Brees Could Make Bills Rethink The Future

About 48 hours ago it seemed a foregone conclusion Drew Brees was going to be the quarterback of the Miami Dolphins. The best free agent quarterback and Miami by all accounts appeared a flawless fit. Out of the blue things have been turned upside down. At the moment, Brees is in New Orleans and allegedly close to signing a loaded deal with the Saints. For the Buffalo Bills this alters some things. The good news is Brees would be out of the division and conference for that matter.

The bad news is it would throw the entire draft into a tailspin.

Its shared knowledge New Orleans was taking either Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler with the second pick of the draft. If they sign Brees they're all but assured to build around him with tackle D'Brickshaw Ferguson, especially after losing center LeCharles Bentley to Cleveland.

It hurts the Bills because a non QB positional player that would've slid down a slot closer to Buffalo now won't. The Bills wouldn't take a quarterback with the eighth overall pick.

Or would they?

General manager Marv Levy stated publicly at the NFL combine the team would bring in a third quarterback to contend with JP Losman and Kelly Holcomb. If you read between the lines its evident Levy is anything-but-sold on Losman as a starting quarterback for the Bills. He'd never suggest Jim Kelly needed competition. Cleary, Losman is no Kelly to Levy. Most assume that third quarterback to be a lesser known free agent or late pick in the draft. Levy hinted to that.

But Brees going to the Saints may amend his assessment.

A few weeks ago Leinart, Cutler and Vince Young were expected to go two-three-four in the draft. But recently Tennessee at three signed Steve McNair for another year and still has Billy Volek backing him up. There's a fair chance they may want defensive end Mario Williams.

The Jets pick fourth but restructured Chad Pennington's contract. They're also trying to trade for Patrick Ramsey. With so many holes the Jets will probably pass on a quarterback, especially if Ramsey joins the team.

What does this mean to Buffalo? It means they may at least flirt with the possibility if Leinart or Cutler are on the board when they're on the clock (I don't think Levy would have interest in taking a project like Young.) If this ends up being the scenario it may be hard to pass on a guy many consider to be a franchise quarterback.

Even with free agency in full swing, the Bills will still have needs when the draft rolls around. Public perception is they'll target defensive tackle Haloti Ngata or safety Michael Huff. But having Leinart or Cutler on the board may change their thinking.

I'm not hating on Losman. Many think he was thrown under the bus in 2005 and still can be a great quarterback in the league.

I'm thinking Marv Levy may not be one of them. To openly indicate a third quarterback will be brought in serves as confirmation.

Nobody expected it could be Leinart or Cutler. To have the ability to draft your OWN franchise quarterback may be too much for Levy to pass on. It's not like Losman's a time-honored pro or Holcomb's the quarterback of the future. At some point, Levy might concur with head coach Dick Jauron that the best way to retool for the present and future is with a franchise guy that's the quarteraback of THEIR choosing.

You might want to change your draft agenda if Leinart or Cutler fall. The quarterback battle may be a whole lot more than Bills fans ever anticipated.

(Pat Moran writes for and You can email him at

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