The Bills signed the 28-year-old Barkley on Wednesday, addressing a position that’s become extremely thin. With Derek Anderson (concussion) and Josh Allen (elbow) still out, it means Nathan Peterman was the only healthy quarterback on the roster before the arrival of Barkley.
The #Bills signed QB Matt Barkley to a 1-year deal, and he may end up backing up Nathan Peterman if Derek Anderson’s concussion makes him unavailable.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 31, 2018
Matt Barkley Signs One-Year Deal With Buffalo Bills
In addition to Barkley, the Bills picked up former punter Colton Schmidt. That move comes with Corey Bojorquez, who beat out Schmidt for the starting punter job in the preseason, heading to injured reserve due to a shoulder injury. The team also placed running back Taiwan Jones on injured reserve (neck) which freed up a spot for Barkley on the roster.
Barkley began the 2018 league year with the Cincinnati Bengals who signed him to a two-year deal in March. But he injured his knee during the preseason and was subsequently placed on I.R. The team released him with an injury settlement on September 12.
In 2017, Barkley had separate stints with the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. The Niners initially released him at the conclusion of the preseason and he later signed with the Cards in November. However, he was inactive for the entirety of his time in Arizona.
Barkley saw his most extensive action as a member of the Chicago Bears in 2016. He made six starts, going 1-5 while posting 1,611 yards passing, eight touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Indicentally, he also caught a touchdown pass from Cameron Meredith during a Week 17 game against the Minnesota Vikings which was the Bears’ only touchdown of the game.
A fourth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013, Barkley was a four-year starter during his collegiate career at USC. He decided against declaring for the draft as a junior despite being one of the top quarterback prospects that season. It led to him finishing as the Trojans’ all-time leader in career passing yards and touchdowns. He’s also the only quarterback in school history to complete 1,000 passes.
The Bills’ first game with Barkley on the roster comes this Sunday as they welcome the Bears to Orchard Park. If Anderson can’t go, Barkley will serve as the backup to Peterman. But should Peterman struggle, head coach Sean McDermott might have no choice but to send Barkley on in relief. And recent signing Terrelle Pryor has experience at the position himself. So it’s possible even he might take snaps behind center.