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Bills' J.P. Losman to Dolphins?

Incase you missed this diary posted by jwillis9, the Buffalo Bills are reportedly shopping quarterback J.P. Losman and ProFootballTalk is reporting that the Dolphins are one of the teams interested in him. Now I've been thinking about this for a while today and I just can't seem to make up my mind on if I'm for or against this idea.

So to start off, I've enlisted the help of Brian G, the blogger over at the best Bills blog around, Buffalo Rumblings. Below is what Brian told me about Losman, both as a player and as a teammate:

I don't think many Bills fans would agree with me on this, but if J.P. Losman is traded out of Buffalo, he'll be sorely missed. Sorely missed. Even though he was benched in favor of Trent Edwards last season, Losman kept (most) of his frustration to himself, helped Edwards out on the sidelines and in the classroom, and even continued to serve as a team captain. He's a hard-working, extremely talented player - and in today's NFL, you can't have enough of those, especially if he has playing experience.

Losman has all the tools - a cannon arm, good mobility (both as a scrambler and creating time to throw), solid leadership skills and the ability to make the occasional "How'd he pull that one off?" play. Where he lacks is his decision-making - he's a gunslinger by nature, a la Brett Favre, so he'll push at times trying to pull off the big play rather than taking what the defense gives him. He's also pretty inaccurate on short throws, often short-hopping his receivers on simple routes like curls and button hooks. In the right offense - and with enough support from a front office and coaching staff - Losman could excel when his mobility is put to use and he doesn't have to go through four reads play in and play out.

Losman is a good teammate, and his game experience would make him a very valuable backup to the young Edwards next season. He has yet to tap his vast potential. Let me put it this way: if Losman is traded in-division to the Dolphins and he lights up Buffalo's mediocre defense next year, it will add a dark - and thoroughly embarrassing - chapter to Bills lore. I'd hate to see him go.

Ironic how just last offseason, Brian and I had a heated debated on whether or not Losman is a legitimate NFL starting quarterback (I felt he wasn't) and now we're sitting here thinking about whether or not the Dolphins should go after Losman and bring him to Miami. And Brian makes a solid case that is "pro-Losman" above.

The thing I wonder about is how Losman would act if he is unable to beat out John Beck for the starting job in training camp. And if you ask me, he probably will lose. After all, Losman will have to learn a new system and isn't as accurate of a passer as Beck is. And I know Brian said Losman was very helpful to Trent Edwards even after he was benched. But would he be able to withhold his frustration if he had to back up Beck now? Or would we have to worry about yet another "Cleo Lemon" situation where he doesn't support Beck, neither publicly nor privately?

And what about Losman's on-field production? Is it really that better than the production that the Dolphins could get out of a free agent quarterback? After all, I'd rather not have to give up anything to get a QB like Losman. And, in my view, a player like Quinn Gray could do just as well in Miami as a guy like Losman. Only difference here is Gray wouldn't cost us a draft pick. For comparison's sake, check out their career stats below in games in which they started:

Player Starts Comp/Att % Yds YPA TD-INT
Losman 31 480/811 59% 5345 6.59 28-28
Gray 4 65/111 59% 857 7.72 8-3

The one thing that really sticks out here, besides the experience difference, is how Gray seems to be more productive with his pass attempts. So let's now break down these numbers into per-start averages:

Per start
Player Comp/Att % Yds YPA TD-INT
Losman 15.48/26.16 59% 172.42 6.59 0.9-0.9
Gray 16.25/27.75 59% 214.25 7.72 2-0.75

Again, the attempts and completion percentage figures are nearly identical. But what stands out is how much more productive Gray was. He threw for more yards, more touchdowns, and made fewer mistakes. So I ask you: is J.P. Losman worth trading for when you can nab a guy like Gray without giving up any compensation?

Now that's a hard question to answer because we don't know what Losman will cost the team that trades for him. However, Draft Daddy reports that the Bills are "looking for a 4th round pick." A 4th round pick? Ugh. I just don't see how any team could surrender a 4th rounder for a player like Losman who has been nothing but a 1st round disappointment. Draft Daddy apparently also feels this way, stating that they believe Losman won't fetch the Bills anything much better than a 5th or 6th round pick.

Personally, I wouldn't be willing to give up anything more than, say a 6th round pick, for Losman. However, what about this idea? What if the Dolphins really aren't interested in trading for Losman but are using this as an opportunity to create a smokescreen leading up to the draft. Maybe a team that wants Matt Ryan, like the Falcons, will hear the reports that the Dolphins are interested in Losman and will worry a little more that the Dolphins will take Matt Ryan first overall, making Atlanta think even more about trading with the Dolphins. Who knows, really? After all, this is the time of year for "misinformation."

Your thoughts on this?