NFL Offseason Quarterback Carousel Report

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Potential Teams That Could Make A Change At Quarterback

Atlanta Falcons
Current Starter: Desmond Ridder

A very mediocre season in Atlanta where they started the season with Marcus Mariota and finished with rookie Desmond Ridder. Mariota has left the team after injury and not expected to return next season. For the moment, Ridder is the starter as the team used a Day 2 draft pick on him last season.

A Name To Watch: Lamar Jackson- While it appears Ridder will be the starter for next season, Lamar Jackson is a name that is gaining some traction if the negotiations with Baltimore go south. Don’t forget, DeSean Watson was going to join Atlanta until Cleveland offered a fully guaranteed contract (the first in NFL history). With their projected cap space of $56 Million (12 Million more if Mariota is released), Atlanta has plenty of space to add a big name quarterback in Free Agency.

Baltimore Ravens
Current Starter: Lamar Jackson

As of the very moment of writing this article, negotiations appear to be souring between Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson is looking for a completely guaranteed contract similar to what DeShaun Watson received in Cleveland. While there are some uncertainties with Lamar’s health the past two seasons with injuries. No one will question his talent and ability to extend plays, which has become such an important aspect of the current NFL. He was the unanimous NFL MVP in 2019 and boasts a 45-19 record as a starter. However he only has one playoff win coming in 2020, with a 1-3 record overall. Ravens can (as of now) place the franchise tag on Lamar Jackson. They have until March 7th to keep him in Baltimore for at least one more season with either an exclusive or non-exclusive tag. With a non-exclusive tag they would owe Jackson roughly 32 million and would allow other teams to negotiate with him and they can match or lose him with 2 first round picks sent to the team signing him. With an exclusive tag, Jackson would receive roughly 45 million for next season with Baltimore and they would control his rights for the upcoming season. He could only leave the franchise if he is traded. It appears he is headed for an exclusive franchise tag so the team can extend the negotiations into the season.

A Name To Watch: Tyler Huntley/NFL Draft: Don’t discount Tyler Huntley as a replacement for Lamar Jackson, if they cant come to a decision. With the change in offensive scheme coming with Todd Monken, replacing Greg Roman, we will most likely see more passing involved in this scheme. Could we see Huntley this season and then system QB, like a Stetson Bennett, reunited with Monken in Baltimore?

Carolina Panthers
Current Starter: Matt Corral

With a failed attempt by Baker Mayfield to start the season and Sam Darnold is an impending free agent the quarterback room is wide open with possibilities for the upcoming season in Carolina. New head coach Frank Reich can start from scratch with either 2nd year QB Matt Corral, a new free agent, or they can draft a new franchise QB. It’s a unique situation for this franchise. Corral sat out this season with a Lisfranc injury in his foot. Carolina used a day two pick on him in last April’s draft. Its obviously unknown if Corral can be a starter in this league and the best situation for him would be some competition in camp for him.

A Name(s) To Watch: Derek Carr/Anthony Richardson- With some weakness in the NFC South amongst the quarterback play, we could see Derek Carr be in play for Carolina. While he has not taken a visit to Carolina yet, Carr will definitely let his free agency play out slowly. Carolina does have some picks available to move up even more to grab one of the top 4 quarterbacks in April’s draft. The prospect that makes the most sense in Carolina would be Florida’s Anthony Richardson. He is a very raw prospect but has all the tools that Reich would look for in his signal caller.

Green Bay Packers
Current Starter: Aaron Rodgers

The single biggest and most newsworthy story of the offseason so far. Rodgers is contemplating retirement or coming back and play out his contract with either Green Bay or they could trade his contract to another team. Rodgers did take a “4 day darkness retreat” to help clear his mind and make a final decision. He has completed his retreat (per sources) but no word from the Rodgers camp on what the final decision will be at this point. He has 2 years left on a 3 year/$150 million extension that he signed in 2022. It’s a large cap hit for any team to incur but Rodgers is one of the (if not the most) talented quarterbacks we have seen in NFL history. Even through all of his controversy he can make any throw and will instantly make any team a contender.

