The Buffalo Bills traded quarterback Josh Norman to the New England Patriots in exchange for two second-round picks and a conditional 2019 first-round pick, league sources told ESPN.
The trade was done to shore up the quarterback position, and it appears the Bills had a chance to move Norman to New England after the Patriots traded away Ryan Tannehill in a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday night.
The Patriots traded up to draft Tanneham in the second round to take him with the No. 22 overall pick, but the Bills were unable to land a quarterback in the first round and decided to go with a trade at No. 42.
After Norman, the Bills added two picks and $6.75 million to their cap, which will allow them to sign Norman on a one-year deal, sources told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
The move gives Buffalo $4.8 million in cap space, which could help it address the quarterback depth chart if the team decides to pursue a quarterback with a second-year option, which is likely in the future.
The Bills added the two second round picks to their 2018 cap, bringing their total of picks to eight.
The team traded up for Norman to fill the quarterback hole, and now the Bills are in a position to move the signal-caller.
They had the ability to move all of their picks to the top of the draft, but chose to keep Norman and add $6 million to his cap space for 2019.
The decision to move him was made as the Bills have a $7.8 billion cap number in 2019.
They can use that to sign another quarterback, which makes this move the biggest move of the offseason.
With the Bills already having an $18 million cap number and a $10 million cap hit for the first four years of the deal, they have a good chance to keep their quarterback situation under control in 2019, when they have the cap number to sign a quarterback for the third consecutive season.
That gives them more flexibility to address their quarterback needs if a quarterback is available in free agency next offseason.
It also puts them in a better position to address the other needs of the roster.
With Norman being a first-time starter, and not having a quarterback that they were willing to part with in a deal, the decision to sign him could have been a smart one.
However, it would have been better to have gotten a deal done earlier.
The moves the Bills made Thursday night are more about bolstering the offensive line and upgrading the secondary, which should help the Bills get back on track next season.
Norman was expected to be the Bills starting quarterback, but he was hurt throughout the season.
The quarterback situation has been the biggest story of the season, and while Norman will be a part of the Bills’ future, he will have a difficult time replacing Tanneh, who signed a one year, $10.1 million deal with the Dolphins on Thursday night.
It is likely that the Bills will look to add a veteran backup quarterback next offseason, which may be the best move for the team this offseason.
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