Although Ryan is "excited" to work with Manuel, he made it clear in a Sunday interview with Fox Sports' Ross Jones that the position won't be handed to the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
"Will we explore possible veteran free agents or draft picks out there? Absolutely," Ryan said. "We're going to explore everything to add competition because that makes your whole team better."
It's rare to see an organization cut bait on a first-round quarterback with less than a full season of starts under his belt. The last coaching staff opted to bring Kyle Orton out of faux retirement when they determined after 14 starts that Manuel's inaccuracy and lack of field vision were fatal flaws.
Can new offensive coordinator Greg Roman unlock Manuel's potential after struggling to turn Colin Kaepernick into a pocket passer in San Francisco?
Considering the inherent uncertainty of that proposition, it's no surprise that Ryan has acknowledged the Bills have no choice but to import alternatives.