In most years the NFL’s off-season is a flurry of roster moves though quarterback has always been somewhat of a stability for a large fraction of the teams. This year? It could be an insane amount of moves all around the league. Quarterbacks could be released, traded, free agents who sign with other teams, and so forth. When I was thinking of the amount of quarterbacks possibly on the move, I can’t remember a time where so many teams may have a quarterback change whether because of players aging, players not performing as expected, or both. How I will do it is look at the teams and the quarterback who led them in 2019 and then see where will the quarterback end up while what that team will do for its replacement.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: TOM BRADY: It seemed like a joke if you were to say the Patriots and Tom Brady were to part ways. It also seemed like a joke that Tom Brady would not really be at this point a top ten quarterback in the NFL. But guess what? It’s quite possible that both are real now. Before you go “he’s still a top quarterback,” let me say this: look at Brady’s second half of the season numbers in 2019 when the Patriots went 4-4 (losing to Kansas City, Baltimore, Houston, and Miami). Brady’s completion rate dropped nearly 10% while the rating dropped about 10 points as well (to which Sam Darnold had a better rating than Brady in the second half). Compile that with what is quite possibly Brady’s worst playoff performance in recent memory (missing open targets, throwing it at short spots) and you do wonder if Father Time finally caught up to Brady. And I think Bill Belichick is thinking the same thing as it sounds like that relationship isn’t what it once was (seems like Brady was more and more defensive about his play as the season went on). And we know Belichick isn’t a guy who plays the sentimental card. If you have it, you have it. If you don’t, you don’t. People believe Brady stays in New England. I’m in the minority right now that Brady doesn’t stay. He wants to play for a long time still but the Patriots aren’t a team who will rely on a guy if they are completely done. The question is what will the Patriots do to replace him? 2020: Brady signs with the Chargers. Patriots sign Andy Dalton and draft Jacob Eason
MIAMI DOLPHINS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: RYAN FITZPATRICK & JOSH ROSEN: Rosen to this point of his NFL tenure has either shown he can’t do it or placed in bad situations (Arizona prior). It’s why Ryan Fitzpatrick, the true version of a journeyman QB took over. And Miami had some success with Fitzpatrick there. However, we all know the Dolphins aren’t going to make him any franchise guy. That said, he’s a calming veteran presence in the locker room and is a guy to have around. Rosen on the other hand doesn’t seem to be the guy and needs another place to move, but right now he seems destined to be a backup for good. What the Dolphins will do will draft Tua Tagovailoa at #5 (or if they trade up) and have Fitzpatrick start out 2020. 2020: Dolphins keep Fitzpatrick and draft Tua Tagovailoa; Rosen is traded to the Lions.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: Andy Dalton: This seems pretty much cut and dry. Dalton’s days in Cincinnati are over. He obviously didn’t get the love and respect but he served his time well with the Bengals. Cincinnati has the #1 overall pick and it looks like they are bringing Ohio native and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow back home. Only question is who will be the veteran presence to help Burrow? Oddly I think it may be Joe Flacco. He’s not going to be a franchise guy anymore and would suffice if Burrow starts midway through the 2020 season. Good idea honestly. 2020: Bengals draft Joe Burrow, sign Joe Flacco; Andy Dalton signs with the Patriots.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: JACOBY BRISSETT: Outside of the Patriots & Brady, this is going to be another team to keep its eyes on. Brissett signed a 2 year extension prior to the 2019 season after Andrew Luck retired. The results for Brissett were not bad but unimpressive. However what people forget was TY Hilton missed 6 games which really stung Indianapolis a lot. Talk of Brady coming here I think is just all talk. The Colts have something going for them and giving Brady a huge deal would probably set Indy back. What I do see possibly happening is the Colts make a move of getting Nick Foles (remember his connection with Frank Reich in Philadelphia) just to add quarterback depth. It is possible Indianapolis uses a quarterback for a first round pick this year, but I am not sold on that idea yet. 2020: Colts keep Brissett and trade for Nick Foles
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: NICK FOLES AND GARDNER MINSHEW: Speaking of Foles, he struggled or was injured. But also it had a feel that Jacksonville has been somewhat of a mess of a franchise with certain things happening. Minshew has enjoyed a cult following when the Jaguars have won games but he isn’t any answer either. This is where Philip Rivers makes his coast to coast move from Southern California. But for now it is a stopgap for the Jaguars and I don’t necessarily see them drafting a franchise quarterback this year. Next year perhaps. 2020: Jaguars trade Nick Foles to Colts, and sign Philip Rivers
TENNESSEE TITANS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: MARCUS MARIOTA AND RYAN TANNEHILL: A massive debate about Mariota (whether he didn’t have it anymore or the Titans failed him) him kind of went by the wayside after he was benched and Ryan Tannehill took over. The Titans made an improbable run to the AFC Championship (thanks mostly to Derrick Henry) with Tannehill thus really eliminating any value Mariota has or return to Tennessee. So the Titans will keep Tannehill, but it has that vibe of a stopgap until they can find their franchise guy. It may be this year with Jake Fromm. As for Mariota, starting Week 1 probably won’t happen for any team unless there is an injury. But he has always seemed to be a humble cat. I think he goes closer back to his home and learns from Brady in Los Angeles as a backup. 2020: Titans keep Tannehill, draft Jake Fromm; Marcus Mariota signs with Chargers
