EJ Manuel

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EJ Manuel
EJ Manuel.jpg
Manuel with Florida State University
No. 3 Buffalo Bills
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-03-19) March 19, 1990 (age 25)
Place of birth: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school: Virginia Beach (VA) Bayside
College: Florida State
NFL draft: 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 16
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2015
Pass attempts: 508
Pass completions: 308
TD–INT: 19–15
Passing yards: 3,371
Passer rating: 78.7
Rushing touchdowns: 4
Stats at NFL.com

Erik Rodriguez "EJ" Manuel, Jr.[1] (born March 19, 1990) is an American football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Bills in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Manuel was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He attended Bayside High School Virginia Beach, where he played for the Bayside Marlins high school football team. His father, Erik, was childhood friends with NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith. In 2004, as a freshman, he started at quarterback and threw for 589 yards and seven touchdowns, as well as rushing for 219 yards and one touchdown. As a sophomore, he recorded 1,332 passing yards and eight touchdowns as well as 276 rushing yards and six touchdowns. As a junior, Manuel threw for 1,973 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for 345 yards and five touchdowns. In 2007, as a senior, Manuel passed for 1,859 yards, 18 touchdowns and rushed for 541 yards.[2] He was considered a five-star recruit by Scout,[3] a four star recruit by Rivals[4] and both sites, as well as Sports Illustrated,[5] listed him the second best quarterback. He was an All-American quarterback in high school.

College career[edit]

Manuel enrolled in Florida State University, where he played for coach Bobby Bowden and coach Jimbo Fisher's Florida State Seminoles football teams from 2008 to 2012. While he was a student, he joined the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.[6] Manuel became the second collegiate quarterback to win four straight bowl games, the first being Pat White of West Virginia.

Freshman season[edit]

Manuel took over for an injured Christian Ponder as the 4-5 Seminoles were in danger of finishing with a losing record for the first time since Bowden took over the program. His first start was an away game against Wake Forest. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 220 yards with one touchdown, leading the Seminoles to a 41-28 win over Wake Forest, who at the time had won three games in a row against Florida State. Manuel struggled in his second game against Maryland but still managed to pull out a much needed win making FSU bowl-eligible. Manuel's struggles continued against the dominating Florida Gators, and the mobile quarterback wasn't able to get into a rhythm as Florida State lost, 37-10.

Florida State entered the Gator Bowl 6-6 and in serious danger of letting legendary coach Bobby Bowden leave with a losing record. Manuel led Florida State to a 33-21 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers and won the Gator Bowl MVP honors.[7]

Sophomore season[edit]

Manuel started twice in the 2010 season for Christian Ponder, who battled a nagging forearm injury. In his first start against Clemson, he picked up 71 yards on 15 carries.[8] He also led the Seminoles to a victory in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl against South Carolina when Christian Ponder was injured in the second quarter of the game.

Junior season[edit]

In the 2011 season, EJ Manuel played in every game besides the loss at Clemson after injuring his shoulder in a loss against Oklahoma the previous week. He finished the season with 2,666 yards passing on a 65% completion rate. He also finished with 18 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. He helped lead the Seminoles to a comeback win against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Champs Sports Bowl by throwing for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Senior season[edit]

Manuel led the Seminoles to numerous wins over ACC rivals, an ACC Championship, and an Orange Bowl win against Northern Illinois for a 12-2 finish to his senior season.[9]

Seminole legacy[edit]

Manuel led the Seminoles to a 12-win season for just the third time in program history[10] and the first time since their dominant stretch in the 1990s. During his senior season, he threw for the second most yards in team history with 3,392, trailing only Chris Weinke's Heisman Trophy winning season, in which Weinke threw for 4,167 yards.[11] Manuel went 25-6 as a starter, won the first BCS bowl for Florida State since 2000, won five out of six games against intrastate rivals Miami and Florida,[10] and he also led the offense to its most prolific season in team history, cleanly surpassing the 1999 National Championship squad with 6,591 yards.[12]

Career statistics

Passing Rushing
Year Comp Att Yards Pct. TDs Int Rating Att Yds Avg TD
2009 69 106 817 65.1 2 6 124.7 44 196 4.5 2
2010 65 93 861 69.9 4 4 153.3 41 170 4.1 1
2011 203 311 2,666 65.3 18 8 151.2 110 151 1.4 4
2012 263 387 3,392 68.0 23 10 156.0 103 310 3.0 4
Total 600 897 7,736 66.9 47 28 150.4 298 827 2.8 11

