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Bills sign QB Jordan Palmer, release Thad Lewis


The Buffalo Bills have made a switch under center.

The team announced today that it signed journeyman quarterback Jordan Palmer while it released Thad Lewis.

Lewis had been battling Jeff Tuel for the backup quarterback spot behind starter EJ Manuel.

The team did not disclose the terms of the Palmer deal, which was expected after it was reported by ESPN last night (see Mark Gaughan's story).

Palmer entered the league as a sixth round pick (205th overall) of the Washington Redskins in 2007. The 6-5, 230 pound UTEP product has also spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears. Palmer, who is 30 and a native of Westlake Village, Calif., saw game action in 2008 and 2010 for the Bengals — completing 10 of 15 pass attempts for 59 yards and two interceptions in four games.

Palmer will wear number jersey No. 5 for the Bills.

In addition, the Bills announced that linebacker Kiko Alonso has been placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list.

  • John B. Skip

    The Bills make me wanna shout!

    • Mike5617

      They make me wanna barf!

    • B H

      Da Bills make me wanna PUKE ! ! !

    • Art Vandelay

      Shout obscenities, that is!

  • mariob195

    Journeyman? 59 passing career passing yards, 2 int's and no TD's. So after all this we still have 3 back up QB's on the team...

  • Steve

    Playoffs, here we come!

  • Bill W

    Oh yeah, that was an upgrade...geeez!

  • Ralph Wiggum

    So now we'll be 4-12 instead of 3-13.

    • Cannibal King

      Why? Cuz they signed this numbnut? I don't know if 3 - 13 if right, but giving then an extra win? You're a king hearted giver, Ralph

      • Ralph Wiggum

        Just trying to be optimistic here.

  • Jeff

    Another brilliant move, like the Tavaris Jackson one a few years back. Traded for him last minute, and he never even suited up.

  • Jan Reimers

    I know there are not a bunch of decent QBs floating around out there, but was this guy really the best available?

  • kevin kresse

    He fits the profile of the new Bills preference for QB: very tall and little experience...

    • Rollo Tomassi

      He is probably not going to be here once the last cuts are made around the league.He is probably just a "stop gap" measure until they can find someone else.
      There should be some others out there after the final cut downs.

      • B H

        Hopefully your boy EJ will be one of them.

        • Rollo Tomassi

          He is not my boy

      • Steve

        Hopefully that someone else is Jared Lorenzen. If there's any team that can lure him out of retirement, it's the Bills.

        • Polish Prince

          Especially with the abundance of Wings, Donuts, and Beef on Weck's in Buffalo. Heck, Lorenzen could hit 400lbs and get moved to the O-line.

        • Sand Ripper

          Don't the Bills already have enough offensive linemen?

  • Paul Dunphy Jr.

    Again, no one to challenge EJ. Just another turd.

    • Cannibal King

      Marrone's baloney that it's going to take awhile for EJ to be a franchise guy says it all... there will be no competition. Marrone and Whaley are deluded. Bills have the worst QB stable by far. I'd rather have the Rams Hill and Clemens over the Bills QB choices.

  • disqus_aX8keHetXc

    Wow have things changed around here, back in the day if you beat the dolphins twice in a season your job was safe....

  • Millhouse

    The scary thing about this is that Lewis played at EJ's level last year; same w-l % for games started (40%) and a slightly higher QB rating (81) than EJ (77.7).

  • Bill W

    OK, didn't Aikman and Manning have terrible first years when they came into the league? I think giving EJ the benefit of the doubt and let him develop we can possibly see greatness in the making....

    Well, that was a nice trip to Fantasy Land...please continue with today's regularly scheduled bashing!

  • Rich

    Don't despair Bills fans, help is on the way. When Pegula gives his first 'new owner' speech he will have Bill Cowher right beside him. Better days will soon be here in Football Heaven!

    • Bill W

      Cowher would rather do those ridiculous Time Warner commercials, less criticism and no pressure to turn around a losing franchise.

  • William Kyriakakos

    now we will know the Bears playbook to break our win less 0-5 all-time record in Soldier field. a brilliant move!

  • Lloyd M. Jr.

    Try AGAIN, Bills... Ditch this QB and BRING IN TIM TEBOW(yes, I intended it to be in caps)!

