The Bills have declined to exercise Manuel's fifth-year option, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports. Since he was selected 16th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, Manuel's start count has dwindled from 10 to four to two over the course of the past three seasons. His quarterback rating hasn't deviated much over the course of his brief career -- from 77.7 as a rookie to a career-high 80.3 in 2014 -- but his lack of improvement allowed Tyrod Taylor to wrench the No. 1 gig in training camp last summer. With Taylor bursting forth with 3,035 yards, 20 touchdowns versus six interceptions, and a healthy 568 yards and four more scores on the ground, he provides the offense with a dual threat that Manuel lacks. As a result, it was clear from the outset of the offseason that the Bills wouldn't commit the $11.4 million owed under the guidelines of his fifth-year option.
Manuel started two games in 2015 when Tyrod Taylor was injured, both losses as the Bills fell to the Bengals and Jaguars in back-to-back weeks. He finished the season 52-of-84 for 561 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. The performances on paper were actually better than what took place on the field, as Manuel pretty much single-handedly lost the Jags game in London, which derailed a somewhat promising season at the time for Rex Ryan's boys. He never tossed a pass after that, and while the team speaks highly of his work ethic and attitude, it remains to be seen if the former first-rounder can capably lead an NFL offense. We'll see if GM Doug Whaley sticks by his guy for one more season, though Taylor is the clear starter entering the 2016 season.
Manuel is in uniform and will serve as the Bills' backup QB on Monday against the Patriots. Fellow QB Josh Johnson is inactive for the contest, with Manuel thus a Tyrod Taylor injury away from handling the Bills' QB snaps.
Manuel is inactive for Thursday's game at the Jets. Apparently, the team isn't quite as confident as they said following one of the more disastrous QB performances seen on TV, er, the internet, this season when the Bills lost to Jacksonville in London. Josh Johnson will back up Tyrod Taylor in this one, while Manuel's long-term status seems as dicey as ever. It's hard to see the 2013 first-rounder working out with this franchise.
Bills quarterback EJ Manuel completed 24 of 42 passes for 298 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions Sunday against the Jaguars in London. He also rushed eight times for 38 yards and fumbled twice, losing one. Manuel really struggled throughout the game, though his passing yards were respectable after the Bills were forced to air it out in the second half after trailing 27-3 in the second quarter. Playing without Percy Harvin (hip) and Sammy Watkins (ankle), Manuel threw 24 passes to wideouts Robert Woods and Chris Hogan, with Woods leading the team by catching nine of 13 targets for 84 yards and a touchdown. Manuel was reportedly going to be given a shot to compete for the starting job with a good showing Sunday, but he didn't do nearly enough to justify that opportunity.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||New York Jets||10||18.75|
|4||10/02||@New England Patriots||15||19.78|
|5||10/09||@Los Angeles Rams||9||18.56|
|6||10/16||San Francisco 49ers||7||18.06|
|8||10/30||New England Patriots||15||19.78|
|17||01/01||@New York Jets||10||18.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||59.2||1124||6||5||101||1||93|