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Upset over losing starting spot, Losman prefers to be traded

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Bills quarterback J.P Losman wants out of Buffalo, unhappy with how he lost his starting job to rookie Trent Edwards during the 2007 season.

Losman's agent, Gary Wichard, told The Associated Press on Friday that his client would prefer to be traded, but added Losman would play out the final year of his contract if necessary. Wichard said he has not yet spoken to the Bills because the team is seeking a new general manager after Marv Levy stepped down earlier this week.

Whether the Bills choose to keep Losman, Wichard said he didn't see any chance of Losman remaining with the team after next season.

**Trent Edwards**
2007 statistics
Att: 269

Comp: 151

Yards: 1,630

TD/INT: 7/8

Rating: 70.4

**J.P. Losman**
2007 statistics
Att: 175

Comp: 111

Yards: 1,204

TD/INT: 4/6

Rating: 76.9

"That ship has sailed, my friend," Wichard said. "Hopefully, they do something this year. And if not, we'll just walk away after next year."

Wichard said he spoke out now because he knew how unhappy his client is. He said he and Losman didn't want to air their views during the season so not to cause a distraction to the team.

Losman declined numerous interview requests over the final weeks of the season, and also after Bills players cleaned out their lockers on Monday after a 7-9 finish, in which Buffalo missed the playoffs for a franchise record eighth consecutive season.

"I give him credit for handling this thing the way he has," Wichard said. "But at the end, he said, "I'm out of here.'"

The Bills were not immediately available for comment.

Bills owner Ralph Wilson has previously said the team has not made a decision on Losman's future, and didn't rule out the possibility of the player returning for one more year.

Noting the number of starters injured this season, Wilson told The AP last month that it might be important for the Bills to keep two experienced players.

The Bills, however, are high on Edwards, the third-round draft pick out of Stanford, who is expected to return as the starter despite an up-and-down season.

The Bills went 2-3 this season with Edwards as the starter after he reclaimed the starting job for a second time from Losman. Edwards took over the first time in Week 3 after Losman sprained his knee during the first series of a 38-7 loss at New England.

Losman reclaimed the starting job after Edwards sprained his throwing hand five weeks later in a 13-3 win at the New York Jets. Losman, who rallied the Bills to beat the Jets, went 2-2 in his next four starts before losing the job again.

Wichard said Losman was unhappy by the lack of support the team provided him.

"He knows they bailed on him," Wichard said. "Nobody would ever say, `J.P., you're our quarterback.' They said it was a week to week job. He was waiting to be yanked. And that's what eventually happened."

Wichard said it was disappointing particularly after Losman showed promise in leading the team to a 7-9 finish in 16 starts last year. Losman also finished 13th in the NFL with a 89.7 passer rating.

In eight appearances this season, including seven starts, Losman finished with slightly better numbers than Edwards. Losman completed 63.4 percent of his passes and finished with a 76.9 rating, as opposed to Edwards, who had a 56.1 completion percentage and 70.4 rating.

Losman, though, had only four touchdowns and six interceptions, while Edwards had 7 touchdowns and was intercepted eight times.

The quarterback carousel contributed to the Bills finishing 31st in the NFL in yards gained. Buffalo's offense produced only 20 touchdowns, setting a franchise low for a 16-game season.

The Bills are also searching for a new offensive coordinator after Steve Fairchild was hired to take over at Colorado State.

Losman was the second of Buffalo's two first-round picks in the 2004 draft, and cost the team plenty. The Bills gave up three draft picks, including a 2005 first-round selection, in order to trade back into the first round and select Losman 22nd overall.

He's had an up-and-down tenure in Buffalo, which began with Losman missing most of his rookie season after breaking his leg in training camp.

Losman was awarded the starting job in February 2005, a move that led to veteran Drew Bledsoe being released. Losman, however, was benched twice that season in favor of journeyman Kelly Holcomb.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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