The Buffalo Bills have been working hard this past week to successfully restructure their roster for the 2022 NFL season, however, as of Friday, March 18, one gaping hole still remains, a backup quarterback for Josh Allen.
Allen’s backup from the 2021 NFL season, Mitch Trubisky, signed a two-year $14.25 million contract worth up to $27 million in incentives to join the Pittsburgh Steelers as their “expected” starter for the 2022 NFL season.
While Bill’s general manager Brandon Beane announced during his press conference on Friday that they’ll sign a new backup “hopefully early next week,” a familiar face, quarterback Matt Barkley took to Twitter to either throw his name into the mix for consideration or possibly, pre-emptively announce his return to Buffalo.
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Barkley kept his message short and simple. He tweeted, “Buffalooooooo!!!!” along with a GIF of himself swinging his sideline warming jack around like a bull master.
Barkley, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth-round draft pick from the 2013 NFL Draft, served as Allen’s back from 2018 to 2020. While the 31-year-old had a breakout game in November 2018 against the Jets, completing 232-yard passing yards and leading the Bills to a 41-10 victory over New York, Buffalo did not renew his contract when it expired in 2020.
Following his release, Barkley shared the following photo of his son in a Bills jersey on Instagram and wrote, “Mood.”
This past week, former Bills players Marquel Lee, Jordan Phillips, and Shaq Lawson officially returned to Buffalo, and it’s not crazy to think Barkley could also join them. Before the Bills officially announced they were re-signing Lawson, the defensive end sent out a viral tweet begging Buffalo to return. If he got Lawson got his wish, perhaps Barkley will, too.
The Bills could bring Barkley back not to fill Trubisky’s vacant role, but maybe as their third-string quarterback. Based on how the Bills current players reacted to Barkley’s cryptic message, which he also posted on Instagram, they would welcome him back with open arms.
Wide receiver Isaiah Mckenzie commented, “You coming back?????” while safety Jordan Poyer wrote, “Bring the boys back!” Receiver Gabriel Davis commented, “YEEESSSIIRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and Brittany Williams, Allen’s longtime girlfriend simply wrote, “🥳🥳🥳🥳.”
Barkley Bounced Around Several Teams During the 2021 NFL Season
Barkley signed a two-year deal with Tennessee Titans in early August, where the USC alum was competing for the role as the backup quarterback for starter Ryan Tannehill. During the preseason, he went 24-of-39 passing for 295 yards with three touchdowns and an interception — which wasn’t enough to lock in the backup role on the Titans’ initial 53-man roster.
On September 1, the Titans announced that Logan Woodside, who served as the backup quarterback last season, would reprise his role in 2021. Barkley was subsequently signed to Tennessee’s practice squad.
On November 9, Barkley signed with the Carolina Panthers after Sam Darnold suffered a shoulder fracture, but was released on December 28. The following day, Barley was swooped up by the Falcons after Atlanta placed backup Feleipe Franks on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. When Franks returned, Barkley was waived by the Falcons on January 4, 2022.
The Backup QB Pool Is Quickly Drying Up
While the Bills have made a flurry of roster moves over the past week, and nearly broke the Internet after making the surprise announcement that they were signing two-time Super Bowl champion outside linebacker Von Miller, they haven’t found a replacement for Trubisky.
Chad Henne is returning to the Kansas City Chiefs as Patrick Mahomes backup, former Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater intends to sign a one-year deal to be the backup QB for the Miami Dolphins, per ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, and former Washington Commanders backup Kyle Allen, who was rumored to be a strong option for the Bills due to his close relationship with Josh Allen, is heading to the Houston Texans.