It was announced today via Twitter that the workout of former Philadelphia Eagles QB Vince Young in Buffalo has in fact resulted in a contract being agreed to by Young. Young who just earlier today mentioned that the Bills were still very much in play for his services may have been simply foreshadowing to what we all now know.
Vince Young comes in as a highly heralded signing by many of the national pundits. He is being called a great fit for the Chan Gailey system, and for the most part we completely agree. With Gailey’s collegiate like spread style system Young makes a lot of sense.
The biggest risk with Young is always going to be can he mentally take the pressure and scrutiny. This however is Buffalo, not New York, or D.C., or even Philadelphia. He’ll be the backup here and the Bills have worked to minimize their exposure to a potential Young blow up by offering him only a one year deal.
The numbers for Young aren’t pretty to look at, last year as a backup he went 66 of 114 for a completion percentage of 57.9%. Throwing for 866 yards, 4 TD’s and 9 INT’s. His career numbers really aren’t anymore impressive as he has gone 755 of 1,304 for 57.9%, 8,964 yards, 46 TD’s, and 51 INT’s.
So with Young now signed to the roster, what does this mean for our other QB’s and potential QB? Well operate under the assumption that Young makes the team. His salary of $2 Million is certainly not enough by itself to lock him into a spot but for fun let’s just say he does.
What does this mean for Ryan Fitzpatrick?
Well not a whole lot at this point. Vince Young is not being brought in to challenge Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’s being brought in to back him up, but that’s not to say that Young won’t try and push Fitzpatrick. If it helps our incumbent starter take his game to the next level then we are all in favor of that. It’s also important to know that while some fans will start calling for Young after the first inaccurate pass by Fitzpatrick nobody is really going to want Young to replace Fitzpatrick that quickly. Fitzpatrick has earned this job and it’s his even through some bad times.
However if the second half swoon the Bills suffered last year carries over into this next season and by the bye we are sitting there with only 2 or 3 wins you better believe that this coaching staff if going to look at each other and wonder aloud, ‘so could we be better with Vince Young?’.
What does this mean for Tyler Thigpen?
Trouble. There is no simpler way to put it for Thigpen who was a Gailey favorite when he was brought in here initially. He has struggled to show much of anything thus far. He has made the wrong reads, he’s delivered the ball inaccurately, and has to stop forcing bad passes. On top of all of that Thigpen’s $2.5 million salary is higher than Young’s.
Suffice it to say Thigpen can’t afford to miss a beat in any off-season workout, mini-camp, or training camp because he’s going to have Vince Young hounding him for his job.
What does this mean for Aaron Corp and Alex Tanney?
We’ll start with Corp since he’s the one who is officially on the team with a contract for the moment. Corp was never going to be a realistic option to challenge Thigpen for the #2 role. There was no way Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey were going to go into this season with an undrafted rookie backing up Fitzpatrick. Corp was always playing to prove he’s either good enough to keep on the active roster as a #3 QB over Brad Smith or on the practice squad. We don’t believe at this time the Bills want to tie up 4.5 million in the backup QB options so this signing doesn’t affect Corp much at all.
As for Tanney, well he first needs to concentrate on going from a Try-Out player to an undrafted signee. His only competition right now is Aaron Corp and per Coach Chan Gailey after Day 1 concluded the two were even. The Young signing has absolutely no bearing on what Tanney’s job is for the foreseeable future.