The Bills declined to exercise E.J. Manuel‘s fifth-year option for the 2017 season, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. The quarterback would have been due an $11.357MM salary in 2017 if the team had pulled the trigger.
Manuel is now slated to earn a fully-guaranteed base salary of $2.827MM salary in 2016 before hitting the open market next spring. Given that Manuel has been squeezed out of the starting lineup in favor of Tyrod Taylor, today’s news doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The Bills also added to their quarterback depth chart by selecting Ohio State’s Cardale Jones last week.
Manuel has not been the Bills’ full-time starting quarterback since Week 4 of the 2014 season. The Bills traded down from No. 8 to No. 16 in the first round of the 2013 draft to select Manuel and while he showed some promise early on, things have not panned out as the team hoped they would.
All things considered, coach Rex Ryan says that he likes Manuel as his No. 2 QB.
“I’m not done with EJ Manuel, either (as a backup to Taylor),” Ryan said in February. “I think EJ’s got the talent, the size and all that stuff. Sometimes, guys just take a little bit longer to develop, so we’ll see how that goes.”
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