A Name To Watch: Jordan Love- The 2020 first round pick would be the logical replacement for Rodgers if he does not return to Green Bay. They moved up in the 2020 draft to obtain him and have been patiently waiting in the wings for his opportunity. He has shown some flashes of talent in his opportunities the past couple of seasons. He has only seen action in 10 games in two seasons so the jury is still out on Love overall. If Rodgers does return to Green Bay, expect Jordan Love to request a trade and try to latch onto a team in need of a new young (and potentially) franchise QB.

Houston Texans
Current Starter: Davis Mills

The Davis Mills experiment has come to an end in Houston and they will look to draft a new franchise quarterback. This is as sure a thing as it can be. The other quarterbacks on the roster this past season were Kyle Allen and Jeff Driskel. Respectfully, neither of them are starters in this league but will suffice as backup spot starters wherever they end up. Mills was benched this season and has thrown double digit interceptions both of his seasons in the league. Mills could be a spot starter going forward as well but don’t expect him to be the starter in this league again.

A Name(s) To Watch- Bryce Young/Jimmy Garopolo

While it is nearly a lock that the Texans will most likely draft either Bryce Young or CJ Stroud in this April’s draft, if they wanted to bring that prospect along slowly, they could sign 49ers QB Jimmy Garopolo to a short term deal. With the new coaching staff in Houston being led by DeMeco Ryans, it would reunite the two back together with some familiarity on both sides. This would most likely be a one year deal if it came to fruition on Houston’s end so they can get the most of their next franchise quarterback.

Indianapolis Colts
Current Starter: Sam Ehlinger

The most quarterback desperate team in the league will have only one option come April. With Matt Ryan and Nick Foles most likely to be cut, they will finally end the quarterback roulette they have been playing by drafting a new franchise quarterback in April’s draft. There is zero possibility that they do not draft one in April with their first pick. The new coaching staff is equipped to groom him to their specificity. Indianapolis will do what it takes to get the prospect they want. If they are smitten with all 4 prospects they can wait and draft whoever is left at #4 but the most likely scenario will be that they trade up to make sure they get the prospect they want. This is arguably the most important draft pick the franchise will make since drafting Andrew Luck in 2012 as they must get back to their winning ways.

A Name To Watch: CJ Stroud/Bryce Young– These are the two most likely prospects for the Colts in the draft. They will also look at Will Levis and Anthony Richardson as well. I expect them to be very aggressive in obtaining any of this prospects for the upcoming season.

Las Vegas Raiders
Current Starter: Jarrett Stidham

With the divorce from Derek Carr late in the season, we were able to see Jarrett Stidham get some reps and while he wasn’t awful, it does not appear that he will be the starter going forward. The franchise will need to decide how to play this. They can either sign a veteran or draft a new QB and start over with Josh McDaniels. The Raiders mantra of “Just Win Baby” from the late owner, Al Davis, will most likely win out.

A Name(s) To Watch: Aaron Rodgers/Jimmy Garopolo- In one of the largest media markets for the NFL, the Raiders will want to stay relevant and try to win immediately. Both of these candidates make sense for Las Vegas. Bringing in Rodgers would reunite him with star WR Davante Adams and with Garopolo, it would reunite him with his former OC in New England. Based on the history of the franchise with not wanting to pay huge contracts, it would make sense for them to lean towards the direction of Garopolo as they gave up draft capital last season to acquire Davante Adams.

New Orleans Saints
Current Starter: Jameis Winston

One of the most peculiar situations in the NFL last season, Andy Dalton started over Jameis Winston even through poor play and after Winston was deemed able to play by team doctors. Don’t expect that this season as they will look to fortify that position. Daltons record as a starter this season was 6-8 and he threw for less than 3,000 yards. Winston is under contract for one more season so they could stick with him as a rental, but it seems unlikely.

A Name To Watch: Derek Carr- The first visit that Derek Carr took even before being released by Las Vegas was to New Orleans. He would fit well in the system here and would instantly make them a favorite in the NFC South with the QB turnover in that division. With Dennis Allen on the hot seat this makes the most sense for them to go with the best option for a “win now” mentality.

