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As Jameis Winston arrives in NFL, could E.J. Manuel be going?

in Apolitical/Sports/Top Headlines by

One is coming.

The other one may be going.

At first glance, there are a great many similarities between former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and former Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel. Both are strong-armed, both won a lot and both were No. 1 draft picks.

But while Winston’s time is just beginning in Tampa Bay, there are already murmurings that Manuel’s era may be closing with the Buffalo Bills.

And, gee, wasn’t that fast?

For Winston, the praise continues to stack up. About his intelligence. About his leadership. About his work ethic.

Maybe they said that once about Manuel. Who can remember?

In Buffalo, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said that rumors of Manuel’s departure “couldn’t be further from the truth.” But do quarterbacks on solid ground even have such rumors swirling about them? Doesn’t even the speculation give some clues?

It was only two years ago when the Bills made Manuel their No. 1 draft pick. A radio report (WKBW) said this week that the Bills would evluate Manuel to see not only if he will be their starting quarterback, but if he will make the team’s roster at all.

Even with a change of coaches (from Doug Marrone to Rex Ryan), the Bills would be guilty of an extremely quick trigger with Manuel, who has started only 14 games, and won only six, in his two seasons. Manuel has completed only 58.6 percent of his passes, and he has 12 interceptions in those 14 starts.

But the Bills have brought in Matt Cassel, the favorite to start the season. That leaves Manuel on their bench. Or perhaps, on someone else’s.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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