The Smart Move for the Buffalo Bills: Trade J.P. Losman

Timothy MinneciCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2008

The biggest offseason question for the Buffalo Bills is this:

What is the future of JP Losman with the Buffalo Bills’ franchise?

Arguably one of the most controversial draft picks in team history, the 2004 first-round selection of then GM Tom Donahoe has fallen out of favor in Buffalo.  With Trent Edwards positioned to lead the team in 2008, Losman's agent has already expressed his client's preference to be moved rather than sit on the bench next season. 

Plenty can be debated as to whether Losman received a fair shot to succeed in Buffalo—he's dealt with numerous coach, front office, and offensive philosophy changes, a constantly shuffled offensive line, an inconsistent receiving corps, and a pedestrian running game for most of his career. 

Still, when Losman had his chances, for every deep pass completed to Lee Evans for a touchdown, he seemed to miss woefully on the quick slants and outs.

One major reason why the Bills should be looking to move Losman is value. 

With one year left on his contract, Losman has stated, again through his agent, that he is willing to play out the rest of his deal with Buffalo in order to become a free agent following the 2008 season. 

This leaves the Bills in a bind. 

If Losman were forced to step in and played well, his market value would rise, making it harder to resign him.  If he sits and leaves, they've repeated San Diego's mistake with Michael Turner.

Before the 2007 draft, San Diego was only willing to part with the restricted free agent and career backup running back for a first- and third-round pick.  As expected, most teams inquiring balked at such a steep price, but even after tendering Turner with a one-year deal, the Chargers could have shipped him out for a second-rounder and a late pick. 

Instead, they held on to Turner, and now he's a member of the Atlanta Falcons, leaving San Diego with no compensation.

For the Bills to move Losman, they have to be willing to concede that no Rick Mirer-like Seattle to Chicago swindle is going to happen.  At best, Losman is worth a third-round pick to a team with a void of young talent at quarterback.  There are a few teams that fit that description.

The Bears, Dolphins, Falcons and Ravens are the most obvious, while teams like Minnesota, Carolina and Kansas City each have issues at the position that make Losman a viable option.

If the right offer came along, the smart move for the Buffalo Bills is pulling the trigger and ending the Losman era in Buffalo.