You probably think that NFL quarterbacks with playoff experience are important. You probably think that if an NFL team advances to the playoffs, that team would keep its starting quarterback.
You would be wrong.
From 2014-16, the Houston Texans were the only playoff team who intentionally made a change at quarterback.
Yet in 2018, three of the 12 teams who qualified for the NFL playoffs replaced their starting quarterback in the offseason.
On January 30, the Kansas City Chiefs traded quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins in exchange for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round draft pick. Smith led the Chiefs to the playoffs in four of his five seasons with the team, but the Chiefs replaced him with Patrick Mahomes, a second-year quarterback who has only started in one NFL regular season game.
Trading away an experienced quarterback who led his team to the playoffs three years in a row is one thing. Imagine a team who last season finally reached the playoffs for the first time since 1999, the longest active postseason drought in the NFL at the time. Surely a team that ends such an embarrassing drought would feel good about their starting quarterback, right? Wrong.
After the Buffalo Bills lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in last year’s Wild Card game, they traded their starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns on March 10 in exchange for a third-round draft pick.
The Buffalo Bills are now trying to sort out a quarterback depth chart of Nathan Peterman, AJ McCarron and Josh Allen.
AJ McCarron has played 11 regular season games in his four seasons in the NFL. Nathan Peterman, entering his second season, only appeared in 4 regular season games last year, throwing a total of 252 yards. The most memorable moment of Peterman’s rookie season with the Bills occurred on Nov. 19 against the Los Angeles Chargers. In his only game as a starter, Peterman completed 6/14 passes for 66 yards, fumbled once and infamously threw five (yes, five) interceptions. In the 2018 NFL draft, the Bills traded up to the 7th overall selection and drafted quarterback Josh Allen from Wyoming.
The Buffalo Bills announced on Monday that Nathan Peterman will be their starter for Week 1.
The Bills have chosen to navigate this complicated quarterback roster, rather than rely on the services of Tyrod Taylor, who has seven seasons of NFL experience under his belt.
Both the Bills and Chiefs are desperate for success, but getting rid of experienced veterans in exchange for unproven players may not have been a wise move.