Coach Sean McDermott stated last week that the starting QB job will be decided through competition, Dominic LoVallo of BuffaloBills.com reports. "We've got open competition at the position. We've got two good players at the position," McDermott said in referring to Peterman and newcomer AJ McCarron. "Two, good, young players and we're excited about both of them. Both have done a lot of winning, albeit at the college level. Both quarterbacks have a lot of room to grow and are very encouraged about the opportunity to compete to start for the Buffalo Bills."
McDermott is a fine young coach, but he's also grown a quick knack for saying things like everything is a competition and no one's job is safe, including his own. So while it makes for good coach-speak, we doubt the Bills went out and landed McCarron only so they could let a much younger QB like Peterman, who struggled last season sneak away his job in some tryout. In fact, Peterman might not even win the No. 2 job if the Bills go out and draft a highly touted quarterback with one of their two first -round picks.
There's very little chance the Bills ponied up for McCarron -- one of the last starting caliber quarterbacks available as all the dominoes fell this week -- to have him compete with Peterman for the job, so last year's fifth-rounder from Pittsburgh is for now relegated to the No. 2 spot. He could be fighting for that assignment soon too, with the Bills likely to take another quarterback early in next month's draft.
The deal won't become official until Wednesday when the new league year opens, though everybody including Taylor himself has confirmed it's a done deal. That leaves Peterman, about to be entering his second season, as the top quarterback left with the Bills, though it's almost a certainty the Bills bring in a start-able free agent with the newfound cash, or at least go after one of the top four quarterbacks in the draft. It's also possible both of those things might happen. We'd be shocked if the Bills went into 2018 with Peterman as the main guy, but the team does like the 2017 fifth-rounder and there's a decent chance he'll serve as the No. 2 guy this season.
Peterman came into Sunday's 10-3 AFC wild-card loss to the Jaguars with 1:16 remaining in the fourth quarter in place of Tyrod Taylor (concussion) and went 1-for-3 for 14 yards with an interception. He also rushed once for four yards and recovered his own fumble.
Peterman was pressed into duty when Taylor was hurt on the Bills' final drive. To his credit, he provided immediate results despite drawing the proverbial short straw in terms of game script, as he immediately was forced to scramble under heavy pressure with Buffalo's season on the line on a 4th-and-3 from their own 44. Peterman was able to get just enough for a first down and held on to the ball after momentarily losing the handle as he went to the ground. Following an impressive 14-yard connection with Deonte Thompson on the next play, however, matters began to derail for the rookie. He was whistled for intentional grounding on 2nd down and then saw another pass intended for Thompson get knocked in the air and intercepted by Jalen Ramsey on the following snap, a controversial play that survived instant replay review. In his defense, the 23-year-old was ill prepared experience-wise for such a critical postseason game situation, and in spot duty no less. He'll finish his first pro season having completed 24 of 49 passes for 252 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions, as well having logged seven rushes for 23 yards, numbers generated across four regular-season games.
Peterman was cleared from the league's concussion protocol Monday, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports.
Peterman did not suit up for Sunday's matchup with the Dolphins due to his concussion, but it appears that will be the extent of his absence, barring any setbacks this week. Expect Peterman to reclaim his role as the Bills' backup quarterback behind Tyrod Taylor.
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