The Buffalo Bills announced they’ll be adding a veteran presence into their relatively young quarterback stable for the 2015 season by executing a trade with the Minnesota Vikings. In the second deal in consecutive days worked out by general manager Tim Murray, excuse me Doug Whaley, Buffalo will be receiving 10-year veteran Matt Cassel and an undisclosed draft choice in exchange for two undisclosed draft choices. I’ve broken it down for you below.
You can’t grade out how this trade is panning out until we find out what draft choices are being exchanged. Realistically, you can’t figure it out until we realize Cassel’s worth in Buffalo and who each team takes with exchanged draft choices. If I had to guess, being that Buffalo is limping into the draft with only six draft choices (no first or fourth round selection, two fifth round selections), each team swapped their original 2015 fifth-round picks and Buffalo also gave up a pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
So what does this mean for the Bills moving forward? Really not a whole lot. Cassel has 71 career starts in the NFL but hasn’t started more than ten games in a season since 2010 when he was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Since then he’s sparingly started games for the Chiefs and Vikings, throwing for 30 touchdowns and 34 interceptions with a completion percentage of 58.9%.
Cassel being a Bill is nothing to get excited about but isn’t a horrible risk to take (depending on what draft picks were exchanged). As has been covered much this offseason, we’re not exactly sure where management is in terms of trust in E.J. Manuel. If Cassel can go into training camp, at 33 years of age, and out performs Manuel, there’s a sure bet that the former Florida State Seminole isn’t around next year. That’s a topic to be discussed at a later time, and only if it deems necessary.
Looking ahead to the draft, I don’t think this takes them out of contention of drafting a quarterback this season. As stated before, Cassel is an under-performing 33 year old and nobody knows what the future hold for Manuel. Drafting, for example, Sean Mannion or Brandon Bridge (both very hot names around the Bills’ camp) in the later rounds is still a viable situation.
While this trade could work out this year or even the next couple seasons, there’s no doubt that it’s not a long-term answer for head coach Rex Ryan’s team.