On Thursday, Bills coach Rex Ryan told reporters that he would still trade linebacker Kiko Alonso for running back LeSean McCoy in "two seconds." On Friday, Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley showed equal faith in his decision to ship veteran passer Matt Cassel to the Cowboys in late September. While the move netted the Bills a seventh-round pick, it also forced the team to start EJ Manuel last week against the Bengals -- and again this Sunday against the Jaguars in London -- because of Tyrod Taylor's sprained MCL. "No, not at all," Whaley said, when asked if he regrets dumping Cassel. "When you look at it, coming out of camp, arguably you could say (Manuel) was the No. 2. So we had the luxury of being able to come back with Cassel at a reduced rate and have three quarterbacks. If you look at the league, maybe a little over half the league have three quarterbacks, so it's a luxury. And then when (safety) Aaron (Williams) went down, we needed a spot -- and then the Cowboys called." Whaley emphasized that the team valued Manuel more than Cassel because of his "longer shelf life," noting that "arguably you could say (Manuel) has a bigger upside, but that's to debate, so you're taking half of that equation out and then you get a fifth-rounder in '17, which you can jockey in the draft this year, or have two picks in the fifth round in '17. So you're going to get another player with a longer shelf life and a bigger upside." But would Cassel give the Bills a more trustworthy arm than the up-and-down Manuel? "I think that's debatable," Whaley said. "What we saw in the preseason, again, we felt comfortable with EJ being our two, and obviously we showed that by (moving) Cassel, but, again, that's something that you guys can debate. We believe that the level -- there was a battle ... we thought it was 2a and 2b." Whaley dismissed the notion that Manuel was saved from the cutting room floor because of his first-round draft pedigree, arguing that Buffalo doesn't build teams based on where you came from.
Whaley: Bills don't regret choosing Manuel over Cassel
NFL.com | Oct 23