Buffalo Bills: Bringing Matt Cassel back was the right decision


The Buffalo Bills make the smart move by re-signing Matt Cassel

A lot of people were mildly shocked to see the Buffalo Bills bring Matt Cassel back in. This surprise was further compounded by Rex Ryan’s decision to make him number two on the quarterback depth chart.

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However, while I believe EJ Manuel deserved to be the backup to Tyrod Taylor, I agree with the move to re-sign Cassel. In fact, this represents a smart decision.

Ryan stated all along that the Bills would pick the best 53 players for their roster. He also said this would likely mean carrying three quarterbacks into the regular season.

Therefore, when Cassel was cut, I’ll admit that I was slightly confused. Why give a guy more than half of the first team reps in training camp, and then release him – had he really been that bad?

Don’t get me wrong, I understood it from a financial standpoint. The 33-year old was in line to make $4.15 million during 2015.

This money could be put to better use trying to agree a deal with Marcell Dareus. On top of that, over $4 million is a lot to pay someone to sit on the bench.

However, I was slightly concerned about the Bills going into the new campaign with two relatively unproven commodities at quarterback. While Taylor and Manuel had outperformed Cassel during the preseason, surely the team needed some veteran experience at the position?

Aug 29, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Matt Cassel (16) during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Therefore, when the Bills announced they had re-signed the 2010 Pro Bowler, all was right in the world again. Although the terms of the new one-year deal haven’t been released, various reports indicate it will be for a much more cap-friendly $900,000.

Ryan explained his reason for bringing Cassel back to the media, including Sal Capaccio of WGR 550: “As I have said from day one we like all three of the guys and we never want to lose anybody obviously. So that is why we made the decision we did.”

The Bills head coach went on to discuss the unique relationship between his three quarterbacks: “Those three guys, I mean they work in concert with each other.

“That is important, I think, in all those types of things. They push each other, yet they are there for each other, they watch tape together.”

Understandably, Manuel must be frustrated by this recent turn of events. Just two days ago, he was a couple of bad Taylor performances away from being the Bills starting quarterback.

Now though, the 2013 first round draft pick has been relegated to third string. You could hardly blame him for wondering if the writing is on the wall for his tenure in Western New York.

I mean, what more can Manuel do at this point? He made the most of an undesirable position during training camp, and was still arguably the Bills best quarterback during preseason.

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman did his best to justify the depth chart moves. As he told buffalobills.com: ” Matt would probably be the best suited at this moment to be our backup quarterback, but I have a lot of confidence in EJ as well.

“Two different styles of players at the position, but I think to function as a backup it’ll probably be Matt right now. We’ll just see where that goes down the road, but we feel very good about Matt going in at any point in time.”

Overall, for my money, bringing Cassel back was the right call. Making him the number two quarterback? Not so much.

Next: Predicting the Buffalo Bills 2015 season

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