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Quarterback trade options appear to be drying up for Bills

INDIANAPOLIS -- The deck is stacked against the Buffalo Bills when it comes to finding a quarterback this offseason.

The draft is a crap shoot even before considering the team doesn't have a first-round pick.

Free-agent options range from "mildly appealing" to "Mother of God, no."

That leaves only a trade as an avenue for the Bills to explore in their attempt to upgrade at the game's most important position.

Unfortunately for them, that road could be a dead end. One by one here at Lucas Oil Stadium, general managers and/or coaches have pledged their allegiance to quarterbacks once thought to be on the market.

"We'll go into the season with Robert as the No. 1 guy," Washington coach Jay Gruden said, referring to Robert Griffin III. "It’s up to Robert to continue to grow and mature as a quarterback and as a person. Then moving forward, we just want to see some improvement. It’s up to us as a staff to get more out of him."

"Let's don't delete him," St. Louis Rams General Manager Les Snead said of Sam Bradford, who has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee the past two seasons. "I don't think that's the answer. I think the answer is providing insurance in case we do go through more bad luck. Let's rehab. Let's see if he can reach his potential."

So, those two can probably be scratched off the list.

That leaves Chicago's Jay Cutler as one of the few remaining trade targets. He received no assurance from Bears General Manager Ryan Pace or coach John Fox that he'd be back in 2015.

"We're still evaluating all that," Pace said. "I don't want to rush into any decisions. I want to max out the time that we have and just be thorough."

Of course, trading for Cutler - if the Bears decide to move him -- is complicated. For starters, his offensive coordinator in Chicago last season, Aaron Kromer, is the Bills' new offensive line coach. That creates an awkward situation since Kromer admitted to being the source of a story on NFL.com that was critical of Cutler's game management.

There's also the issue of money. Cutler is due to make $15.5 million in 2015. On March 12, $10 million of his $16 million salary for 2016 becomes fully guaranteed, so in essence, a team trading for him is committing to two years and $31.5 million. That's not impossible to deal with for a starting quarterback, but the fact two teams have decided to move Cutler may give the Bills pause.

So where does that leave them?

At least for the moment, in the same place they have been for 18 years.

Searching for the successor to Jim Kelly.

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