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New Bills GM open to starting EJ Manuel in Week 1

New Bills GM Doug Whaley said he is open to starting rookie EJ Manuel in Week 1. (Rick Stewart/Getty Images) New Bills GM Doug Whaley said he is open to starting rookie EJ Manuel in Week 1. (Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

New Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley has a lot to do just a couple of days into his new job.

First on the list is finding a starting quarterback after the team released Ryan Fitzpatrick in March.  The team drafted quarterback EJ Manuel with the 16th pick of the first round of last month's draft and he is expected to compete for the starting job.

The team already has veterans Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson on the roster, both acquired in the offseason. The Bills finished 6-10 last season and have not made the playoffs since 1999.

Whaley said he is open to the possibility of Manuel starting the Week 1 contest against the New England Patriots.

“Time will tell,” Whaley said, via NFL.com . ”He does have the work ethic and the leadership qualities that he’ll have a chance. But we believe competition brings out the best in everybody. Between him, Kevin Kolb, Tarvaris Jackson, even Jeff Tuel, we’re excited to see who comes out on top of that position battle.”

Whaley said he was part of the decision to draft Manuel.

"We have a philosophy that the information makes the decision," Whaley added. "We think that we did enough due diligence and the information pointed us all to this point that EJ would be the guy we feel will take the Buffalo Bills into the future." GALLERY: Manuel and other rookies at NFL minicamps

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