Buffalo Bills: Why They Should Not Trade for a Quarterback

Joseph SchwambornContributor IIApril 6, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Dallas Cowboys on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills need a quarterback—there is no denying that.

What I do want to deny is the idea that Buffalo would be best served by trading for a quarterback.

Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer and Donovan McNabb are all rumored to be on the trading block. I don't believe that any of them would be a good fit with the Bills.

There are three main reasons why I believe this:

1. None of these quarterbacks represent a clear upgrade over Fitzpatrick.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is more than capable of holding down the spot for a couple years.

Besides, I'm not sure any of the other three are better than him. Take a look at their statistics from last year:

 Games StartedYardsPct.TDINTRating
Ryan Fitzpatrick          133,00057.8231581.8
Kevin Kolb*           71,97862.1111080.4
Carson Palmer          163,97061.8262082.4
Donovan McNabb          133,37758.3141577.1

*Note: I combined the stats for Kevin Kolb over the past two years.

Their stats are virtually indistinguishable. On top of this, Palmer and McNabb are both clearly on the downside of their careers, while Fitzpatrick is entering his prime.

2. The price for acquiring a quarterback is too high.

The price for acquiring one of these quarterbacks is likely a first round pick.

Buffalo's pick this year (No. 3 overall) is too valuable to trade for any of these players and Buffalo's pick next year is likely to still be in the top-10.

I recently read an article on Bleacher Report that describes a potential trade by Buffalo to acquire Kolb where the price would not be too high.

It was very interesting because it suggested that the Bills would get Kolb along with the Eagles' first and second picks in exchange for the third overall pick. I would be tempted to make that trade.

3. Buffalo is in a position to draft a quarterback.

With the third overall pick, it is very likely that Buffalo will have the opportunity to draft either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton.

I'm not saying that I believe either one will become a franchise quarterback. In fact, I'm not sold on either one, but Buffalo's front office may feel differently.

If that's the case, the Bills can acquire a quarterback without giving up anything.

In addition there are a number of quarterback prospects that would be available in the second round like Ryan Mallett, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton or Colin Kaepernick. This is an option if Buffalo decides to go another direction in the first round.


There is no pressing need for Buffalo to trade for a quarterback.

Here is the scenario that makes the most sense to me:

Buffalo drafts a quarterback in whatever round they choose and they sit him for a year. At the end of the year, they evaluate the performance of Fitzpatrick to see if he can improve upon his 2010 numbers. They also evaluate the progress of their rookie.

From there, they can either seek to acquire a veteran or draft another rookie if they are not pleased with the results of their evaluations.

The only trade I would make at this point is one where Buffalo gets additional draft picks in return.

It simply does not make sense otherwise.


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