By Paul Peck, Buffalo Sports Page

That quote from Bills General Manager Brandon Beane should be music to the ears of every fan who has spent the last few months as a draft expert.  The Bills top decision-maker knows what the team needs.  Actually, he knows what every team needs.

“You’ve got to have a franchise quarterback. That’s one of the main jobs of a GM is to find a franchise quarterback, it’s a quarterback league, I’ll say it every single time. You have to have one.”

Beane made that comment at Monday’s Bills Pre-Draft media gathering.  But while you may want to automatically assume that it means the Bills will definitely do whatever is needed to get a QB, you need to consider another Beane quote.  This came after he was asked if the draft will be a success if the Bills DON’T get a franchise quarterback.

“Yes. There’s a lot of good players in this draft and that was the big thing from moving from 21 to 12. The natural assumption, I get it, is [that] they’re moving up to get a quarterback.  No, we improved our draft position. That was a second-round value jump to go from 21 to 12. We’re excited about where that moves us on our draft board, the players that we see would be available there.”

Confused now?

In two quotes, Beane said exactly the opposite thing and did nothing to make any media member or fan think they know what the team is going to do.  Remember, that’s exactly what Beane wanted to do.

Did you think he was going to stand up there and tell you their plans?  Or tell you what you wanted to hear?  He knows the entire league will see these quotes.  He can’t tip his hand.

Beane’s said all along that the team needs to get a franchise quarterback.  I believe they will.  I believe that’s why every move they’ve made…going back to last year’s Draft trade with Kansas City… has been made with a franchise quarterback in mind.  The need is obvious.  But just because there’s a need doesn’t mean there’s a solution.

Mystery, Intrigue & Drama

That’s the mystery, intrigue and drama surrounding what the Bills will do in the first round.  I believe they will make every effort to go get the quarterback they have determined to be the best fit.  That may be one, two or all of the Big 4 QB’s.  But what is the price going to be to get one?  Yes, the Bills have more assets to deal than any other team. But that doesn’t mean you give them all away.  There’s always a proper price.  Just like when you buy a new car.  They all have a value.  Just because the Bills need one (or are desperate for one) doesn’t mean you agree to anything.

That’s why next Thursday’s first round will be so much fun.  Who will Cleveland take?  What will the Giants do?  Which QB do the Jets love?  Not knowing any of that means the Bills will have to be ready for all scenarios, and react to what happens.  Beane says that is already happening.

Trade Next Year’s #1?

Beane may not be, but I will be disappointed if the Bills don’t get a franchise quarterback next week.  They will never have this much ammunition to move up  It makes no sense to have it if you don’t use it to get the one position that generally comes from high in the draft, and the one position you flat-out don’t have.

What if the Bills want to, or need to, get into the top five to get their guy?  It would be realistic to think that they’ll be asked for next year’s #1 pick.  Do they do it?  Is it worth it?  If it’s for a guy you believe in, why not?  But again, there has to be a value.  Maybe that depends on which guy.

“I don’t know what quarterback will be there, I don’t know if we’re going up, going down. That’s really how it is as I sit there. I know everybody assumes we’re trading up. First of all, I said it before, even if I wanted to trade up right now, even if I said ‘I know the guy I want to get, and I need to get to this spot’, it takes a partner to do it and be willing to move out,” said Beane.

I don’t want them to trade next year’s #1.  But I’m fine if they do it.

Remember.  “You gotta have a franchise quarterback”




Paul Peck

Paul Peck is sports broadcaster with over 25 years experience in TV and Radio. He served as sports anchor, reporter, and producer at WIVB for 24 years. In that role, he covered all four Buffalo Bills Super Bowls, the Buffalo Sabres in the Stanley Cup Finals, the NCAA Basketball Tournament and the Daytona 500. He has been the Voice of the UB Bulls Football for 17 seasons, in addition to host of Bulls Athletics TV & Radio shows. Peck also served as the sideline reporter for the Buffalo Bills Football Network, host of the bowling show "Beat The Champ" and announces college basketball for ESPN 3 and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. He has also been the Master of Ceremonies for the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, one of the largest sports banquets in WNY.

Paul is also involved in the local business community, having been a financial advisor at AXA Advisors, and is currently the Vice President of Sports Development at VSP Graphics Group.

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