Matt Barkley is a free agent at the time of publication, and we'll see if he's able to land a backup job with a team this year. He spent the past three seasons as the backup to Josh Allen in Buffalo, but he only played sparingly and has little Fantasy value. Ignore him in all leagues on Draft Day.
Barkley appears unlikely to rejoin the Bills in 2021 after the team signed Mitchell Trubisky last week. Barkley has served as Buffalo's No. 2 quarterback for the last three seasons; in other words the entire Josh Allen era. He's only seen action in eight games over that time, and while he was serviceable in his limited action, the Bills seemingly desire having a more experienced NFL starter in the mix should Allen ever miss time. Barkley was always highly regarded in the locker room, and it's possible the Bills could bring him back as a No. 3, but the team is more likely to use that roster spot to develop Jake Fromm.
Barkley took 53 snaps in 2020, completing 11 of 21 passes for 197 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The 2020 campaign was the ultimate Josh Allen Show, so even the most faithful Bills fan would have a hard time remembering when Barkley's 21 passes happened, but they did take place over the course of three mop-up duty appearances. Barkley won't wow anyone on the field after being in the league since 2013, but he's served as a good voice for Allen and knows the Buffalo offense as well as anyone, so it'd be a bit of a surprise if the cash-strapped Bills turn to a higher profile backup for 2021. The same quarterback room of Allen, Barkley and Jake Fromm seems the most likely course of action.
While the Bills plan to suit up Josh Allen for Sunday's finale against the Dolphins, there's a likelihood Barkley sees meaningful snaps in the contest, Michael Giardi of NFL Network reports. This makes sense, as several starters have already been made inactive in a game that can only determine seeding for the Bills, while Allen needs only some modest totals to set or extend some franchise records. We would not be shocked if the Bills have Allen out of there by halftime or even earlier while Barkley sees action with a number of other backups. Note that Miami needs to win this game and the weather is expected to be far from optimal.
Barkley will have a new teammate in the quarterback group after the Bills added Georgia's Jake Fromm in the fifth round of the draft this weekend. Fromm comes with a higher pedigree than the usual fifth-rounder following a tremendous career at Georgia, and while he's seen as a smart guy and excellent reader of defenses, it may also be difficult for the youngster to even approach Barkley's familiarity with the Buffalo offense in what could be a shortened offseason due to COVID-19. More likely, Fromm will have to prove he's a better candidate than Davis Webb and hope the Bills keep three quarterbacks on the active roster instead of two. Still, Fromm is a promising enough guy that he adds a question mark to Barkley's long-term status with the team.
Barkley completed 18 of 35 passes for 232 yards and two interceptions while rushing twice for minus-4 yards and losing one of two fumbles in Sunday's 13-6 loss to the Jets. Barkley came in under center after Josh Allen presided over two scoreless drives to open the contest. The Bills aren't known for their offense to begin with and rested key starters on that side of the ball, so Barkley didn't have much to work with and it showed. This was the backup quarterback's second appearance of the season, as Allen has managed to stay mostly healthy. Don't expect to see an appearance from Barkley this postseason, but he'll remain under contract as Allen's backup in 2020.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/26||Washington Football Team||6||17.88|
|5||10/10||@Kansas City Chiefs||18||21.26|
|10||11/14||@New York Jets||29||24.75|
|12||11/25||@New Orleans Saints||10||19.00|
|13||12/06||New England Patriots||5||17.88|
|14||12/12||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12||19.80|
|16||12/26||@New England Patriots||5||17.88|
|18||01/09||New York Jets||29||24.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||56.2||263||1||1||-4||0||14|