After failing to make the Oakland Raiders roster as a backup quarterback this year, EJ Manuel is publicly voicing his frustrations with NFL teams for not hiring, taking specific aim at the team that once drafted him in the first round.
The Buffalo Bills have been in the NFL’s most anemic offense in 2018, with their quarterbacks combining for a league-low 51.1 QB Rating and 151.1 yards per game. When the Bills drop back to pass, they average just 5.5 yards per pass attempt and have a historically bad 3:16 TD:INT ratio. In a year where several quarterbacks are topping a 110.0 QB Rating, the Bills’ signal-callers have hit a new nadir of incompetence.
Currently, the Bills are starting Nathan Peterman at quarterback due to rookie first-round pick Josh Allen injuring his elbow. Buffalo’s ineptitude on offense has led another former Bills first-round pick, EJ Manuel, to wonder why he hasn’t been called into action somewhere in the NFL.
In an Instagram post that has since been deleted, Manuel took the Bills to task, whom he believe treated him unfairly during his time with the organization, which lasted from 2013-16. Manuel wonders why quarterbacks who have thrown interception-after-interception are getting chances to play, whereas that same graciousness wasn’t afforded to Manuel, a man who believes this treatment from the Bills organization was racially-charged.
Manuel, who could not stick around in Oakland after appearing in two games in 2017, is considered a bust as the first quarterback taken in a 2013 class that was admittedly extremely weak at the position. In Buffalo, Manuel averaged 6.4 yards per pass attempt across 18 starts, turning in a 77.5 QB Rating.
While those numbers aren’t good and Manuel showed little progression over the years, those stats are far more palatable than what Allen and especially Peterman have done this season. Maybe more importantly, Manuel’s TD:INT ratio with the Bills was 19:15, which is a night-and-day comparison to the Bills stone-cold 3:16 ratio of touchdowns to picks.
The Bills offense has more issues than just the quarterbacks, as the pass-catchers have done little to help the passers. However, Manuel has a case, and it is interesting that the 28-year-old has yet to be employed. He isn’t a starting-caliber quarterback in an ideal situation, but it is worth pointing out that he’d, statistically speaking, be an upgrade over Peterman.
In a league where Colin Kaepernick is unable to find work and Lamar Jackson was dubbed a wide receiver by draft analysts despite nearly winning back-to-back Heisman trophies as Louisville’s only hope, Manuel’s words cannot be quickly dismissed.