New York Jets
Current Starter: Zach Wilson

Jets fans thought they had their franchise quarterback with Zach Wilson after drafting him with the #2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Poor play and even worse accountability has pushed him down the depth chart for the foreseeable future. While he is the only current quarterback on the roster, we fully expect them to go hard for a veteran QB in free agency or via trade as the team could make the playoffs with the right player under center

Names To Watch: Aaron Rodgers/Derek Carr/Jimmy Garopolo– Any one of these 3 names would instantly put the NY Jets back in the playoff discussions. They all bring playoff experience and they all would bring accountability and credibility to the Jets locker room. They have already met with Carr and they have inquired with Green Bay about acquiring Aaron Rodgers. As the Rodgers decision becomes more clear, the Jets situation will become more clear as well.

San Francisco 49ers
Current Starter: Brock Purdy/Trey Lance

Plenty of teams would love to be in the situation that San Francisco seems themselves in. After the Trey Lance season ending they turned to Jimmy G and after his season ending injury they turned to the last pick in the 2022 draft, Mr. Irrelevent Brock Purdy. Purdy played masterfully in all his starts leading them to a total (playoffs included) record of 7-1. The only loss coming in the NFC Championship as he left the game with torn UCL in his elbow but did finish the game as his replacement went out with an injury as well. It appears that Lance has the leg up but don’t discount Purdy in what will most likely be a camp competition if one of them isn’t traded before the season starts.

A Name To Watch: Aaron Rodgers- While this guess is completely unlikely, I would keep an eye out for Aaron Rodgers here. He wants to win another title (if he comes back) and there is no team that is closer to that, without a confirmed QB, than San Francisco. Kyle Shanahan is a master at creating gameplans for whatever type of quarterback is under center.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current Starter: Kyle Trask

With the retirement of Tom Brady, the Buccaneers have only one quarterback under contract on the roster and that is 2021 2nd round pick Kyle Trask. He has played only one game since being drafted and has minimal experience. He has been in the same QB room as Tom Brady for two seasons and that alone could give him a leg up on any competition they might bring in. However, I would not be surprised to see them bring in a veteran QB until they make a final decision for the future.

A Name To Watch: Geno Smith- This would be the name to watch if they cannot agree to terms on a new deal with Geno Smith in Seattle. Tampa Bay has hired Dave Canales as the new OC to replace Byron Leftwich. Canales resurrected Geno Smith’s career last season in Seattle and may look for a reunion if possible.

Tennessee Titans
Current Starter: Ryan Tannehill

We saw it with the veterans that got cut earlier this week. New GM Ran Carthon is looking to shake some things up with the roster. They cut some notable veterans Robert Woods, Taylor Lewan and Zach Cunningham. The next on that list could be Ryan Tannehill as his contract is massive and they need some breathing room with the salary cap. He turns 35 and is nearing the end of his career and while they drafted Malik Willis in last April’s draft, he didn’t impress this season after an injury to Ryan Tannehill ended his season.

A Name To Watch: Trey Lance- Hear me out on this. Yes, the Titans have Malik Willis waiting in the wings. But the key aspect to remember is, not only did Willis not look great in his action this season, but Carthon was not involved in drafting Willis last season. He was, however, involved in the drafting of Trey Lance when he was with San Francisco. Carthon will not hesitate to make this team a contender quickly and Lance might be the ticket to get them there.

Washington Commanders
Current Starter: Sam Howell

The Commanders scored the big assistant of the offseason by convincing Eric Bienemy to leave Kansas City and be the play caller and assistant head coach. Two titles he did not have in Kansas City. While he was the offensive coordinator, it was Andy Reid who called the plays. Bienemy has that opportunity now to show he can completely run the show in Washington. It appears that former 2021 5th round pick Sam Howell will the starter to begin the season, for now. The Commanders seem content with starting Sam Howell for the beginning of the season to see what they have in him and that is probably the best decision because at some point you have to rip the band aid off.

A Name To Watch: Lamar Jackson- Like Atlanta, expect Washington to at least reach out to Baltimore on the availability of Jackson. Lamar most likely wouldn’t have to move from his current Maryland residence to play here. They will most likely cut Carson Wentz to free up even more cap space and now that they have respected OC in the building, the QB job in Washington looks even more appealing now than it ever did before.

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