With their first practice of training camp less than 24 hours away, the Buffalo Bills shook up their quarterback depth chart by trading Cardale Jones to the Los Angeles Chargers for a conditional draft pick.
Jones, who joined the Bills last year as a fourth-round choice from Ohio State, seemingly was a long-shot to make the Buffalo roster.
He received the fewest practice reps during offseason workouts, as the Bills clearly created a two-way competition between T.J. Yates and rookie Nathan Peterman for the second- and third-string quarterback spots behind Tyrod Taylor.
On Twitter, Jones thanked the Bills and their fans "for showing me nothing but love and support" during his brief time with the team.
— Cardale Jones (@Cardale7_) July 26, 2017
Jones arrived on the team as an ultra-raw prospect with a strong arm, but little else in the way of accuracy, consistency or pocket awareness.
Nevertheless, new Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, who was the Bills' offensive coordinator for most of last season and spent the final game as their interim head coach, saw enough in Jones to give him an opportunity in L.A.
“Cardale is a good young talent, and he’s going to add competition behind Philip Rivers,” Lynn was quoted as saying on the Chargers' official website. “He’s the type of quarterback you want waiting on the runway. He’s going to have the opportunity to come on the field and compete. Cardale is someone we think can be developed.”
Jones' lone appearance as a rookie came in the 30-10 season-ending loss against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. He completed six of 11 passes for 96 yards. He was intercepted once and sacked once.
Although Jones had strong support from former Bills General Manager Doug Whaley, at least one former assistant coach on the team was known to have had major questions about Jones' maturity and dedication.
The coach noted that Jones made multiple trips to his home in Northeast Ohio for personal matters, and at one point urged him to pay attention to the hard work that Taylor and former Bills backup EJ Manuel put into their preparation.