I thought this would be the perfect time to dust off the series that I started back in July, only to give up on it a month later. Now, for this specific topic, I’m going to write two versions of it. This will be the reasons why the Bills WON’T draft Jimmy Clausen
, and in a day or so, I’ll have the top 5 reasons why the Bills WILL draft Clausen
. Got it? So without further ado, lets get right into the reasoning.
5) All about the Benjamins
Ah, yes. The old dollar, dollar, dollar billz, yo. Now, before you start emailing me about how salaries of NFL draft picks are dictated by draft order, just hear me out. The franchise quarterback is by far the most expensive position to pay out in the NFL. It’s also the one position that if you show enough promise in your first or second year as a starter, you’re going to get a BIG ass extension.
For instance, former first round pick Aaron Rodgers, only started seven NFL games and was awarded with a new contract that averaged 11 million dollars a year. You really think Ralph Wilson would pay that much for a quarterback?
I also believe that whenever a late round quarterback blossoms, he tends to not get his big extension until the end of his rookie contract. Tom Brady didn’t get his first big deal until 2005. Drew Brees didn’t get his first big pay day until he arrived in New Orleans.
As for the Bills, trust me, they have been adapting under a different NFL salary base for the last four years (since the CBA
was signed). If you were to look at the Bills signings over the last five years, the one position they didn’t give an enormous amount of money to is at quarterback. Drew Bledsoe
was the last QB that the Bills paid a large amount of money to and that was six years ago.
If that doesn’t convince you, lets go back to when the Bills decided to bench JP Losman for Trent Edwards. There was a lot of talk in league circles that the main reason for the benching (besides his erratic play and the owner having a man crush on Edwards) was because Losman was going to be due a new contract extension (Just search Losman on the page)
came off a pretty decent 3rd year with the Bills; passing for 19 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards. At the time, Matt Schaub
had just received his new deal with Texans for almost 50 million dollars and had only started two NFL games. So, there was a lot of talk entering the 2007 season that Losman
was looking for that type of deal (Losman’s
contract was up the following year).
Unfortunately for Losman, he lost his job (for the first time) to Edwards after getting injured in week three against the Patriots. Chris Mortenson reported that Ralph Wilson had input in the benching. On the surface, the benching was more about Edwards play, but I still can’t put it past Wilson that the possible contract extension for Losman was in the back of his mind.
In the end, never underestimate the dollar when it comes to the Bills. By finding a franchise quarterback, you’re going to eventually pay him 10 million a year.
4) Oh the memories
JP Losman and Rob Johnson. Those quarterbacks have cost the Bills first round draft picks, money, time and a lot of frustration from the Buffalo fan base. You can probably include Drew Bledsoe in that equation, as he cost the Bills a first rounder.
Comparing Losman to Johnson are equivalent to describing the Flyers vs Senators, no goal vs wide right, Cowboys vs Patriots Monday Night Football games, the dentist vs the doctor, the Buffalo slug jersey vs the Buffalo goat jersey. The metaphors never stop when describing how badly Losman and Johnson performed for the Bills.
I always would get a big kick out of fans who think that the Bills should avoid drafting an offensive tackle because of the Mike Williams experiment. However, you can’t ignore the fact that the Bills have wasted three first round picks on the quarterback position in the last 12 years. Hell, at least Ruben Brown and Eric Wood were nice first round draft picks.
Now, we can’t just sit here and criticize the Bills for their first round blunders. Since Jim Kelly retired in 1997, 33 Quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round, and over half of them have been busts.
Jim Druckenmiller,Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Patrick Ramsey, Kyle Boller, Brady Quinn, Rex Grossman, JaMarcus Russell, Byron Leftwich, Daunte Culpepper, Jason Campbell, JP Losman, Mike Vick.
Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler.
OK or still evaluating
Mark Sanchez, Chad Pennington, Josh Freeman, Vince Young, Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford, Alex Smith, Matt Leinart.
Drafting a quarterback in the first round can either set-up your franchise for the next 10 years or set the franchise back for the next five. The Bills might be scared to pull the trigger on selecting a quarterback so early in the draft because of their previous failures.
