Bills free-agent targets: Quarterbacks

Jacoby Brissett and former Bill Tyrod Taylor are among sensible options.
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Because Matt Barkley likely will be lost to free agency, the Buffalo Bills will be looking to add another quarterback this offseason.

The only real question is how they will handle it, which will have an awful lot to do with how they evaluate Jake Fromm.

Fromm was not only a rookie in 2020, but the Bills' designated quarantine quarterback as the coronavirus pandemic raged.

It meant he couldn't really practice with the team or condition with the team or attend meetings with the team but had to have himself ready to play at a moment's notice.

"You’re kind of distanced from everybody else," Fromm told the Atlanta Journal Constitution last month. "And you’re away from home. And when we’re out of the building we’re supposed to go home and sit inside and wait until the next day to come back to football.

"It’s tough building relationships and not being with people, that’s kind of what I miss. For me, I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer and the [Bible]. The one thing keeping me sane is my faith.”

As it turned out, there were no quarterback emergencies for the Bills as starter Josh Allen and backup Matt Barkley remained healthy throughout.

That was the good news.

The bad is that it's difficult to know what they truly have in Fromm heading into 2021, which will affect how they attack free agency and the draft.

If they believe they can trust Fromm to be the backup, they could spare themselves the expense of signing a veteran in a year when they have almost no salary cap flexibility.

But because there was no way Fromm could have proved much one way or another in his first season, the Bills might not want to take any chances with the backup quarterback spot, which is widely considered the second most important position in sports.

So there's a good chance they fill the void in free agency, with Fromm remaining the No. 3.

If that's the case, here are some potential targets:

Tyrod Taylor might be the most logical. After all, he used to play for them and went 8-6 in 14 starts in 2017, coach Sean McDermott's first season.

Taylor has always taken care of the ball as a passer, with a lifetime 1.4% interception rate. His 1.0% in 2017 was the best in the NFL.

He's a dual threat who averaged 5.1 yards on 84 rushing attempts in 2017, the last time he started more than three games.

The Bills, of course, moved on the next year by drafting Allen. But Taylor could be the best choice to come back and give them hope should something happen to Allen.

Andy Dalton, another accomplished starter, also is poised to hit the market.

Dalton has started 146 career games, including four in the playoffs, going 74-70-2. He accepted a backup job with the Dallas Cowboys last season, but was thrust into a starting role when Dak Prescott went down early.

Still, his days as a fulltime starter appear over. Hard to say what the market will be for him.

Maybe Jacoby Brissett should be considered as well. He would also bring starting experience, most recently going 7-8 for the Indianapolis Colts in 2019.

A third-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2016, Brissett has 31 career touchdown passes against just 13 interceptions.

All of this will come down to how much general manager Brandon Beane and the Bills are willing to spend, which will be determined by how they feel about Fromm

To be continued.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro.