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|EJ Manuel had an up-and-down rookie season, but not every quarterback is going to have a rookie season like Robert Griffith III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson did in 2012. While it's true that rookie quarterbacks are now more equipped to enter the league and hit the ground running, it's still a tremendously difficult transition to make, and it would be unwise to call a rookie quarterback a “bust” after one season in the league. Manuel threw for 1,972 yards with 11 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He also ran for 186 yards and two scores. He compiled those statistics in only 10 games, as he was forced to miss six games with multiple knee injuries. Manuel was considered a raw prospect coming out of Florida State, so one could look at his completion percentage of 58.8% as a positive, and hope to see some improvement in his sophomore campaign. Reports from Buffalo's OTAs have not been all that positive, though. Manuel is said to be struggling with accuracy, sailing too many passes over the heads of his wide receivers. He is athletic enough to make plays with his legs, but he doesn't always look to run when the opportunity presents itself. The Bills made a bold move to trade up in this year's NFL draft to acquire wide receiver Sammy Watkins in order to surround their young franchise quarterback with weapons. Their high-tempo offense will make Manuel a potential high upside late-round pick as a backup quarterback for your fantasy team if he can show some improvement. His three knee injuries from last season (requiring an offseason knee scope) and the decision to have him wear a knee brace this season could limit any advantage one would expect to gain from a “running” quarterback. Keep an eye on Manuel this preseason and see if he looks to be moving around well, because there is some potential for a major leap in production from his rookie season.
|Bills sign QB Kyle Orton|
Orton not ready to retire just yet
By: Mike Krueger | Fri Aug 29, 11:00 pm
|The Buffalo Bills have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent quarterback Kyle Orton, a source told ESPN.com.
Buffalo was in search of a veteran backup behind struggling starting quarterback EJ Manuel. Earlier this week the Bills signed Jordan Palmer and promptly released him, which paved the way for Orton. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The Cowboys released the veteran quarterback in July and while Orton had kicked around the possibility of retirement but in Buffalo he has more than a punchers chance of playing given the uneven play of Manuel this preseason. Jeff Tuel remains on the roster but if a change is made from Manuel during the year it's likely Orton that will get call.