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Buffalo Bills keep QBs Tyler Thigpen, Tarvaris Jackson

In something of a surprise, the Buffalo Bills are holding on to both Tyler Thigpen and Tarvaris Jackson as backup quarterbacks behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, a team source told Tim Graham of The Buffalo News.

The Bills later confirmed the moves.

That leaves the Bills with four passers, but reports out of upstate New York have long hinted at coach Chan Gailey holding three spots at quarterback on the final roster: one for Fitzpatrick, another for Wildcat aficionado Brad Smith in the No. 3 role -- and whoever won the volatile, summer-long contest for No. 2.

After the Bills traded for Jackson and released Vince Young, Thigpen's fate appeared all but sealed. Instead, Gailey and general manager Buddy Nix march into the regular season with a bloated cast under center.

It might not last for long. Don't be surprised to see Thigpen hit the cutting-room floor if Buffalo pulls someone off the waiver wire. Gailey's ongoing fling with the Wildcat leaves Smith's spot secure, and we don't expect Jackson to be cut after the team burnt an undisclosed draft pick for the veteran.

Smith -- a seemingly untouchable figure in this equation -- also plays wideout and is among five pass-catchers on the roster, along with Stevie Johnson, David Nelson, Donald Jones and T.J. Graham. The Bills also released five fence-riding receivers in Kamar Aiken, Marcus Easley, Derek Hagan, Ruvell Martin and Naaman Roosevelt.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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