The COVID-19 insurance quarterback has a fight ahead of him to remain on the roster this year
The Buffalo Bills are set at quarterback. That’s the best thing we could say heading into any season, and we’ve repeated it a few times here, but I just wanted to say it again. It feels nice, not gonna lie, so part of it is catharsis after 20 years in quarterback purgatory.
Being set at quarterback means that we aren’t talking about it as a positional battle in the offseason. This is Josh Allen’s team, and it’s Josh Allen’s positional group, so every other quarterback is vying for a spot as Josh Allen’s backup. The backup quarterback is a funny position on a team, since he’s either the guy that nobody wants to see (when the starter is a good one) or that everybody loves (when the starter is struggling). Rarely is there an in-between.
In today’s installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we’ll profile the second quarterback drafted by general manager Brandon Beane during his tenure in Orchard Park.
Name: Jake Fromm
Height/Weight: 6’2” 215 lbs
Age: 22 (23 on 7/30/2021)
Experience/Draft: 2; selected by Buffalo in the fifth round (No. 167 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft
Acquired: Fifth-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Fromm enters year two of his rookie deal, a four-year pact worth a total of $3,597,960 overall. For the 2021 season, Fromm carries a salary cap hit of $855,740. Buffalo is on the hook for a dead-cap charge of $824,020 if they release him.
2020 Recap: Fromm’s professional career began poorly, as he was immediately embroiled in a controversy over text messages that were leaked to Twitter where he said that gun suppressors should be so expensive that only” elite white people” can afford them. Fromm apologized, the Bills released a statement, and Fromm continued working as the third-string quarterback for the remainder of the season. Fromm was inactive on game day for all of Buffalo’s contests, including the regular-season finale where Buffalo had already secured a playoff spot.
Positional outlook: Fromm is fighting to remain the team’s third quarterback, as Josh Allen and Mitchell Trubisky will be the starter and backup, respectively. Davis Webb III is the fourth quarterback with whom Fromm is battling for a potential roster spot.
2021 Offseason: Fromm is healthy and he participated in OTAs. The reviews (limited though they were) were mixed, as he earned a thumbs up on his deep ball and a thumbs down on his ball placement over different days at the open practices.
2021 Season outlook: Fromm could very well end up the team’s third quarterback again, but it isn’t a given—2020 was the first time that head coach Sean McDermott has kept three true quarterbacks out of camp in his tenure (the only other time he had three was in 2017, when the Bills went with Tyrod Taylor, Nathan Peterman, and Joe Webb, who was technically a special teams gunner for the team). Fromm and Webb III are in direct competition with each other for that potential third roster spot, but given the amount of talent and the close cuts that are going to occur at other positions, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Bills go with two. If Fromm does make the final roster, there’s a strong case to be made that he’ll be the last man on the roster, and also that he’d be the least valuable player on that roster overall. That sounds harsh, but he’s already spent a whole season on the roster where he never dressed on game days. If the Bills have to choose between, say, a seventh wideout like Marquez Stevenson, or an extra linebacker like Tyrell Adams, and releasing Fromm, I’d rather see the Bills keep the skill position guy with a shot at contributing than the quarterback who won’t crack the lineup. If they’re worried about losing Fromm to another team before they can sneak him on to the practice squad, then they’ll probably keep him on the roster again, but his spot is in no way a lock.