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: PHILIP RIVERS: If the Chargers had fans in the Los Angeles area, they would very intrigued on what will happen. So the actual real Chargers fans will be intrigued. We know Rivers is gone. Brady from all likelihoods probably wants to head back to the West Coast and still thinks he can play, Adding on the fact the Chargers are having massive difficulty getting anybody to buy tickets for them in the new football stadium makes this a bit where they HAVE to get Brady. But in case he struggles or gets injured (it increases when you get older), they will also need to have a quarterback in the waiting so it may be Marcus Mariota. I don’t see the Chargers for now drafting any quarterback in the first rounds until at least next year. And I DON’T buy them saying Tyrod Taylor is the guy. It’s one thing to say it from the coach, but the owner needs butts in the stands. 2020: Chargers sign Tom Brady and Marcus Mariota; Philip Rivers signs with Jaguars
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: DEREK CARR: I don’t see a massive move from the Raiders, but I do see the Raiders give Derek Carr some competition at quarterback, so I think that Vegas may make a splash and bring in Taysom Hill. For some reason I think Jon Gruden’s eyes light up when Hill is out on the field and Hill is a guy who is just itching to show he is a franchise guy. He probably won’t get that in New Orleans unless Brees retires but that won’t be soon. 2020: Raiders keep Carr, sign Taysom Hill
DALLAS COWBOYS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: DAK PRESCOTT: It’s probably a no-brainer here that Dak stays. I mean it seems like it’s far for an agreement, but when is said & done Jerry Jones will pony up the money for Prescott. 2020: Cowboys sign Dak Prescott.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: CASE KEENUM AND DWAYNE HASKINS: Sounds like Haskins is becoming more of Rosen 2.0 in DC with the Redskins already looking at a potential quarterback. Honestly, if the Redskins are to find a quarterback this year, do you really make a push to get Cam Newton? The former MVP has been showing injury woes since 2015. A part of me thinks that Washington will either trade for or sign Newton (assuming he is released by Carolina) because the Redskins. But while I think Rivera and Newton worked fine in Carolina, I don’t know if it works here. But, I think Washington will try it. But Haskins does stay I think. 2020: Redskins get Cam Newton, keep Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum signs with Carolina.
CHICAGO BEARS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: MITCHELL TRUBISKY: No quarterback fell from grace faster and harder than Mitchell Trubisky in 2019. He was arguably one of the most polarizing figures in the league and has become a butt of jokes in relation to the Bears drafting him over Mahomes and Watson. Trubisky isn’t a high end passer and won’t ever be confused with the likes of even Matt Ryan or Matthew Stafford. He’s a strong game manager that could really benefit in a setting where it’s a run oriented with short passes involved like he had in 2018. However, I think the Bears will give Trubisky one last chance to get Chicago in the playoffs before they say bye bye. 2020: Bears keep Trubisky.
DETROIT LIONS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: MATTHEW STAFFORD, JEFF DRISKELL, AND DAVID BLOUGH: I was nearly considering not to put this up. BUT…..all these “analysts” and “experts” I hear saying that the Lions should move Stafford are not following the Lions at all. GM Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia are on the hottest of seats possible as the ownership has said “win or else.” So Stafford, who was having a career year until his injury, will stay in Detroit. Do you really think they will rely on a rookie QB here? And is not like the Lions have a lack of talent as there is plenty on BOTH sides of the ball (and were in nearly every game even after Stafford got injured but Blough and Driskell are 3rd stringers at best). It’s just they haven’t gotten a lot out of players getting the big bucks (notably on the defensive line). But the only QB move is Detroit getting a backup if Stafford gets injured again, which makes me think Josh Rosen is their best bet. 2020: Lions keep Stafford and trade for Josh Rosen.
CAROLINA PANTHERS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: CAM NEWTON AND KYLE ALLEN: Like the Lions, the Panthers had their starting quarterback fall by the wayside early in 2019. Early on it thought Kyle Allen would make nobody miss Cam but he was not the answer. However Cam’s struggles after 2015 and his durability issues have no longer made him the cornerstone of the Panthers who are kind of a mess right now with talent issues all over (minus Christian McCaffrey of course). It is time for the Panthers to move on from Cam. Now it will be down to the Panthers and Raiders for the two backups of the Saints in Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater. Both would fit ideal to Joe Brady’s offense and are familiar with Brady in his Saints days. I think the Panthers will go with Bridgewater who is slightly more polished with passing than they would Hill which I think either one fits well in Carolina but Teddy is more of a guarantee. 2020: Panthers release Cam Newton and he signs with the Redskins; sign Teddy Bridgewater
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: DREW BREES AND TEDDY BRIDGEWATER: Brees was hurt early on and Bridgewater didn’t miss a beat with the Saints offense. Brees came back and looked very good until really the playoff game against Minnesota to which Saints fans are kinda wondering if it’s time to move on. Now this doesn’t seem like it will be much of an intrigue, but both Bridgewater and Taysom Hill want to call plays as a starter which does complicate things in New Orleans a bit. Brees to the Saints is pretty likely but New Orleans really has to make a press to keep either Hill or Bridgewater if Brees is hurt again or he finally goes downhill with his play. This is actually one to watch especially if they do keep one of them long-term and perhaps let Brees go to Indianapolis? Nah. The Saints have more of a sentimental feel with Brees and won’t just let him walk. And they will trade up to get his heir apparent: Justin Herbert. 2020: Saints keep Drew Brees, Bridgewater signs with Panthers, Hill signs with Raiders; Saints draft Justin Herbert.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: 2019 QUARTERBACK: JAMEIS WINSTON: This is one where many are wondering about and moreso than a lot of places. Winston’s attitude (both on and off the field) has made him one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in a LONG time. It seems like Bruce Arians wants him but the front office isn’t as keen to it. Now to his credit Winston has taken steps (LASIK surgery), but he will have to learn at some point of making better decisions with the football. However, I think Arians would vouch for him and the Bucs keep Winston around. 2020: Bucs sign Jameis Winston
Let’s see how the carousel spins!
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat