The day before training camp opened, everything seemed pretty settled. Veteran T.J. Yates, who played under Bills’ offensive coordinator Rick Dennison with the Houston Texans from 2011-13, was in the driver’s seat for the backup role. The third-string spot was going to be a competition between rookie fifth-rounder Nathan Peterman and second-year man Cardale Jones, with the loser finding themselves cut at the end of the preseason.
That all went up in flames Wednesday night, when the Bills traded Jones to the Los Angeles Chargers for a seventh-round pick in 2019. It was something of a surprise, but not an altogether unexpected move. It was widely predicted that Jones would have been the odd man out had he stayed, given that he was the only one of the four who signed his current contract while Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan were still running the show.
In fact, when the Bills’ brass spoke about the trade they emphasized the opportunity that Cardale will receive with the Chargers. Head coach Sean McDermott noted that his “predecessor,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, is familiar with Jones from their time together last year. General manager Brandon Beane called the trade a “win-win,” because the Bills get a draft pick, the Chargers get a backup quarterback, Jones gets a landing spot where he can succeed, and Peterman gets the reps he needs.
Beane went so far as to say the Bills would have done Jones “a disservice” by keeping him around….
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