Professional career[edit]

NFL Draft prospects[edit]

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks projected him as a top five quarterback heading into the 2013 draft and compared him to Josh Freeman.[13] While Manuel possesses the blue-chip physical characteristics, work ethic and leadership qualities necessary to be successful at the NFL level, he has been faulted for somewhat inconsistent play at times during his college career.[13]

2013 NFL Combine[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 5 in 237 lb 35 in 10⅜ in 4.59 s 1.64 s 2.60 s 4.21 s 7.08 s 34 in 9 ft 10 in
All values from NFL Combine[14]

NFL Draft[edit]

Manuel was the 16th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.[15] Manuel was the only quarterback taken in the first round of the draft, a draft that was seen as especially thin at quarterback (the Bills, who originally drafted eighth and had a great need for a quarterback, even traded down to obtain more picks); Manuel was drafted ahead of higher-profile quarterbacks such as Matt Barkley and Geno Smith, as well as Ryan Nassib, who had played under Bills head coach Doug Marrone when Marrone coached the Syracuse Orange.

Buffalo Bills (2013–present)[edit]

2013 season[edit]

On June 14, 2013, Manuel signed a four year contract with the Buffalo Bills.[16] The deal is worth a fully guaranteed $8.88 million, including a signing bonus of $4.85 million evenly spaced out annually ($1.2 million) over the next four years. His salary in 2013 will be $1.6 million, $2.0 million in 2014, $2.4 million in 2015, and $2.8 million in 2016.[17]

Manuel made his professional debut on August 11, 2013, during the preseason against the Indianapolis Colts, completing 16 out of 21 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. Manuel underwent an operation on his knee to remove fluid buildup after the second game of the preseason and it was unsure if he would be ready to start the 2013 regular season opener.[18] On September 4, 2013, Doug Marrone announced at the team meeting that Manuel was confirmed to be the starter for Week 1. In week 1, Manuel completed his first touchdown to fellow rookie Robert Woods, on an 18 yard completion. On September 16, 2013, Manuel engineered his first fourth quarter comeback, with a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown march to bring his team from a six point deficit in the fourth quarter with seconds left in the game. The Buffalo Bills went on to win the Week 2 bout over the Carolina Panthers 24-23. Manuel was voted the "Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Week" for his performance.[19]

On October 3, 2013, during the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns, Manuel sprained the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. The injury caused him to miss the next 5 weeks of his rookie season.[20] Manuel had an up and down first year, but was given a vote of confidence by coach Doug Marrone as he was announced as the starting quarterback for the 2014 season.[21]

2014 season[edit]

Manuel vs. the Dolphins in 2014

On September 28, 2014, in a game against the Houston Texans, one of Manuel's passes was intercepted by J.J. Watt and returned 80 yards for a touchdown. The next day, Manuel was benched in favor of veteran quarterback Kyle Orton after starting the first 4 games of the 2014 season and bringing the bills a 2-2 record.[22] Orton would win 7 of the next 12 games, finishing the Bills 2014 season 9-7, the first time the team had posted a winning record since 2004.

2015 season[edit]

After posting the franchises first winning record in a decade, Orton retired and Marrone opted out of the rest of his contract. The Bills then hired former division rival, Rex Ryan. Manuel competed with free agent acquisition Tyrod Taylor and trade acquisition Matt Cassel for the starting quarterback job.[23] During mini-camp, Manuel struggled to compete for the starting job and was listed as the number three quarterback on the depth chart. Manuel performed well in the third preseason game, completing nearly all of his passes, showing he had improved his accuracy. On August 31, 2015 coach Rex Ryan announced that Manuel and Matt Cassel lost the starting job to Tyrod Taylor.

Manuel made his first start in over a year week 6 against the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals in place of injured Tyrod Taylor, who suffered a MCL injury the previous week.[24] On the first drive of the game for the Bills against the Bengals, Manuel led the Bills 80 yards down the field for a touchdown. Manuel finished with a stat line of 28-for-42, 263 passing yards, a passing touchdown, one touchdown rushing, and an interception in the 34-21 loss.[25]

Against the Jacksonville Jaguars on October 25 in London, Manuel threw for 298 yards and 2 touchdowns but had 3 costly turnovers, two of which were returned directly for scores by the Jacksonville defense in the second quarter. He rallied the Bills from 24 points down to take the lead in the 4th. However, Jacksonville regained the lead with a Blake Bortles touchdown pass to Allen Hurns, sealing the win 34-31 as the Bills were unable to respond. [26] With the loss, Manuel became the first NFL quarterback to lose a game in three different countries (United States, Canada, England).[27]

NFL Career Stats[edit]

Year Team Passing Rushing
GP GS W L Att Comp Yds TD Int Rate Att Yds Avg TD
2013 Buffalo 10 10 4 6 306 180 1,972 11 9 77.7 53 186 3.5 2
2014 Buffalo 5 4 2 2 131 76 838 5 3 80.3 16 52 3.3 1
2015 Buffalo 4 2 0 2 84 52 561 3 3 78.5 15 59 3.9 1
Total 19 16 6 10 521 308 3,371 19 15 78.7 84 296 3.5 4

Personal stock offering[edit]

It was reported that Manuel would be offering stock in his future earnings via a venture with Fantex, Inc. as part of a new financial instrument being sold by Fantex. Manuel planned on offering a 10% share of all future earnings from his brand to Fantex, which would then turn around and divide it into shares of a publicly traded tracking stock.[28]

In July 2014, the Manuel/Fantex stock offering was completed. 523,700 shares were sold, valued at $10 per share.[29]


  1. ^ "Manuel family strengthened by values, faith | Football | Sports | Toronto Sun". torontosun.com. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ EJ Manuel Statistics, Rivals Yahoo. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
  3. ^ EJ Manuel Scout.com. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  4. ^ EJ Manuel Rivals. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  5. ^ EJ Manuel Seminoles.com. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  6. ^ "NIC 2012 All-Fraternity All-American Football Teams". North American Interfraternity Conference. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ Bowden goes out a winner as Seminoles dispatch Mountaineers ESPN, retrieved on August 18, 2010
  8. ^ "Clemson Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles - Box Score - November 13, 2010 - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. November 13, 2010. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Seminoles.com 2012 Schedule and Results". Seminoles.com. January 6, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "FSU wins Orange Bowl, 12 games _ no national title". MiamiHerald.com. January 4, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Fisher points to the numbers to say FSU close to a title run". Warchant.com. January 6, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ "FSU Wins 2013 Discover Orange Bowl -- Notes". Seminoles.com. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Geno Smith, Matt Barkley headline 2013 NFL Draft quarterbacks". NFL.com. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ "E.J. Manuel | Florida State, QB : 2013 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  15. ^ EJ Manuel a surprise pick by Buffalo Bills at No. 16
  16. ^ "EJ Manuel signs Buffalo Bills rookie contract - NFL.com". nfl.com. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  17. ^ "E.J. Manuel Salary Cap, Contracts, Salaries, Cap Hits, & News Profile". spotrac.com. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  18. ^ Graham, Tim (August 27, 2013). EJ Manuel will need days of practice before green light. The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  19. ^ "Pepsi Next Rookie of the Week: EJ Manuel". NFL.com. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ "EJ Manuel out four to six weeks with LCL strain". UPI. Retrieved October 4, 2013. 
  21. ^ "EJ Manuel Will Enter 2014 as Buffalo Bills Starting QB - NFL.com". nfl.com. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  22. ^ Hanzus, Dan (September 29, 2014). "EJ Manuel benched; Kyle Orton to start for Buffalo Bills". NFL.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  23. ^ Rodak, Mike (June 16, 2015). "Tyrod Taylor sharp for Bills while splitting reps with Matt Cassel". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Bills plan to start EJ Manuel with Tyrod Taylor hurt". Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  25. ^ "EJ Manuel far from the spotlight in Bills' loss to Bengals". Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  26. ^ http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2015102500/2015/REG7/bills@jaguars#menu=gameinfo%7CcontentId%3A0ap3000000566248&tab=recap. Retrieved October 26, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ Hanzus, Dan (October 27, 2015). "EJ Manuel first starting QB to lose in three countries". nfl.com. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Fantex Completes Second Football Player I.P.O., Though Demand Is Slack". New York Times. 
  29. ^ "Fantex Completes Second Football Player I.P.O., Though Demand Is Slack". New York Times. 

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