Thirteen months ago, the Bills awarded Ryan Fitzpatrick a six-year, $59 million contract extension with a $24 million guarantee, and many of us expressed amazement and confusion about why Buffalo would invest so much money in a quarterback who had been mediocre or worse throughout most of his career.
Earlier this month, general manager Buddy Nix said he didn't want to leave the organization without a franchise quarterback in place and that the team might turn to next year's draft to find that person. On Friday, he repeated that line a little more forcefully, saying the team wanted to draft a quarterback in 2013.
"Let me be as honest as I can," Nix said Friday morning on the Howard Simon Show, via the Buffalo News. "I think we really need to address it this year. The thing we can't do is you can't create one. You can't go out, thinking 'I've got to make this guy a player.' If you do, then you're going to be in a bigger mess. We don't want to do that. We try to guard against that.
"But we do need another one, and we need to do it this time."
Nix also said he didn't see a can't-miss quarterback in next year's draft class, so he's not sure he would take a quarterback with the team's first pick (even though Southern California's Matt Barkley and West Virginia's Geno Smith might be available).
"If you got a [Andrew] Luck, an RG3 [Robert Griffin III], a Cam [Newton], those were the buzz guys every year, and it proved to be accurate on those guys," Nix said. "But I don't see one of those yet in this draft. That may develop later on, but there is a lot of good players in the draft, a lot of good quarterbacks."
Listen, I don't think Nix is in any danger of losing his job this season, but I imagine much of his future employment relies on next year's draft. If he can find a quarterback who can accomplish what Fitzpatrick hasn't in terms of becoming a building block for the future, he likely will stay put for the foreseeable future. If not, Nix could be in trouble relatively soon.
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