Forget spending the next three months competing for the Bills’ starting quarterback job. EJ Manuel needs to perform well over the next three months to have any job at all.
That’s the word from Joe Buscaglia of WKBW in Buffalo, who reports that Manuel may be done in Buffalo at the end of training camp. Buscaglia reports that the Bills would cut Manuel if they don’t see “serious progress” this spring and summer.
It seems awfully unlikely that the Bills would cut Manuel just two years after spending a first-round draft pick on him. Manuel’s contract is fully guaranteed, meaning the Bills are going to pay him the $2.8 million they still owe him for the next two years whether he’s on the team or not. In fact, his cap hit for 2015 would actually increase if the Bills cut him this year. And the Bills, who made a lot of expensive moves this offseason, only have about $7 million in cap space left.
For the Bills to cut Manuel, they’d have to conclude not only that he’s not good enough to beat out Matt Cassel to be the starter, but also that he’s not good enough to beat out Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel to be the backups. And they’d have to conclude that Manuel is so bad that they’d rather pay him not to be on the roster at all than pay him to stand on the sideline holding a clipboard. If there’s really a chance of that, Manuel must look even worse behind closed doors than he looks on the field.