When it comes to finding stable, long-term solutions at starting quarterback in recent years, few teams can rival the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals. Both have had their moments of brilliance with veterans (Kurt Warner for Arizona and Brett Favre with the Vikings), but neither has found THE guy who will man the position for the next decade.
However, both franchises can proudly say this: They are not the Buffalo Bills.
Reports over the weekend indicate the Bills have signed Kevin Kolb. He will join Tarvaris Jackson on the Bills’ roster as the presumed candidates, at least for now, to lock down the starting job in 2013.
If you are scoring at home, that’s a failed Cardinals QB battling a failed Vikings QB for all the glory in Buffalo. Has there ever been a more apt time to dig out the adage, “If you have two starting quarterbacks, you really have none.”
Jackson has made 34 career starts, going a perfectly average 17-17. His last year as a part-time starter in Minnesota was 2008, when the Vikings made the playoffs in spite of a shaky QB situation. In 2009, Brett Favre ran the same offense with enough precision to almost take the team to the Super Bowl. Jackson started 14 games for Seattle in 2011. A year later, Russell Wilson took over and made the Seahawks a juggernaut.
Kolb’s numbers are eerily similar. He has 21 starts over four seasons with the Eagles and Cardinals, going 9-12. His career QB rating is 78.9, while Jackson’s is 77.7. Both marks would have ranked in the low to mid-20s among NFL passers in 2012. Both have had a hard time staying on the field due to both injuries and spotty play.
The starter jettisoned by Buffalo, Ryan Fitzpatrick, certainly was expendable. That said, he started 31 games over the past two years and was at least as effective and more durable than either of the gentlemen currently in the mix for the Bills.
Buffalo picks No. 8 overall in the upcoming draft. Most experts expect the Bills to take a quarterback at that spot. If they do not, or if the young man needs a year of seasoning and learning, this could be a very interesting year in Buffalo.