Cardale Jones is entering just his second NFL season, but things aren't looking up for the former Ohio State quarterback with the Buffalo Bills.
We haven't entered the true NFL preseason yet so plenty can happen, but it appears that Jones may be getting boxed out of a role in Buffalo's quarterback room.
Tyrod Taylor returns as the presumed starter after a strong 2016 campaign, but it is the other acquisition's that muddle the future for Jones.
The franchise added experienced back-up T.J. Yates during the off-season, and drafted Pitt's Nathan Peterman. Because of those moves, it looks like Jones may be looking for a new team soon.
ESPN's Mike Rodak wrote about the troubles that Jones has had getting reps with the position so crowded. And the reps he has gotten have left plenty to be desired.
Then there was Jones. He watched from the sidelines Wednesday as Taylor (first team), Yates (second team) and Peterman (third team) all took their turns in the two-minute drill. Taylor then led the starters for a second round of the drill before Jones got his chance with the second-team offense.
The drive ended quickly. On the first play from scrimmage, Jones attempted a short pass over the middle that was intercepted by first-year linebacker Jacob Lindsey, ending the practice.
To further complicate matters for Jones, he was drafted with a completely different staff running Buffalo. Rex Ryan was fired as head coach during the season, replaced with Sean McDermott, and GM Doug Whaley was fired right after the 2017 NFL Draft. McDermott and new GM Brandon Beane don't have a real investment in Jones, like they do with Peterman.
Rodak writes that Jones may be on the outside looking in:
At this point, it is difficult to envision Jones leapfrogging Yates for the No. 2 job, or being kept on the roster over a more recent draft pick like Peterman. Bills coach Sean McDermott also has little connection to Jones, who was drafted by former general manager Doug Whaley last year.
Jones got some playing time last season, completing 6-of-11 passes for 96 yards and an interception in a Week 17 loss to the New York Jets. With his arm talent, it seems likely that Jones will get another shot, but the writing on the wall in Buffalo isn't great for him.