Friday, May 11, 2012
Ryan Fitzpatrick has no reason to worry
By James Walker
The Buffalo Bills signed quarterback Vince Young to a one-year contract on Friday. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports the deal is worth $2 million with an extra $1 million in incentives.
The natural inclination is to assume Young, a former first-round pick, could pose a threat to the job security of Bills starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a former seventh-round pick. But that is not the case.
Fitzpatrick has no reason to worry. Buffalo is his team. The Bills signed him to a $59 million extension last year, and in many ways Buffalo's offense has been geared specifically to Fitzpatrick's strengths. Young is insurance in the event of injury.
A bigger question, is how much does Young have left in the tank? Last season, Young looked like a quarterback who no longer had much to offer. He started three games in relief last season with the Philadelphia Eagles and threw for 866 yards, four touchdowns and nine interceptions. He had a career-low 60.8 passer rating.
Young is only 28. He's still one of the most athletic quarterbacks out there. Maybe he can help Buffalo's Wildcat package in ways Brad Smith couldn't. Maybe Young can run trick plays. Maybe Young will start a couple of games if Fitzpatrick gets hurt.
Either way, it's clear Buffalo is doing all it can to strengthen its weaknesses. The Bills couldn't rush the passer last season, so they signed defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. The Bills needed a cornerback and left tackle, and drafted Stephon Gilmore and Cordy Glenn, respectively, in the first two rounds. Young adds depth at quarterback.
Buffalo's front office is covering all its bases. As long as Young doesn't make a "Dream Team" reference in Buffalo this season, the Bills have a chance to surprise people.