It’s not just about being a starting quarterback or not. Matt Cassel might not even be on the Buffalo Bills roster by the time the 2015 NFL season begins.
Cassel played only three games for the Vikings last season and was traded to the Bills from Minnesota, hoping to compete with EJ Manuel for the starting job. But his ability this offseason and the financial factors that come into play have a shot at keeping him out of a job, or at least playing for someone else, by the time the final roster cuts are made.
Cassel makes $4.15 million in base salary, but that isn’t guaranteed, so the Bills have the luxury of cutting him and not losing anything. EJ Manuel, better or not, is still on his rookie deal, and the $2.8 million he’s owed over the next two years are coming to him regardless of whether he stays on the team or not.
And there’s also a matter of ability. Cassel has looked bad in practice, while Manuel, who was suggested as doing terribly last month, has been picking up the pace and changing opinions. Furthermore, Rex Ryan is trying to give Tyrod Taylor opportunities to show he’s starting material. In a team that might run the ball at every given opportunity, does it really matter?
The Bills have a team that outside the quarterback position have the talent to win now. It might be too late to change that, but maybe earlier in the offseason certain moves should have been made to improve the quality of that position. Now, it’s a battle between three players most teams don’t actually want, which might mean another disappointing season for the Bills.