Bills' Matt Barkley workout a smokescreen?

April, 1, 2013
4/01/13
1:04
PM ET
The AFC East blog reported over the weekend that the Buffalo Bills will hold a private workout with top quarterback prospect Matt Barkley of USC Monday. We're told that workout will go on, as scheduled.

But Buffalo's workout with Barkley interestingly comes two days after the Bills agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract with veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb. The money invested in Kolb suggests he will be the favorite to start in 2013.

Buffalo no longer has the pressure of drafting a first-round quarterback with Kolb in the fold. So where does that leave top prospects like Barkley and West Virginia’s Geno Smith, who also worked out for the Bills two weeks ago? Could Buffalo's interest in first-round quarterbacks now be a smokescreen?

The Bills traveled around the country doing their due diligence on quarterbacks -- and Barkley's workout today in Los Angeles is another example. Buffalo also held private workouts with Smith, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Tennessee's Tyler Bray and Florida State's EJ Manuel. Perhaps no NFL team spent as much time and resources scouting quarterbacks as the Bills this offseason.

This is all about flexibility for Buffalo. The Bills could still take a quarterback if they really like Barkley or Smith in the first round. But they no longer have to, and that is the key. Kolb’s signing opens up the possibilities to draft other needs or even trade back in the first round to gather more picks.

Buffalo has more draft options that it had a week ago.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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