Bills’ belated Barkley interest feels like the blowing of smoke

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Word emerged on Wednesday that the Bills really, really like USC quarterback Matt Barkley.  Per multiple reports, the Bills supposedly like him even more than Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib, who played for Bills coach Doug Marrone (and Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett) at Syracuse.

Here’s our basic rule of thumb:  Where there’s smoke, there’s a smokescreen.For months, Bills G.M. Buddy Nix has worn his heart on his sleeve when it comes to snagging a franchise quarterback.  And the Bills have done little, before this week, to throw dirt on the obvious tracks that lead Marrone back to Syracuse.

Now, all of a sudden, the team that plays in Western New York supposedly wants the latest in a growing line of Southern Cal busts.

Former Jim Kelly would not approve, if Barkley becomes the pick.  When politicking for the Bills to take a chance on Tim Tebow three years ago, Kelly said, “You look for a guy with good character, good leadership ability and good arm strength — and a guy who doesn’t come from California.”

Make no mistake about it — the Bills fear either the Jets or the Jaguars taking Nassib.  It’s likely no coincidence that word of interest in Barkley has emerged on the heels of the disclosure that Buffalo is worried about getting buffaloed for Nassib.

While Barkley could end up being the round-two Plan B that the Bills will claim that they wanted all along, we continue to believe that Nassib is the preference, and that the Bills are feigning late interest in Barkley in a belated effort to throw everyone else off the scent.

52 responses to “Bills’ belated Barkley interest feels like the blowing of smoke

  1. I still think Matt Barkley has a chance to go top 15. It’s the Jake Locker Effect.

    Projected Top 5 pick, went back to school for senior year, stock dropped to late-first/early-second… YET, still was drafted top 10 the year he was eligible (in a weak QB class).

    It’s all lined up for Barkley to work out the same way. All it takes is for one team who felt Barkley was a top-5 pick last year to rely on that scouting report, give him the benefit of the doubt for this past season (in which he actually played pretty well), and jump on him early this year.

  2. On the other side of the coin, Barkley would of been the 3rd QB taken last draft, taking his place 1st in line this year is a natural progression.

  3. Wow…wise words Jim Kelly. I mean who would think a kid from California can lead or win anything….Ever heard of Aaron Rodgers?

  4. A little unfair to label Barkley a bust already, no? Maybe he’ll be the SoCal QB to BUST the trend.

  5. Is anything being said NOT blowing smoke, Mike? Do you really think anyone in the building (of any team) is going to give/leak information to you, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortenson, etc…??? I have to believe it is all a big smoke screen game…

  6. I doesn’t seem to me that Nix is the kind of guy to start throwing smoke screens. I’d be happy with Barkley. He’s a much different player then stiffs like Sanchez and Leinart. Barkley is smarter and has better character then either of those two.

  7. I thought the same thing. The Bills are usually pretty open with what they’re looking for and all along the word has been Nassib.

    Then out of nowhere they like Barkley better, just after hearing the Jets might be interested?

    I think Nassib goes #8

  8. California kids like Tom Brady SUCK!!!!! I mean Jim Kelly has won way more Super Bowls than that Cali kid…..and don’t even get me started on those wusses like Jim Plunkett.

    Go Jim Kelly! Greatest SB loser of all time!!!!!!!

  9. They’ve been interested in Barkley for quite a while. They’ve spoken highly of him from the start.

    As far as everyone believing it’s Nassib at the top of their list, I’d guess again. They’ve said numerous times don’t bother connecting the dots, which is all anyone has done regarding Nassib.

  10. Where a player played in college has zero to do with their NFL success. BTW, Aaron Rodgers comes from the state of California. He didn’t choke away 4 Super Bowls either. A better no-no in drafting a QB is if he has the throwing motion of Tebow. Most of the top QBs in the NFL do not possess among the league’s strongest arms(P. Manning, Luck, Brady, etc.).

  11. this is stupid. IF you like a guy just take him. Maybe it blows up in their face but when you go as long as they have without a legit franchise qb, just draft the guy you like, even if its a round early.
    and why would they use barkley as a smokescreen. I believe they like him. Its not as if saying ” we like barkley” will get other teams to draft him just so the bills cant in round 2.

    ALl i know is that you cant win without a good qb and you wont get one if you dont start drafting them

  12. I can’t believe teams are jockying for Nassib, Barkley or Manuel. That’s like a bunch of guys in a bar who see Rosanne, Rosie, and Oprah at a table, and one of them yells, “Dibs on the cute one!”

  13. Belated interest? No. Just because people haven’t been paying attention doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. The Buffalo beat reporters have been on this for a long time. When someone from Buffalo speaks, does anyone listen?

  14. Somescreen for sure. Buddy Nix couldn’t fool anyone on the foolingest day of the year with an automatic fooling machine.

  15. I do not expect the Bills to wait until Round 2 … their best move is a trade into the later part of Round 1 for “Their Guy!”

    Taking a QB at pick #8 is the wrong move in this QB class and their are other parts to this team that are better filled at that slot …

    They want a QB with their first pick trade out of #8 and be ready to have a lot of trading options there-after!

  16. Unless Nix posted a pic of the Bills’ draft board, everything until the 8th pick is announced is smoke. If no team picks a QB before the Bills, there are only four teams that would reasonably be expected to pick a QB in the second round before the Bills. At that point, the worst fit for the Bills would be Geno Smith and the odds of Nassib, Barkley, Manuel or Jones all going before that are remote. The Bills try to trade down in this case or, failing that, take Jarvis Jones and, happily, any of their big 4 QBs in the 2nd round.

  17. I think I’d like the Bills to take Barkley over Nassib. But I’d REALLY like the Bills to hold off on picking a QB until the 2nd or 3rd round.

