3 Quarterbacks Buffalo Bills Must Target in 2013 to Replace Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jamal Collier@@JCollierDAnalyst IIINovember 16, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 11: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills reacts after fumbling the football in the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s contract with the Buffalo Bills looks a lot less exciting this year than it did when the Bills committed to shelling out $24 million guaranteed in October 2011.

He’s slated to be the starter next season, but he may need to be replaced sooner than later if his turnover troubles continue to persist. Buffalo should exhaust all avenues to address the position, including free agency, trade and the NFL draft.

Matt Moore is barely younger (28) than Fitzpatrick (who turns 30 this month), but he had a nice season for the Miami Dolphins last year. In 13 games, Moore threw only four interceptions and went 210-of-347 passing (60.5 completion percentage) for 2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He threw at least one touchdown during each of the Dolphins' last seven games.

By comparison, Fitzpatrick’s stat line following the Thursday Night Football game is as follows: 202-of-323 (62.5 percent) for 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The numbers are comparable, but the expected contracts are not; Moore should be cheaper.

Matt Flynn hasn’t been able to get on the field as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, but he has been prolific in limited regular season action during his career. He has a nearly 2-to1 career TD-to-INT ratio (nine TDs, five picks). His big-time performance against the Detroit Lions last year left the former Green Bay Packers passer with a final stat line of 480 passing yards, six touchdowns and a pick.

He turned that one-game show into a $26 million contract with Seattle. It has two years remaining after this season, giving the Bills enough time to evaluate him and extend him or let him walk when his contract is about to expire.

If the Bills want to get younger still at the quarterback position—Flynn is 27—then they may elect to go after another guy named Matt in the NFL draft: USC’s Matt Barkley.

At 4-6, Buffalo is unlikely to be in a position to draft West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith at the top of the first round, but it could potentially secure Barkley either as a mid-first-round or early second-round pick.


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