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Expect Bills to target athletic QBs in free agency

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Posted July 22, 2011 @ 5:46 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Entering what is expected to be a wild free-agency period, the Bills are more than $35 million under the proposed cap in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to ESPN's John Clayton. The Bills are rarely spenders in free agency, and despite some changes in the personnel department, we hear that is not expected to change this offseason. Most of the money the team spends will be toward keeping its own free agents. One position that we know the Bills will target on the open market is quarterback, as GM Buddy Nix made it no secret the team needs another signalcaller, likely to be Ryan Fitzpatrick's top backup.

One rumored target would have the Bills poaching within their division and signing Dolphins QB Tyler Thigpen. While a move to Buffalo wouldn't give Thigpen an opportunity to start, he is familiar with Chan Gailey from their time together in Kansas City. This is assuming Miami doesn't make a play to re-sign Thigpen.

There also has been some chatter in NFL circles that the Bills could make a run at Vince Young. The Titans are expected to cut Young, and he would satisfy Gailey's desire for an athletic quarterback.

Young would cost more than the Bills are used to spending in free agency, and he certainly would make a splash. But with the type of confidence the team put into Fitzpatrick this offseason, acquiring someone with starting experience might send mixed signals, and the Bills won't want any locker-room distractions. One daily team observer pointed out that while the Bills generally want backups who provide little drop-off from the starter, they won't want someone who would cause any kind of QB controversy.

One more QB candidate the team might consider is ex-Ohio State star Terrelle Pryor. We hear the Bills could make a play for Pryor if he doesn't require too high of a draft pick in the supplemental draft. That would allow Gailey to develop him as the team's No. 3 QB.

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