  18. I don’t believe the Bills love Nassib as much as everyone thinks. That is the smokescreen, and ideally Buffalo takes the best player available at 8, then grabs the QB they really like at 41#. Buffalo’s perceived love of Nassib has set the market for Nassib in this draft over his actual game tape, and may lead the NY Jets front office to burn a first round pick on a QB Buffalo thinks will be a bust. Who knows, its all speculation, and only time will tell.

  19. If they take a QB (Smith, Barkley, Nassib) I don’t think its a bad move. Picking any of them at #8 though is silly.

    What I don’t understand is why they don’t like Geno Smith… a little bit more mobile of a guy with CJ Spiller could do some damage.

  20. The biggest problem with this is the perception that the Bills have been on the Nassib train all along. The media has connected the Bills with Nassib just because of the Marrone connection and not anything with what the Bills have said. So it hasn’t been the Bills that have been saying how much they love Nassib all along. It’s been complete speculation.

  21. Look at the Bills draft record. Aaron Maybin over Brian Oracpo and Clay Mathews. Nuff said. Missed Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick. Now they need a qb, and this draft has none. There might be a good one late who developers like Tony Romo, but no Luck or RG3 here.

  22. There’s a “former” Jim Kelly? I’ll bet the “current” one is annoyed that he wasn’t asked to comment.

  23. At this point, who knows if this is smoke or not. The one thing I do know is that since this is most likely Nix’s last season running the Draft, that he will probably go all out, not holding back one bit.

  24. Don’t take QBs from California? Sooo Kelly wouldn’t draft guys like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers? This guy needs to put a sock in it, he’s an idiot. You avoid USC, not the entire state

  25. I think Barkley will be a bigger bust than Ponder but some team has to draft in the first 11 picks for that to be the case.

    Either way, his NFL career will be short and unproductive.

  26. Cough. God, I’m choking from all the smoke before this draft, wow. I Can’t wait to see what really happens.

  27. Blowing smoke is what Sal Pal helps the Jets do. They won’t pick Nassib OR Barkley at 8.
    Dear jets: They want your boy Tevon Austin, so suck it! Bwwwwaaahahahaha

  28. This is factually incorrect. Look at Buddy Nix quotes since becoming GM. He doesn’t blow smoke, he said I want a water bug then drafted Spiller, said I want Miller or Dareus whichever one is there and took Dareus. Earlier this month he was asked on the flagship station who do you like he said Barkley and Geno Smith that general group. It’s Barkley or EJ Manuel 100% guaranteed. Also the Bills beat writer has nailed the pick four years running, he had them taking……. Ej Manuel at 8

  29. is this just 2011 all over again. Many QBs listed as good but zero or one listed as great. If any QB goes in the top 20, than that team deserves the terribleness they get. 2011, Cam > Geno, team still stinks. Jake, Blaine, Ponder all drafted too high, all have been bad (Ponder got lucky to ride the coattails of AP). Mean while, Dalton and Kaepernick fall to the second round and have way out performed the QBs ahead of them. Buf, NYJ, Cle, Jax. Do yourself a favor. Don’t pass on studs in the first round to take a risky QB. Get your team better and hope that in the second round you get a Dalton or a Colin with Barkley or EJ.

  30. Jim Kelly did not cost the bills 4 super bowls haters it was the team. I hope they take Nassib or Geno smith. What has Tom Brady done lately exactly nothing. Go Bills

  31. The smokescreen would be a lot more plausible if they would have said Geno Smith instead of Barkley.

    No one’s thinking of taking Barkley in the 1st because of his noodle arm. No one is buying this story for a second. And if it’s true they would be the dumbest franchise in the NFL to take Barkley top 10.

    I guess Barkley’s agent is busy handing envelopes full of money to Buffalo beat writers and sports radio guys.

  32. Nassib is the smokescreen, not Barkley. They’ve been high on Barkley all along, but the national media is too lazy to figure out who the Bills are really interested in so they just take the easy Syracuse connection and call it fact because it sounds like it makes sense. The bills have had their smokescreen created for them by the lazy media, so of course they haven’t dispelled any rumors of nassib interest. They won’t take nassib. Barkley is their guy, for better or for worse

  33. travishenryskid says: Apr 25, 2013 8:45 AM

    Belated interest? No. Just because people haven’t been paying attention doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. The Buffalo beat reporters have been on this for a long time. When someone from Buffalo speaks, does anyone listen?
    Nah, they’re too busy writing their 13th article of the day about Revis, kissing the butt of all things Giant and Patriot, predicting the downfall of the current Super Bowl champions, trying to convince us that The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person is anything beyond a petty, biased egomaniac, and not updating the arrest meter.

  34. And BTW, if they do pick Barkley, well, they deserve what we all know they’re going to get, yet another much-hyped USC Golden Boy bust.

  35. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Buffalo traded out of their spot at #8 and ended this talk of taking a QB so early.

  36. Look at the Bills draft record. Aaron Maybin over Brian Oracpo and Clay Mathews. Nuff said. Missed Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick. Now they need a qb, and this draft has none. There might be a good one late who developers like Tony Romo, but no Luck or RG3 here.


    yep becuase no one else that drafted before the Bills missed on Orakpo or Mathews either…also 32 other teams passed on Dalton and CK as well.

  37. Screw USC, I would take that 1 year wonder over Barkley. I am Geno Smith or EJ Manuel all the way. At least they could still develeop into something. Barkley hit his ceiling his junior year. Whatever they do they will not take Nassib. EJ Manuel in the late 1st round. Get a 1st rounder nexct year or 2nd round this year for movign back.

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