Buddy Nix wants to find a franchise quarterback

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When the Bills signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a seven-year, $62.195 million contract right around this time last year, it seemed that they were making a commitment to Fitzpatrick as their franchise quarterback.

Things haven’t worked out that way. Fitzpatrick’s hot start to the 2011 season has given way to almost an entire season of mediocre play and the team has underperformed expectations over that span. General Manager Buddy Nix isn’t admitting that the extension for Fitzpatrick was a mistake, but he is talking about the team’s need to find a franchise quarterback in the near future.

“Listen, we have said from day one, that we want to draft a good young quarterback” Nix said, via Howard Simon of WGR550.com. “I don’t want to leave here without a franchise guy for the future in place. I have not said that before but I’m saying it now because its fact.”

If the Bills feel they have enough pieces in place elsewhere on the team, they could try to swing a trade to the top of the draft with a team that isn’t looking to pick a quarterback. Their record and the play of their defense calls into question whether they actually have enough other pieces in place, but there’s not much question that they need to make a move if they have lost confidence in Fitzpatrick’s ability to lead the offense.

68 responses to “Buddy Nix wants to find a franchise quarterback

  1. Geno in KC and Barkley flops somewhere like… Buffalo!

    No start QB’s in the draft this year. Only guys with “potential”.

  2. About time and if they keep playing the way they are they will be near the top of the draft.

  3. I think you ought to explore getting Matt Flynn from the Seahawks. He is an outstanding QB who got beat out by an exceptional and relatively unknown Russell Wilson. The ‘Hawks need some Linebacker/Nickle back support, and wide receivers but it doesn’t look like you have much to offer in those areas. However, to reduce that cap hit and to get a couple of draft picks, we might both benefit.

  4. Unless the Bills end up with the #1 pick (which will probably go to the Chiefs), they won’t get Barkley. They could definitely get Geno or Landry Jones, though.

  5. Geno or even the kid from Kansas State. There are good QB’s out there, I am just not a believer in the product coming out of USC from the QB position.

    Barkley is just another overrated USC QB that looks good because he plays against the equivalent of high school teams, while he is surrounded by very good college talent.

    The best USC QB to make the transition was Carson Palmer, and he got stuck in Cincinnati. Even when the Bengals surrounded him with talent their offense was mediocre.

  6. Fitz isn’t horrible he’s just not a franchise QB. He’s a bit expensive but he’d be a good transition QB or backup for a year if the Bills spend a high draft pick on one.

  7. Joe Gibbs used to say when you find a good QB in the draft – no matter what round, and no matter what your need is at the position at that moment – you take him. People laughed at Shanahan and Allen for drafting Cousins in the 4th round after taking RG3, but other teams will be lining up at some point to try to trade for Cousins or sign him.

    What losing franchises like the Bills do not get is that you don’t just sit around and wait for a QB to fall in your lap when you think you might need one. You go get one and prep him to take over some day.

  8. @dennisatunity – we already went the Rob Johnson path, didn’t work out so well. Franchise QB doesn’t mean a guy who can’t beat out a mid-round rookie in camp. It means getting up to the top of the draft. In the interview, Nix referenced Newton and RGIII as franchise changers. So, IMO, you know he wants to go to get his guy.

  9. Love the Matt Flynn idea, but since they didnt pursue him in Free agency I doubt they would trade for him now. There are plenty of starting qbs in the draft, at least there will be once the real names come out, remember few people knew RG3 at this point last year. Geno Smith is not RG3 just because theyre mobile black Quarterbacks, Smith put up 7 on Texas Tech, come on even Fitz could do that….I think.

  10. How about Ryan Mallett? He’s played behind Brady for a couple of years now and he’s had no issues off the field, which is a big reason why his stock dropped in the draft. It seems like the kid has all of the physical tools that he needs. I’m surprised no one has made a play for him with a 2nd or 3rd round pick to Belichick.

  11. How bout Trent Edwards, no that won’t work. I know we’ll get that guy from the Rose Bowl, what’s his name – yea Vince Young, no never mind that won’t work either. Wait – we can make trade – how bout that Tavaris Jackson guy, yea that’s the ticket. What ever happened to him?

