Buffalo Bills: Preseason Schedule, TJ Yates, DeShone Kizer and More

Sep 11, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Buffalo Bills running LeSean McCoy (25) carries the ball as Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle (32) tackles at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Buffalo Bills running LeSean McCoy (25) carries the ball as Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle (32) tackles at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /
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buffalo bills lesean mccoy preseason schedule tj yates
Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates (6) in the pocket during game against the New York Jets at NRG Stadium. Houston won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buffalo Bills announced on Monday that they have signed TJ Yates to a contract, likely making him the team’s backup QB.

When the Buffalo Bills‘ offseason began, the team’s quarterback situation was a total mess and many were thinking they would end up naming Cardale Jones the starter for Week 1 — or draft a top-tier quarterback.

Now a couple of weeks away from the draft, the Buffalo Bills not only brought back Tyrod Taylor, but now have a backup quarterback that will likely put Cardale Jones at the No. 3 spot. Not exactly what a lot of people were thinking a couple of months ago.

The Bills signed TJ Yates on Monday just days after hosting him to a free agent visit. The six-year quarterback has made a name for himself as a backup and in my opinion, is the second smartest quarterback decision this team has made in a very long time — with the exception of Tyrod Taylor, which I think is the No. 1 smartest.

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He spent his first three years with the Houston Texans, where he played in 13 games and totaled 1,100 yards, 3 TD and 6 INT. He was thrust into a starting role his rookie season when then-starter Matt Leinart broke his collarbone. He led the Texans to their first-ever playoff victory and became the fifth rookie quarterback to win a playoff game — at that time.

His time in Houston is important because it was while Rick Dennison was the offensive coordinator. The two will reunite in Buffalo to help Tyrod Taylor improve his passing game. It’s a smart move because couple that with Taylor’s ability to move in the pocket and run, oh boy.

"“[Bills] coordinator Rick Dennison was my offensive coordinator for my first three years in Houston under Gary Kubiak,” T.J. Yates said Monday, according to a transcript distributed by the team. “I’ve been keeping up with Rico quite a bit this offseason and being comfortable with him, comfortable with his offense I ran for so long, it’s definitely a good thing for me and hopefully for the team.”"

In 2014, he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons, where he barely saw any playing time behind Matt Ryan. He was released after one year and would return to the Texans for the 2015 season. He played in 4 games, going 28/57, 370 yards, 3 TD and 1 INT.

Last season, he was with the Miami Dolphins, but only saw ONE snap all season long — in their Wild Card loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I really like this signing. It not only brings a new perspective to the passing game, but will also give the Buffalo Bills a security blanket if Tyrod Taylor were to go down with an injury. It’s the worst case scenario, but Yates has proven to be a game-manager when called upon and can find a way to win.

"“It all starts with the ground game and establishing the ground game,” Yates said. “A lot of the offense plays off of that. I think it’s going to be a great fit for us here with the running game and the running backs that we have because everything works off of that. The type of outside of the pocket stuff that is in this offense, I think, will be tremendous for Tyrod in how athletic he is and how versatile he is. [It’s a] very explosive offense, and we have a lot of explosive players on this offense so I think it’s going to be a great fit.”"

I still believe Cardale Jones is several years away from being ready to compete at an NFL level. Signing Yates gives Jones time to develop more, which will be better for him in the long run. Then again, the team could decide to part ways with him before that happens.

That brings me to my next point, should the Buffalo Bills still think about drafting a quarterback this year? Even if it’s not a day-one quarterback, there are several day-two or day-three that we can look at, but is it worth it?