The Los Angeles Chargers have a new quarterback, but his name is not Robert Griffin III.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted out news of the trade on Wednesday, which gives the Chargers a new arm just ahead of training camp, which opens Sunday. Jones will now join Kellen Clemens, Mike Bercovici and Eli Jenkins as the quarterbacks behind Philip Rivers on the roster.
Buffalo is trading QB Cardale Jones to LA Chargers for a late-round pick. Chargers get a new potential backup QB.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 26, 2017
The move comes on the heels of Griffin III visiting the team and having a workout earlier in the week.
Jones has played in just one NFL game since being selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft. He completed 6-of-11 passes for 96 yards in that game, but after just one season with the Buffallo Bills, they have seen enough of him and feel their talent pool at quarterback is enough without him.
In exchange, the Bills will receive a conditional seventh-round pick from the Chargers.
If Jones’ name doesn’t sound familiar, you won’t have to travel back to far in time to be reminded of him. He was part of the Ohio State team that won the first ever College Football National Championship Playoff in 2014. But the story of how he became the first ever MVP of that playoff was amazing.
Jones played on just 39 snaps of his freshman season the year before and entered his junior year at No. 3 on the quarterback depth chart behind Braxton Milller and J.T. Barrett. Miller was hurt early that season in practice and Barrett went down late in the year.
Forced to turn to Jones, he made the first start of his college career in the Big 10 championship game. He helped the Buckeyes trounce Wisconsin 59-0 in that game. Next, Jones helped Ohio State topped Nick Saban’s Alabama in the playoff semi-finals.
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Soon, everyone was talking about the 6’5″, 250-pound quarterback nicknamed “12 Gauge”.
It was onto the National Championship Game where Jones would be forced to go up against the Oregon Ducks, led by Marcus Mariota. Jones would get the best of the future first-round pick, throwing for 242 yards with one touchdown while running for another score.
Ohio State won the game 42-20 and there was speculation that Jones would declare for the NFL draft. He decided to stay one more year in school but his stock would never be as high.
He comes to San Diego with a good chance of winning the No. 2 quarterback job. He has a cannon for an arm and some mobility, allowing him to be a dual-threat quarterback as well. At the professional level, he simply hasn’t been able to display the kind of decision making necessary to be successful. Obviously, the current regime in Buffalo didn’t feel he ever would.
However, part of the old regime in Buffalo included current Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, who will now reunite with Jones.