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Buddy Nix wants to find a franchise quarterback

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 21: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills walks off the field late in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York.Tennessee won 35-34. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

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When the Bills signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a seven-year, $62.195 million contract right around this time last year, it seemed that they were making a commitment to Fitzpatrick as their franchise quarterback.

Things haven’t worked out that way. Fitzpatrick’s hot start to the 2011 season has given way to almost an entire season of mediocre play and the team has underperformed expectations over that span. General Manager Buddy Nix isn’t admitting that the extension for Fitzpatrick was a mistake, but he is talking about the team’s need to find a franchise quarterback in the near future.

“Listen, we have said from day one, that we want to draft a good young quarterback” Nix said, via Howard Simon of “I don’t want to leave here without a franchise guy for the future in place. I have not said that before but I’m saying it now because its fact.”

If the Bills feel they have enough pieces in place elsewhere on the team, they could try to swing a trade to the top of the draft with a team that isn’t looking to pick a quarterback. Their record and the play of their defense calls into question whether they actually have enough other pieces in place, but there’s not much question that they need to make a move if they have lost confidence in Fitzpatrick’s ability to lead the offense.