    • Cannibal King

      Better off having Spiller at QB. Spiller read option with Jackson and Brown in the backfield or EJ running wishbone or power I... Tebow... I'd feel guilty for all that swearing I'd do watching him play... I already got one foot in hades.

    • Rollo Tomassi

      Still hitched to that wagon eh?

      • Lloyd M. Jr.

        Tebow is the most viable choice; you know it.

        • Rollo Tomassi

          He would be a waste of time,money and effort.Everyone in the NFL knows that.That is why he is no longer in the NFL.

        • Ridgewaycynic2013

          Just as much as the professionals have proven the fact, YOU need to wear a helmet...

    • Steve

      I'd rather see Billy Joe Hobert as QB than Tim Tebow.

    • jwdundee

      People talk down Tim Tebow all the time. Here's a fact. Tim Tebow took a team to the playoffs. It was never pretty but he was a winner. They've wasted far more money on publicity stunts on other players then it would take to get someone that actually went to the playoffs this decade, in here.

  • goldfish5free

    This is an "upgrade" only the Bills could make. Jordan Palmer has thrown only 15 passes in his entire NFL career and 2 were intercepted. Thad Lewis threw 157 passes last season with 3 interceptions. Lewis is a very bright guy who played with a lot of heart last year. I hope he lands with a better team, be it on the field or in a front office.

    • Millhouse

      Totally agree with this; the Bills had just as good of a chance to win last year with Lewis in there.

    • Christopher Vincent

      Agreed, never understand why Sullivan and Sal Maioriana from the D&C were so down on him. He may not have "won" games but he certainly did not lose any, e.g. Tuel throwing pick against KC.


    HAHAHA...someone below was trying to compare Aikman and Manning to EJ.
    The sad part is we drafted him in the first round. We could have drafted Ryan Nassib, or even Kirk Cousins.
    We can blame Manual all we want, but Doug Whaley is the guy that needs to go.
    He has not one clue about football.
    Now we have no first round pick next year.
    What qualifys this guy as a GM? Buddy Nix is a rockstar compared to him.

    • Thomas Errico

      Cousins was a in a different draft class. Ryan Nassib sucks just as bad as EJ. Doug Whaley was not the GM who drafted EJ. That was your "rock star" Buddy Nix. Keep tryin...

      • Ridgewaycynic2013

        I was almost getting nostalgic to hear a 'Cornponeism', but then I thought better of it...

      • Polish Prince


  • Mike


  • Mr. Roboto

    Doug Whaley : "OH WAIT, I thought they said CARSON Palmer"

  • Pat Liddle

    Looking at the Bills/Manuel situation from a distance, I can offer only that no team drafts a quarterback in the first round and then goes in a different direction for at least three years. And when a team does give up on the first round qb, there often is also a change in the hierarchy that drafted him. I do hope he finally works out, because the Bills' defense will keep them in a lot of games.

  • gsk08

    I know Jordan Palmer is great for telling us when the best time to pee in a movie is but an upgrade as a back-up QB?

  • mike finnerty

    I thought Thad outperformed EJ last year...admittedly he was as bad as EJ this preseason...problem seems to be to get someone who will not challenge EJ...the Bills want a true backup with no illusions of starting ...just someone grateful for the opportunity...Tebow would challenge EJ ,and Palmer won't...

  • Buffalo Bill Nelson

    To paraphrase the late, great Cookie Gilchrist: "Hello Jordan Palmer, good bye Todd Downing." They may allow Downing to stick around making copies, but his days of tutoring EJ just ended. I expressed my disgust when they hired him; that having former Lions coaches was a horrible idea. Now, we have Danny Not so Special and Todd the Turkey on the coaching staff. Let's hope The Schwartz is with us on D.

    Make no mistake, Palmer is the de facto QB coach and he has an excellent reputation for prepping young QBs. Good move - better late than never....

  • Guy

    the only QB move Whaley and Marrone should be discussing is finding a replacement for EJ Manuel. A bold move is necessary - they need to trade for Kirk Cousins. Otherwise you may be looking at the worst offensive output in Bills history.

    • Lloyd M. Jr.

      Then again, they can always decide to take a bold step and actually delight the fans... by signing Tim Tebow to a contract.

      • Guy

        Hey! That wouldn't be such a bad idea. At least we'd have a man with character in our organization. That's more than I can say for Whalen, Morrone and Manuel. They all lie to themselves and make believe they belong in the big time. At least Tim Tebow will fight for the extra yard - I say sign him!

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.