Is Trent Edwards Right for the Buffalo Bills? Does It Matter?

Matt SchaeferCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2008

The Buffalo Bills have been looking for a quarterback to lead them to a Super Bowl ever since Hall of Fame quarterback, Jim Kelly, retired after the 1996 season, over a decade ago.

Most recently, the Bills have just been looking for someone to help them make the playoffs, which they haven’t done since the 1999 season, with Doug Flutie at the reins (well technically Rob Johnson but let’s not get into that situation), but it has just turned into a gambling game that the Bills can never seem to get the right hand.

Coming into this season, Trent Edwards looked like the man Bills nation has been waiting for. He is a smart guy, shows great instincts on the field and has very good accuracy to go along with good arm strength and pocket presence.

He brought the Bills out to a red hot 5-1 start. Through those first six games, Edwards had 106 completions out of 152 attempts. He was completing passes at almost a 70 percent. Edwards also had five touchdown passes and two interceptions.

With his success, Edwards was getting spots on P.T.I., Sunday NFL Countdown, and the Jim Rome Show. Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young called him a Pro Bowl QB for this season while others in the national media had Edwards in the early running for MVP.

But Edwards fell back to Earth and took the hearts of Bills’ fans with him.

The team is now 6-6 and Edwards has nothing sort of terrible. In his past six games, Edwards has gone 108 of 172 with five touchdown and eight interceptions. His completion rate dropped over 7 percent, to 62.8 percent during that span. His rating fell 25.8 points from 98.8 to 73.0.

Watching some film on Edwards, he really just isn’t reading the field well. He is making silly mistakes and is holding onto the ball wall too long.

Edwards has also started hitting check downs on almost every pass and it isn’t just because of wide receivers not being open. He is afraid to throw the ball down the field.

Edwards has also turned into “Mr. Excuse” in the post game interviews. When he wins, he sure knows how to spread the wealth around but when a loss occurs, the finger is pointed at anybody but himself.

But what can the Bills do?

They have to pick a quarterback and stick with him for better or for worse. “Why?”, you might ask, “Don’t they have any other option?” The answer is no.

The Bills cannot afford to draft a quarterback in next year’s draft early due to other glaring needs. They will have to take someone in the later rounds who will not be an impact next season. Maybe a guy like Cullen Harper from Clemson or even a sleeper pick in the seventh round like Chase Patton from Missouri.

The Bills will need to sign a quarterback in the off-season with two of their QBs being free agents, JP who is practically heading out the door and third-stringer Gibran Hamden who is not worthy of a second-string spot.

The top free agents will either re-sign with their current team or be way too much for the Bills budget (Kurt Warner, Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton, Jeff Garica) and after that, none of the guys you would want running your team. Sorry Grossman, Batch, and Ramsey, but you guys are not the answer.

The QB I would love to see back up Trent Edwards next year is, Baltimore Ravens second stringer, Kyle Boller. The 27-year-old is coming off of a torn labrum that placed him on IR for this year, and will drive his asking price down. Even at his current price of 3 million, combined with $460,000 that puts your two QB’s with an average salary of 1.7 million, one of, if not the, lowest in the league.

This week Losman will get the start because Edwards is out with a groin injury. A struggling team might turn to Losman for a few games to provide some spark. He will only continue to start though if he plays well and more importantly picks up the W to keep Buffalo in the playoff hunt.

The Bills should and will go with Trent Edwards as their QB as soon as he is ready to return. Losman is just playing for a paycheck with a different team anyways. Even with possible off-season moves, the Bills will not pick up a big free agent quarterback and will only go after a reliable backup and any player the Bills pick in the draft at the position will not see much of the field.

As much as you like it or not, the Bills are all-in on Edwards for this season and next year too. At this point, they don’t have any chips to raise on someone else and can’t afford to fold with no one else to go to.