The Buffalo Bills traded a seventh-round draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks for Tarvaris Jackson last year, then handed him $500,000 to re-sign in February. The Bills let Jackson split first-team quarterback reps with Kevin Kolb throughout organized team activities. And now they have shown Jackson the door.
The Bills announced Monday night the surprising move that Jackson had been released. Kolb and rookie EJ Manuel now will compete for the starting QB job, with Kolb the early slight favorite to start in Week 1.
It's a curious decision if only because the current Bills staff, led by coach Doug Marrone, invested plenty in Jackson. But they originally signed him before Kolb was available and well before they drafted Manuel.
Jackson must have shown he was not a fit for Marrone's offense during the offseason, and the Bills were better off cutting their losses so Kolb and Manuel could get more work in the coming months. Jeff Tuel is the team's No. 3 quarterback.
Even if Kolb wins the job to start the season, he's just keeping the seat warm for Manuel. Cutting Jackson is a sign of faith in both Kolb and Manuel. The Bills believe they have the two quarterbacks they need for 2013. And they believe they have the franchise quarterback in Manuel to lead them through the Marrone regime.
Jackson should be able to find work as a reserve somewhere, just not in New England.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.