    How about a franchise GM – there is an idea. What’s that you had one and you let him get away? He signed with the Colts – how did that work out ?

  12. How about NOT having Fitzpatrick throw on first and second down so much! We’ve got three very capable half-backs. Most NFL teams run on 1st and 2nd downs a majority of the time. Our offensive play calling is the bigger problem. I’d be willing to join the legion of Fitzpatrick haters if he failed under more rational play calling, that relied on our strengths. But from where I ‘m standing, it looks like he’s being set up to fail.

  13. Really like to hear a good analysis of just what Fitzpatrick is lacking in? He got off to an outstanding start last season, then fell off dramatically, which was blamed largely on playing through badly bruised ribs at the time. I’ve seen him play several times with the Bills and he often looks impressive, other times less so. What’s the real deal here?

  14. Barkley is overhyped. His back story over the years made him so big, but I fail to see where he’s living up to the hype. Good not great. But hey, this is the same thing they said about Carson Palmer. And Sanchize. And pretty much every USC QB that comes out of college and becomes mediocre at best.

    Geno to KC. 49ers TRADE Kapernick to Bills. Because outside of Geno… there’s a weak QB class.

  15. Fitzpatrick will be released at the end of the season. Then go to the Jets to be a “veteran” backup to Sanchez.

    Meanwhile, given Buffalo’s track record for the last decade, they’ll probably plug in T-Jax as the starter.

  16. Outside of Barkley, Geno, and Tyler Bray (UT) probably not much out there. I think Bray could be the best NFL player of the three, will be interesting to watch how that develops.

  17. Give me a break. When the defense stops allowing the most points in the entire NFL, and we are STILL losing then talk to me about our quarterback play. Until then our offense is just fine. Its this disasterous defense that is losing games for us this year. The jets score 48 points?? The Patriots score 52? The 49ers score 45? The Titans put up 35? Im sorry no QB in the league will win with that type of defense. NOT EVEN DREW BREES

  18. Stunning admission, after paying Fitz all that money last season. In any case, I admire Nix’s candor. The problem, of course, is it’s hard to determine who’s gonna actually be a franchise QB. The list is very long of guys who fit the bill in the draft, but not on an NFL field: Sanchez, Jamarcus Russell, Vince Young, Brady Quinn, Matt Leinert, Jason Campbell, Losman, Leftwich, Boller, Grossman, Carr, Harrington, Ramsey…all QB’s taken in the first round within the last 10 years. And I didn’t even include Tebow and Gabbert. QB’s taken in the 2nd round or later that will likely have better careers than any of these guys include Andy Dalton, Nick Foles, Matt Flynn, Kevin Kolb, Kyle Orton, Matt Cassel, Fitzpatrick, Matt Schaub, and David Garrard. Is Fitzpatrick appreciably worse than Alex Smith? Smith went #1 overall, Fitzpatrick 250th.

  19. Teams need to stop signing QBs to long term deals after playing the Redskins. e.g. Vick in 2010, Fitzpatrick in 2011.

    Joe Flacco’s agent must be salivating for December 9th.

  20. I don’t know about any upcoming drafts and QB’s, but I will say Indy and Washington definetly have two winners on they’re teams…I mean how often has it happened where the first two picks are QB’s and they both seem like they are NFL ready and capable QB’s. I know one thing for sure the folks in Indy and Washington sure are glad they got what they got…

  21. Here’s an idea: Fire Chan Gailey.

    How he got a NFL head coaching job to begin with is beyond me.

    That is step one, before drafting a quarterback.

    The guy couldn’t even last a preseason as an OC with the Chiefs.

  22. Barkley can’t win in college with what many consider a loaded team. What makes any of you think he’s going to be the dude in the nfl.

  23. As a non Bills’ fan (Dolphins’ fan), if they are in position to draft Barkley and they pass, they are fools. Sanchez/Leinart give the USC QB’s a bad name. But I’ve seen enough of Barkley to know he is the real deal. I just hope they aren’t in position to draft him and that a team ahead such as the Chiefs chooses wisely.

  24. “Hi, my name is Buddy, and I live in Buffalo. In the United States of America. I would like a franchise quarterback this year. Never mind the new snowblower and the down filled jacket I had on the other list. Although they would be nice too. But mostly now I would like a new quarterback. It’s the green and yellow house, two from the end on Woodland Drive. Thank you, Santa.

