stretches when the other sustained an injury. He played well enough to earn a spot on the 2007 NFL All-Rookie Team, throwing for 1,630 yards and seven touchdowns in nine starts.

Considering his competition in the 2007 rookie class, though, that's not much more than a line on the ol' resume: among JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, and John Beck—none of whom are still with the teams that drafted them—it wasn't tough for Edwards to stand out.

At 6'4" and 231 pounds, Edwards still stands out as an ideal physical specimen for his position. His decision making has been slow and, for lack of a better word, bad more often than not, and his misuse of talented Bills receiver Lee Evans has been criminal, but Edwards sure looks the part of a pro passer.

That's more than could be said for Todd Bouman, who was Jacksonville's only option behind Garrard.

An 11-year veteran, Bouman has bounced around between five NFL teams and the Barcelona Dragons of the now-defunct NFL Europe. In that time, he has only started six games in the United States.

The Jaguars' practice squad includes Brett Ratliff and Keith Null, two 6'4" quarterbacks who share some of the same physical attributes as Edwards but have only four starts (all Null's) between them.

Neither Edwards nor any of the three quarterbacks backing up Garrard should be considered franchise prospects. They sure won't stop Jacksonville from picking a blue-chip rookie in the upcoming NFL Draft to succeed Garrard.

But it's shrewd to bring Edwards in as insurance while Garrard works through his recent struggles. After all, as much controversy as McCown sparked in the media before his injury, Edwards' preseason passer rating (102.7) was higher than McCown's (99.2) this past August.

With Edwards in the fold, the Jaguars' depth chart is as good as it was before McCown went down.

Until April, that'll have to do.