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Monday, September 27, 2010
Edwards from starter to gone in a week

By Tim Graham

Eight days ago, Trent Edwards was good enough to be the Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback.

Edwards
Edwards
Twenty-four hours ago, he was good enough to be their No. 2 quarterback.

Now he's unemployed.

A week after they demoted Edwards and gave the job to Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills released Edwards, the player his teammates voted a captain and the quarterback head coach Chan Gailey deemed his best after six months of evaluation that included scores of practices, countless meetings and four preseason games.

Along the way, Gailey deprived his remaining quarterback of precious reps.

Unless there's something sinister going on with Edwards behind the scenes, this makes absolutely no sense and comes off as a bush-league maneuver.

I get that Bills fans have tired of Edwards and most probably are applauding the transaction.

But the decision reflects poorly on the organization. Again, unless there's more to the story, it looks like either general manager Buddy Nix and Gailey -- the men dispirited Bills fans are desperate to believe in -- thoroughly bungled the most important position on the field, or impetuous owner Ralph Wilson ordered them to dump an experienced NFL quarterback.

All of it is illogical on so many levels.

There has been no news of an arrest, so we can strike that outlandish possibility. Edwards said all the right things last Wednesday when reporters asked him about the switch. Edwards didn't badmouth the team. He handled the move with class.

Look around the league and you'll find players being kept around despite dreadful behavior. Braylon Edwards, Albert Haynesworth, Phillip Merling. Trent Edwards wasn't going to be a distraction.

Had there been any problems with Edwards, the Bills wouldn't have deactivated third-string quarterback Brian Brohm for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. Had the Bills needed a reliever for Fitzpatrick, Edwards would have taken the field.

Now he's not good enough to be on the roster?

At best, this was a cost-cutting move. Edwards hit an escalator in his contract that would have paid him a base salary of $1.65 million. That's not obscene for a backup quarterback. Fitzpatrick's base salary this year is about $2.36 million.

What a waste of time.