Free-agent Losman won't be in demand

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
When making the rounds for my story on Matt Cassel's soaring value, I asked about another AFC East quarterback whose stock is plummeting.

J.P. Losman found himself back on the field when Buffalo Bills starter Trent Edwards aggravated a groin injury in Week 13. Losman's return to the huddle was tantamount to a 31-team tryout because he'll be a free agent after the season.

Losman groused over the Bills' decision to go with Edwards over him. But every time Losman has had a shot this year, he has failed to demonstrate he's worthy of starting in the NFL.

This week he was demoted to third string behind Gibran Hamdan.

"He was a first-round pick, but he wasn't able to perform in this league," former NFL personnel executive Michael Lombardi said. "He's not going to be in a bonanza situation. If he signs somewhere it will be based on experience and not on his production.

"He's at a crossroads. He's going to have to go somewhere and rehabilitate his career rather than accelerate his career. If you're his agent, you need to put him in a situation where he's a backup with good coaching in an offense that fits his style of movement and running around."

Charley Casserly, the former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans general manager, doesn't think Losman is starter material.

"He got beaten out in Buffalo because of inconsistency," Casserly said. "He has raw skills. He has arm strength. He has mobility. But his decision making and accuracy all feeds the inconsistency. I don't know that people are looking at him to fill their starting quarterback needs. He will be on a roster, though."

Losman's stat line while filling in for the frequently injured Edwards:

  • Four games, all losses.

  • 63 completions on 104 attempts (60.6 percent).

  • 584 yards.

  • Two touchdowns.

  • Five interceptions.

  • 15 sacks.

  • Three fumbles, one lost.

  • 12 rushes for 70 yards and a touchdown.

  • 62.3 passer rating.

Given the general malaise of Losman's career, would his options be different had he capitalized on his chances this year?

"It would have piqued people's interest," Lombardi replied. "The quarterback position is the most coveted in the league and when you play well -- like Todd Collins last year -- people are always in search of that answer at quarterback.

"If he would have played well, he would have enhanced his stock. Everybody has a chance to re-invent themselves at quarterback."