The Buffalo Bills committed $24 million guaranteed to Ryan Fitzpatrick one year ago in hopes of him being their quarterback for "a long time," according to general manager Buddy Nix.

On Friday, Nix talked about his desire to draft a quarterback before he moves on, assuming he lasts beyond this season.

"I don't want to leave here without a franchise guy for the future in place," Nix said. "I have not said that before but I'm saying it now because it's fact."

You can bet Nix will be watching Sunday's game between the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins, two teams that are 4-3 -- the Bills are 3-4 -- behind the guidance of rookies Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill, respectively.

The Colts and Dolphins locked up their quarterbacks for four years at less than Fitzpatrick's guaranteed amount, with Tannehill slated to earn a tad more than half that figure.

Worse, Nix has to watch his Bills play Tannehill twice a season and endure even more criticism.

These situations underscore the importance of nailing it when it comes to making a long-term commitment to a quarterback.

The Chiefs are languishing right now because of subpar play from Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn. They haven't won a game with a quarterback that they drafted since 1987.

At 1-7, the Chiefs are in line to pick first in the 2013 draft, with Southern Cal's Matt Barkley, West Virginia's Geno Smith and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson no doubt on their mind.


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Picking a quarterback No. 1 overall isn't a sure-fire cure. Just ask the Raiders how things fared when they selected JaMarcus Russell in 2007. It took the 49ers' Alex Smith until his sixth season before he developed into a top-tier player.

Luck also is treading uncharted waters. His .571 winning percentage is the highest in league history for a quarterback picked No. 1 pick through the first eight weeks of his rookie season.

Still, it's safe to say that Luck and Tannehill will be around for a long time, likely longer than Nix's stay in Buffalo at this rate.

  • It's payback time for teams that endured regular beat downs by the New Orleans Saints high-powered offense the past five seasons.

    Opposing teams averaged 474.7 yards offense against the Saints the first seven games. That's 50 more per game than the next-worst defense. The 3,323 yards allowed by the Saints so far are the most by a team for the first seven games in league history.

    They are consistent, if nothing else, on defense. All seven Saints opponents racked up at least 400 yards offense. The previous two teams hung more than 500 yards on the Saints.

  • Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best was shut down for the season Friday in a move that highlights the fragility of an NFL player's career.

    Medical experts advised Best and the Lions that it's in Best's long-term interest that he not risk playing this season as a result of a series of concussions that he has suffered during his football career.

    Best burst onto the scene in 2010 and seemed well on his way to a productive NFL career. However, a concussion ended his season after six games last season, and he hasn't played since.

    Those around here recall Best's brilliant careers at Salesian High School and Cal. Of course, they also remember how his Cal career ended as a result of a concussion suffered as he was upended while scoring a touchdown and landed on his head.

    Remember Best's ordeal the next time a player holds out for more money.

  • Twenty-nine teams that reached the midpoint of their season with a .500 or worse record since 2000 qualified for the playoffs. Five of those 29 advanced to conference championship games, with the 2001 Patriots winning the Super Bowl.

    All five of those teams had 4-4 records midway through the season, including the 2002 Raiders. The Raiders can reach 4-4 with a victory over the Buccaneers on Sunday.

  • The Giants and Steelers play Sunday in a game likely to feature one of the two Super Bowl contestants this season.

    The Giants or Steelers have appeared in five of the past seven Super Bowls, with each winning two titles.