Bills sign Kolb to replace Fitzpatrick as quarterback

Bills sign Kolb to replace Fitzpatrick as quarterback
April 1, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Meet the new Bill. Same as the old Bill.

Kevin Kolb will run the Buffalo Bills offense in 2013 and -- unless he deviates greatly from the quarterback he's showed himself to be in two seasons with Arizona -- he'll be about the same as the man he replaces, Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Since the Patriots have to deal twice a year with the Bills, their moves under center are more than a curiosity. Kolb doesn't figure to alter the division's balance of power much more than Fitzpatrick was able to, although Kolb did author a win over New England in Week 2 last season that the Patriots would lament all year.

The trajectory of Kolb's career goes like this: 2009 backup to Donovan McNabb in Philly who unseated McNabb late in the season. Anointed the starter for 2010 before an injury opened the door for Michael Vick who unseated Kolb. Kolb played well enough in relief of Vick during junctures when Vick was hurt to keep Kolb's value high. Before the 2011 season, Kolb was dealt to Arizona. Injuries and poor play for the Cardinals in 2011 landed him in a duel with his backup John Skelton. Skelton was named the starter for 2012 but an injury in the opener opened the door for Kolb in Week 2 against the Patriots and he engineered a 20-18 win at Foxboro.

A rib injury against the Bills on October 14 sidelined Kolb for the rest of the season and he was released after refusing a contract restructure last month.

He's thrown 28 touchdowns and 25 picks since entering the league as a second-rounder in 2007 (the third quarterback drafted behind JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn). He's 9-12 in his 21 NFL starts going 6-8 in his two seasons with the Cardinals.

Fitzpatrick went 19-31 in his four seasons as the Bills starter. Plucked by Buffalo in the same fashion Kolb has been added, Fitzpatrick had bouts of competency during his tenure but is a borderline NFL starter which -- to date -- Kolb has shown himself to be.

The Bills reportedly are not folding their search now that they have Kolb and another journeyman, Tarvaris Jackson, in the fold. They could still be in the market during the draft and speculation has been that West Virginia's Geno Smith could be a target.