3) We love our Trent
Ugh, the thought of having Trent Edwards starting at quarterback next year makes me want to gargle Drano. Unfortunately, this had to be the worst free agent quarterback class ever. Yes, I wouldn’t have minded if the Bills added Jake Delhomme or Chad Pennington as a bridge-gap to a younger quarterback, but the Bills didn’t see it that way.
Besides the poor free agent pool, there are a number of experts out there that think this year’s draft class for quarterbacks are amongst the weakest in years.
As for Jimmy Clausen, there are a number of things about him that may scare off the Bills. For one, he’s never won a big game in college (Haha, kind of like the Bills). Two, he’s played at a school that may be the biggest over hyped entity in all of sports. Hell, people were anointing Charlie Weiss as the savior after one year. Three, there are questions about Clausen’s attitude and leadership skills. Lastly, the Bills may just feel that Clausen isn’t a good enough quarterback for the future.
Back to Edwards for a second, lets not forget that Ralph Wilson’s finger prints were are all over the draft selection of Captain Check down. Wilson may still think that Edwards just needs a good offensive minded coach (Chan Gailey) to help him steer his career back on track.
With this year’s draft not being deep at quarterback, the Bills may feel that giving Edwards another shot and waiting for next year’s draft class (which is suppose to have 4-5 QB’s in the first round) would be more beneficial in the long term rebuilding process for the franchise.
2) If a man can’t stand, he can’t play quarterback
Demetrius Bell is your starting left tackle. Need I say more? I’ve been a disciple when it comes to talking about the importance of having a good left tackle in the NFL. Bill Parcells
said it best (Actually, Drew Rosenhaus
stated this), the left tackle position is the most important spot on a football team. That’s why he selected Jake Long with the first pick in 2008 NFL Draft.
If Demetrius Bell is starting at left tackle, it’s not going to matter if it’s Jimmy Clausen or Jim Kelly sitting back there. You have to protect the the quarterback’s blindside, because if you don’t, the quarterback is going to go down and he’s going to go down hard.
This year’s draft is extremely deep at tackle in the first round. It would behove the Bills to finally get it right when it comes to their tackle situation. The Bills offesnive
line hasn’t been able to recover since trading Jason Peters.
By drafting a left tackle, it will set up the left side of the offensive line for at least the next 10 years. It will also mean that the Bills won’t have to worry about addressing the offensive line for another decade. I mean, how many times have we gone into the offseason and stated that the Bills needed to address the line? Too many for my taste.
Now, if the Bills don’t want to invest another first round pick in an offensive lineman, like they did with Eric Wood last year, then they could decide to find the best OLB
or defensive end available.
Besides not having a legit nose tackle, another issue the Bills are going to have with the front seven is finding a pass rusher. If Aaron Schobel retires, Chris Kelsay becomes the sack leader for the Bills with an eyeopening 5.5 sacks (Insert sarcasm). Lets not forget, Kelsay is going to learn a new position. All I’m saying is that the roster has other pressing needs to deal with than just the quarterback position.
1) Gold can be found in those there hills (Buddy Nix southern drawl)
Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Drew Brees, Joe Montana and Tony Romo were either late round picks or players that weren’t even drafted. NFL history shows that you can find quarterbacks late in the draft and develop them into franchise players. On the other hand, franchise left tackles seem to be found more exclusively in the first round rather than later in the draft.
Plus, if the Bills draft someone like Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow, they aren’t exactly going to be married to them. If someone like McCoy struggles within a year or two, the Bills can decide to ditch him quicker than if they had invested a first round pick at QB. I remember how the Bills had to pass on guys like Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Leinart because they had invested a first round pick in Losman.
Now, I know some people will say that the Bills need some sort of marketing tool to make the fans feel good about their team. However, some people feel that Tim Tebow is the type of player that will make you want to cheer for the team more so than ever (So says the Bulldog on WGR). So if that’s the case, then I’m sure the Bills marketing team are thinking the same thing (Dumb minds think alike).
Now, the Bills don’t exactly have a stellar draft history over the last ten years, so finding a quarterback in the later rounds may prove to be difficult. However, if Buddy Nix is suppose to be this big time draft evaluator, then it’s not too much to ask him to find a diamond in the rough. Especially when history shows it can been done in the NFL.