Buffalo Bills: Signing AJ McCarron was the smart choice in this market

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills had options in free agency when it came to quarterbacks, but Brandon Beane made the smart and affordable move.

The Buffalo Bills had the opportunity to go after any of the free agent quarterbacks this offseason, with Kirk Cousins being the only one who may have been out of the conversation.

The team ended up with AJ McCarron, who comes in with some experience in the league but not much on the field. As the roster stands right now, he would open the year in a competition with Nathan Peterman, but that will change at the end of April.

The Bills are expected to be in the market for a top quarterback, making the McCarron signing that much smarter.

The Bills got McCarron on a two-year, $10 million deal. Compare that to the $10 million for one year given to Josh McCown, $20 million for one year given to Sam Bradford and $36 million for two years given to Case Keenum and the Bills look like bargain shoppers.

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To be clear, those figures are what the player could earn, not the guaranteed amounts. Only Kirk Cousins has the luxury of knowing the exact amount he will make in his deal.

Brandon Beane never panicked and instead stuck to his plan of getting a veteran in the quarterback room ahead of the draft. Some fans are content with McCarron and Peterman duking it out for the starting job, which I don’t quite understand, but saving money in free agency allows the team to move up and take a quarterback high in the draft.

If the Bills somehow do move up and keep the No. 22 overall pick, that extra money will be extremely helpful.

The success of the McCarron deal depends on what happens during the draft, but right now it looks like a great move.

If McCarron comes in and does well in a starting role, then it’s a bargain deal. If he plays poorly and is the backup, that is what his contract figure dictates anyway.

Next: 2018 full first-round mock draft 2.0

The only way this offseason comes back to bite Beane and the Bills is if the team is unable to get a top quarterback, and there is severe regression on offense in 2018. But we can hold off on that talk for a few months.