Cassel To Join Buffalo Bills (As A Backup, Hopefully)

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We knew by shear numbers that the Bills would have to add at least one quarterback to their roster this offseason. We thought they were close to doing so when Josh McCown visited and talked to the team, but he decided on Cleveland—personally I think he helped us dodge a bullet. So now, the Bills have decided to go a different direction. It’s been reported that they have traded with the Minnesota Vikings for signal caller Matt Cassel, giving up two draft picks and receiving another in return. It’s speculated that the Bills gave up a 5th and 7th round pick and got back a 6th. The deal cannot become official until Tuesday, when the new NFL season officially begins.

To me, frankly, the deal is low risk and low reward. They didn’t give up anything worth complaining about, and didn’t receive anything jaw dropping in return. Cassel was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2010, but has basically underwhelmed everywhere else he has gone. Cassel went 1-2 last year in three starts with the Vikings. He threw three touchdowns and four interceptions in those three games.

My hope is that we just received a veteran back up quarterback. I say that because I genuinely hope he isn’t the starting quarterback come week one—not so much because I don’t want him, but more because I want to see EJ Manuel flourish. If he is named the starter over Manuel, that will likely be the day to give up on Manuel. To be fair, my bias is towards Manuel—I think he still has real potential to be a solid starting quarterback—but I don’t think it’s unfair to hope that Cassel isn’t “the answer.” Cassel is a mediocre NFL quarterback.

However, if he is “the answer” the Bills may still l be fine. Luckily, it seems all they need is mediocre. This team is built for the playoffs. With even mediocre play out of the quarterback position, it isn’t crazy to consider them serious contenders. Whoever is under center won’t have the weight of the team on their back. Buffalo’s defense is one of the best in the league, and they have explosive offensive weapons. Make a few good throws, take care of the ball and the Bills will be just fine.

In this weak free agent quarterback class and the draft (behind Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota) being a total gamble, yes, maybe Cassel is the cream of the crop. He likely is the least of all the evils. But for now on the Buffalo Bills roster, he’s a backup quarterback to Manuel—at least I hope.