E.J. Manuel, QB, Bills
|QB - #25||BUF||Active||3 years||24||6'5||240||@EJManuel3|
2014 Outlook: Bye Week Fill-inLast updated on Jul-06-2014 by Rusty Reeves
Buffalo's brass has done a decent job of setting the table for Manuel to have a successful season (and that's without Stevie Johnson). They acquired Mike Williams from the Buccaneers. They then paired him with first-round pick Sammy Watkins. Robert Woods and field-stretcher Marquise Goodwin were already in place, plus the Bills have a couple of running backs who are apt receivers. The question is whether Manuel can take full advantage of his situation. He completed only 56-percent of his passes with as many touchdowns as turnovers prior to an October knee injury that sidelined him for a month. He put together some better games once he returned, but it was still a very uneven rookie campaign. It's worth noting that Manuel (who has a capable running ability) has undergone three knee surgeries since entering the league. His athleticism and continued maturation as a passer could lead to a bright future, but it's unlikely that Manuel finds his stride in his second season. He's not off to a good start if spring practices are any indication. He is a low-end QB2 on most days.
Now that the Bills are set to bring in LeSean McCoy to lead their backfield, one mammoth void among their offensive skill positions remains: They don't have a quarterback. They brought another one into the fold Wednesday, but it may not cure what ails them.
Buffalo dealt for Matt Cassel earlier today. The trade in full involves Cassel and a 2015 sixth-round draft pick going Western New York in return for a fifth- and a seventh-round pick in the same draft. The Vikings also save $4.75 million in cap space by ridding themselves of Cassel.
To Minnesota, Cassel was just a backup for Teddy Bridgewater who needed season-ending Lisfranc surgery last September. To Buffalo, Cassel might be its next starting quarterback. Cassel and E.J. Manuel are currently the top two candidates for that job. Over Cassel's last 16 starts -- a period of time that spans back to September 2012 -- Cassel accumulated 3,770 yards, 19 touchdowns and 30 turnovers. His completion percentage: a rather unimpressive 58.1. And due to various injuries mixed with that poor play, Cassel hasn't been on the field for more than nine games in any season since 2010.
Manuel's career numbers in 14 starts are marginally better in some spots -- 2,810 yards, 16 touchdowns, 15 turnovers and a 58.6 completion percentage -- but they don't exactly inspire confidence. A potentially unwatchable quarterback competition will take place this summer in Orchard Park, N.Y. I'm sure Sammy Watkins' fantasy owners can't wait to see which lesser of two evils Buffalo selects.
FFToolbox NFL News & Rumors3/4 - Bills acquire QB Matt Cassel from Vikings
2/13 - Surprise: Bills HC Rex Ryan wants team to run the ball ... a lot
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