Monday, September 29, 2014

How did we get here? Kyle Orton Now Bills Starting QB

Here's a timeline of the key events that have led to today's decision by the Bills to bench EJ Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton.
  • April 2011: Bills draft cornerback (now a safety) Aaron Williams one pick ahead of Andy Dalton and two picks ahead of Colin Kapaernick 
  • October 2011: Bills sign Ryan Fitzpatrick to a big contract - $24M in guaranteed money 
  • Nov. 2011: Fitzpatrick starts sucking
  • Sept. 2012: Bills trade for Tavaris Jackson
  • June 2103: Bills cut Tavaris Jackson
  • March 2013: Bills cut Fitzpatrick
  • Early April 2013:  Bills sign QB Kevin Kolb who has a history of concussion problems 
  • April 2013: Bills trade down in draft and then shock everyone by drafting E.J. Manuel from Florida State with the 16th pick in the draft.
  • Early Aug 2013: Kolb slips on a rubber mat while switching fields on during a training camp session  and misses time - enabling Manuel to get a leg up in starting QB competition
  • Late Aug 2013: Surprise! Kolb suffers a concussion and is eventually placed on IR, missing the whole season without ever playing a regular season snap for the Bills. 
  • Late Aug. 2013: Bills sign Matt Leinart who lasts five days and one preseason game before being released. 
  • Late Aug. 2013: Bills trade for Browns back-up Thad Lewis
  • Sept. 2013: By default, Manuel is made the Bills starter. Undrafted rookie FA Jeff Tuel is the back-up. (Yes, somebody apparently thought this was a good plan. For the record, I, for one, did not.)
  • Oct. 2013: With the Bills at 2-2 and beating the Cleveland Browns in a Thursday night game, Manuel gets injured and Tuel basically gives away the game. 
  • Oct. 2013: Thad Lewis is named the Bills starter and they go 1-2 over the next three weeks.
  • Oct. 2013: Bills sign Dennis Dixon 
  • Oct. 2013: Lewis is injured. Tuel gets a start and predictably is terrible as the Bills lose to the Chiefs despite outgaining them 470-210 yards.
  • Nov. 2013: Manuel starts 5 more games and isn't bad, except for a disastrous outing in Tampa Bay where he throws 4 interceptions and no TDs. 
  • Dec. 2013: Thad Lewis closes out the season to allow Manuel's knee to rest
  • July 2014: Bills enter camp with pecking order of Manuel, Lewis, Tuel, and Dixon.
  • July 2014: After appearing in four games in two years for the Cowboys, Kyle Orton is cut. Apparently, Orton had planned on retiring but then realized he would have had to give back some of his signing bonus money. Note: Because he was planning to retire Orton did not participate in Cowboys offseason workouts.
  • Aug. 2014: In an eerily familiar replay of the Lienart debacle, the Bills sign and release Jordon Palmer after a week, including an awful preseason outing, in which he threw three interceptions.
  • Aug. 2014: Bills sign Orton to league's largest back-up contract, release Tuel, and then re-sign Tuel to practice squad
  • Sept. 2014: Manuel gets off to shaky start; Bills at 2-2 name Orton the starter.

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