First and foremost, the Bills need to address the quarterback position. That is even more clear after trading Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland.
Now that he is gone, let’s assume the Bills go shopping for a veteran QB in free agency as a stop-gap for whichever quarterback they take in the draft.
1) Sam Bradford
Bradford would be a fantastic addition for the Bills. He’ a former top pick in the NFL Draft and his game management skill would complement LeSean McCoy’s game-breaking ability brilliantly.
The biggest concern with Bradford is his health. The former number one overall pick has only started all 16 games in a season twice and hasn’t since 2012. Bradford is coming off of a recurring knee injury from Week 2 in 2017 that forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
Due to this injury concern, I would expect Bradford to receive low guaranteed money and mostly incentive-based contracts. Ones that will pay him the big money if he can stay on the field and perform like a top pick should.
He’s a four-time 3,500+ yard passer, including a 3,877-yard 2016 season with a record-setting 71.6 percent completion percentage. He was able to protect the football and move the ball down the field with 20 touchdown passes and just five interceptions.
That’s exactly what the Bills need. A passer who is not afraid to go through his progressions and throw it to the check-down receiver as opposed to forcing throws for incompletions, or worse, holding onto the football for a sack— which is something Taylor did often.
Bridgewater would be an interesting pickup in free agency. At 25-years-old he is still young enough to be considered a long-term solution for the Bills. But much like Bradford, Bridgewater is coming off a gruesome knee injury that almost cost him his leg and essentially forced him out of football for two years.
The 2014 first-rounder has two attempted passes since 2015— one of which was picked off. But he is still highly regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in this strong free agent class due to his production in college and his first two years in Minnesota.
Bridgewater made the Pro Bowl for the 2015 season after he started all 16 games and threw for 3,231 yards and 14 passing touchdowns, with another three on the ground. If he can get back to being this type of quarterback he would surely be an upgrade from Tyrod Taylor and a more pro-ready option than any players in the draft.
Reports indicate Bridgewater is seeking a short-term, bonus incentive deal in an attempt to rebuild his value. If the Bills don’t want to bundle their picks to move into the top 10 of the draft, then Bridgewater is a low-risk-high-reward free agent option.