OPINION: 2023 State of the Bills: Quarterback

Who will be Josh Allen's main backup come September?

Orchard Park, N.Y. (WGR 550) - Once again this offseason, I'll be examining the state of each Buffalo Bills position as the team and players look towards free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft.

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As usual, we'll start things off with a look at the quarterbacks:

Matt Barkley and Josh Allen
Photo credit Christian Petersen - Getty Images

Under contract:

- Josh Allen
- Matt Barkley

Case Keenum
Photo credit Billie Weiss - Getty Images

Pending Free Agents:

- Case Keenum (UFA)

Josh Allen
Photo credit Bryan M. Bennett - Getty Images

State of the position:

The six-year, $258 million contract extension Allen signed prior to the 2021 season actually doesn’t even kick in until this coming season. He’s 27, one of the best in the league (finished third in MVP voting), and under contract for six more years.

As long as he stays healthy, the Bills are set for quite a while at QB1.

The 32-year-old Barkley hasn’t taken a regular season NFL snap in two full seasons. He spent all last year on the Bills' practice squad as their third quarterback and insurance policy in case one of the top-two were injured.

He then signed a Reserve/Future contract to come back to camp in 2023.

Barkley has a great relationship with Allen, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, and the organization. He’ll have a chance to fight for a roster spot, or at the very least, once again be a veteran presence on the practice squad and in meeting rooms.

It will be interesting to see how the market develops for Keenum, as he’s set to become a free agent in March. Whether it was Barkley, Derek Anderson, Mitch Trubisky, or Keenum, the Bills have made sure to have a veteran backup behind Allen since they’ve become true contenders.

Keenum fits that mold once again. There aren’t many teams who, if their starter goes down, can turn to a 10-year veteran who’s started 64 regular season games and a conference championship.

But maybe Keenum wants to be in a situation where he has a better path to starting some games? Maybe there’s a team that will give him that and more money.

Whether it’s Keenum or another veteran, the Bills should, once again, have one of the best quarterback situations in the NFL with an MVP-caliber starter and veterans who can come in and win a few games if he goes down.

At some point, this organization will want to add a little youth to the position and have a capable backup on a rookie deal. But unless there’s a prospect they really like who falls to them in the mid-to-late rounds, that’s probably not happening for, at least, another year or longer.

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