    – your pal, Buddy Nix.”.

  25. musicman495 says:
    Nov 2, 2012 12:11 PM
    Joe Gibbs used to say when you find a good QB in the draft – no matter what round, and no matter what your need is at the position at that moment – you take him. People laughed at Shanahan and Allen for drafting Cousins in the 4th round after taking RG3, but other teams will be lining up at some point to try to trade for Cousins or sign him.

    Gotta love Skins fans who think the Cousins pick was some kind of investment. Got news for you, unproven bench QB’s don’t appreciate in value. After the Seabirds paid all that money to Flynn and he sits, you really think some other club will do the same thing for Cousins?

    Yes, people ARE laughing at Shanahan for this one. Unles his plan was to have a replacement QB available because his franchise QB gets injured running stupid QB as receiver plays, or because he failed to draft Oline replacements.

  26. Buddy Nix wants to find Mario Williams’ contract rip it up and take a giant leak on it just like Coach Lou Brown from Major League

  27. He was much looser the last game than against the Cardinals.

    Like most QB’s, he needs to use play action and options to get the most out of his receivers. Not having linemen and backs blow blocking assignments would help a lot, too.

    Generally, the difference between a top 10 QB and a mediocre one is the play of the line. Just like the running backs, great one game, lousy the next, same legs, same moves, but one hurt lineman and pfffft.

  28. I’d fire the GM first for his poor decisions, starting with destroying the salary cap by paying 100 million to Albert Haynesworth’s twin, Mario Williams.

  29. I personally think Fitz is fine, its that sieve like defense you guys have up there in Buffalo. They cant even stop a nose bleed. I am amazed that a lot of commenters are saying yes we agree, yep and when you do, hopefully they sprinkle some magic dust on that pathetic defensive unit of yours.

  30. The Bills have an out in Fitzpatrick’s contract that would allow them to release him in April of any year of the contract and not owe him anything really. I don’t think they’re strapped because of his deal. The Bills have passed on a lot of QBs during this regime though, now I know not all of them have panned out but that’s besides the point, I’d draft a few every year until you find THE guy, I mean when it boils down to it they’re still trying to replace a guy who retired in 1996!

    Here’s the list of QBs who they could have drafted:

    Josh Freeman
    Tim Tebow
    Jimmy Clausen
    Colt McCoy
    John Skelton
    Jake Locker
    Christian Ponder
    Blaine Gabbert
    Andy Dalton
    Colin Kaepernick
    Ryan Mallet
    Brandon Weeden
    Russell Wilson
    Kirk Cousins

  31. Just move. Besides the 90’s, this team has been a joke for 40 years.

    Go away already. Much more interesting if this team was in LA or Toronto.

  32. If Nix wakes up and gets himself a franchise offensive line, defensive line, and franchise everything else that’s so glaringly wrong with this team, he’ll be very pleased to find out he already has a franchise QB!

  33. The Chiefs are probably trying to trade next year’s first pick already, and they love overrated defensive linemen. Nix could probably send them Fitz, Williams, and their first rounder for KC’s first.

  34. Kansas City, Arizona, Buffalo, NYJ, and maybe Cleveland depending upon new management will be looking for QB’s early.

    Colin Klein will be taken in the 7th rd if he’s lucky. I think that Murray, Barkley, Smith, Jones, Wilson will be taken between 1st and 2nd rd. Geno Smith was amazing til he started playing good teams.

  35. At least Buddy Nix is man enough to (kind of) admit a mistake. Unlike boneheaded Scott Pioli, who insisted Matt Cassel with no qualified backups was good enough to win championships with. Pioli is a fraud, and a jerk, and he’s too insecure to ever admit a mistake, even though mistakes are his specialty.

  36. @buffalobills2012 “…get Geno and let him rock the #12” First off I want nothing to do with Geno. Secondly what kind of Bills fan are you? The team retired Kelly’s #12 the only # retired in team history! Pay attention!

  37. Kirk Cousins,Chase Daniels,or Ryan Mallete would make fine choices for future Buffalo Bills QB’s they were great college quarterbacks,and leaders respectively!!!

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