Is EJ Manuel in Buffalo Bills' 2015 plans?


It's rare to see an organization throw in the towel on a first-round quarterback before 16 NFL starts.

That appears to be exactly what the Buffalo Bills are doing with EJ Manuel.

Although his team was eliminated from playoff contention this week, coach Doug Marrone has no intention of playing Manuel in the season finale at New England.

"I can understand the question, but the game means a lot to me," Marrone said Tuesday, via The Buffalo News. "We're going to play the players who we feel give us the best chance to win. That's just the way that I'm wired and that's what my responsibility is to the team."

Orton has devolved into an inaccurate checkdown machine over the course of the season, failing to record a QBR rating over 30.0 in five of the past seven games. Over the past month, he has managed just 6.2 yards per attempt to go with a 5:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Marrone believes Orton is still superior to Manuel "from the standpoint of efficiency, control and things of that nature."

The Bills are stuck in NFL purgatory, with the quarterback position holding a top-five defense hostage. Absent a first-round draft pick due to the Sammy Watkins trade, there's no solution in sight.

Orton is due to count $7 million against the salary cap in 2015, including a base salary of $5.4 million.

Marrone's refusal to give Manuel a look-see in a meaningless Week 17 game suggests the Bills have little choice but to stay the course with Orton next season.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the biggest matchups in Week 17 and makes its picks for the last week of the season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.