Hard to blame anyone who missed it, but Jake Fromm spent the entire 2020 season as a member of the Buffalo Bills. He just wasn’t around the team. Fromm was the Bills’ quarantine quarterback, a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency backup’s backup who would step in if COVID-19 wiped out the position room for a couple of weeks.
That didn’t happen, and Fromm is now out of isolation — an experience he acknowledged recently was “lonely.”
Now, he has a chance to make the team for real.
Jake Fromm or Mitch Trubisky: Who has the edge for the Bills’ backup QB spot?
Fromm is competing with Mitch Trubisky and Davis Webb for the right to be Josh Allen’s primary backup. Fromm has his work cut out for him. He’s currently listed as fourth on Buffalo’s depth chart. Trubisky is QB2 and Webb is QB3.
But that’s still subject to change, beginning with Friday’s preseason opener against the Detroit Lions. Allen won’t play. The other three Bills quarterbacks will, and much is at stake.
Trubisky has to be viewed as the favorite to back up Allen, given his pedigree (50 starts and 64 touchdowns in four seasons). On the other hand, the Bills didn’t exactly wed themselves to the ex-Chicago Bear financially.
Trubisky is on a one-year contract and is only owed $1.5 million guaranteed. That’s not a total surprise after he bombed out of Chicago. But there’s hope a change in scenery and culture will do him good.
Mitch Trubisky feels wanted in Buffalo
Trubisky said recently that it’s nice to be in a place where he feels wanted. That’s a bit bizarre, considering the Bears not only took him with the second overall pick but moved up a spot to make sure they landed him.
“At first, I wanted to go to a spot where I would get to compete for a starting position, but the right situation didn’t come up and the opportunity wasn’t there,” he said. “I looked at the next best thing, where I could continue to develop and continue to progress and become a better player and a person and fell into this organization, and I loved it ever since coming to Buffalo.
“It’s just really nice to be a part of a great team and be somewhere where people want you here, and they care about how you’re progressing as a person, as a player. It was an interesting process, but I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be right now, and I’m enjoying being here.”
Is Jake Fromm ready for the NFL stage?
Fromm didn’t enter the NFL with the same cache. He doesn’t have Trubisky’s size, athleticism, or arm strength — and as a result, lasted to pick No. 167 in the 2020 NFL Draft. Fromm will need to rely on his smarts, accuracy, and timing to stick in the league.
And while the Bills have seen him in practice over the past three months, there’s still some mystery as to how Fromm will react to live NFL action. He hasn’t seen a down of real football since 2019, his last year at Georgia.
“It’s huge,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said of Fromm’s opportunity. “You try to simulate it out here as best as you can but there’s still something to be said for playing a game in front of a crowd and in real game situations. It has been a while for Jake.”
Trubisky remains front-runner for Bills’ backup QB role
The most likely scenario involves Trubisky winning the backup job. Then, Fromm and Webb will try to do enough to convince decision-makers to keep three quarterbacks on their active roster. If not, either would be a candidate for the practice squad.
However, with a strong showing in the preseason, there’s no guarantee Fromm would clear waivers — which is the only way he could end up on Buffalo’s extended roster.
So consider Friday’s night’s game in Detroit an audition not just for McDermott, but also the 31 other coaches in the NFL.