Quarterback Carousel: Whose Left?
It has been a wild free agency for the quarterback position in the NFL. From Tom Brady signing with Tampa Bay to Nick Foles being traded to the Chicago Bears. With so many quarterback moves, I count eight, who is left out in the cold? Where could they land? First off we ought to look at what franchises are currently looking for signal-callers, and it isn’t a lot, but here is preliminarily who needs arms right now. Here are the teams in the quarterback carousel.
Los Angeles Chargers
First off would be the Los Angeles Chargers. The plan cannot be to roll into 2020 in a brand new stadium with Tyrod Taylor as your starter. Though reports are out that it’s definitely an option I would be shocked if the Chargers actually went with that.
Las Vegas Raiders
Then you look at the Las Vegas Raiders within the AFC West as well. Sure, they’ve added Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr is still in the building; Jon Gruden has stated many a time though that he would love to replace Carr. Mariota is a nice stop-gap but I would anticipate the Raiders draft someone as well.
The Bengals are another team obviously in search of a new quarterback, but that need is all but guaranteed to be filled in the draft. That need will likely be filled with Joe Burrow first overall. They still have Andy Dalton on the roster, but they are attempting to trade him.
New England Patriots
The Patriots lost arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time Tom Brady to Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots could roll into 2020 with Jarrett Stidham as their quarterback but I would imagine Bill Belichick is looking for someone to back him up or serve as a one to the two-year stopgap.
Miami is obviously in need of a quarterback, but if they are calling up the Bengals to potentially move to number one I would say it’s probably a 90 percent chance they get their guy in the draft. They have plenty of picks in the draft so they may be able to address that anywhere.
I feel I should write a short sentence on the Panthers: They have their quarterback of 2020 in Teddy Bridgewater. They do not have the quarterback of the future yet. More on that next offseason. Maybe tank for Trevor Lawerence?
The Redskins addressed the quarterback position in the 2019 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, the reports are out there that Ron Rivera does not love Dwayne Haskins. Haskins made huge leaps at the end of 2019 but it seems the coaching staff might be looking in another direction.
So that’s about seven spots with questions at quarterback. Of those seven there are two that I foresee making free agent moves at quarterback. Which is a problem because there are more quarterbacks than that out on the market. Here are the quarterbacks in the quarterback carousel.
Andy Dalton. Dalton remains the most undervalued quarterback in the league. People seem to entirely forget his 2016/2017 seasons, with a decent O line and weapons around him Dalton put up borderline top ten numbers. In 2016 Dalton threw for 4,206 yards and in 2017 he threw for 3,320. Dalton hasn’t played a full season since 2017 due to a terrible offensive line in Cincinnati. That said, in only 13 games last year Dalton still threw for nearly 3,500 yards. The issue came with turnovers and a lack of touchdowns. With better offensive talent and coaching though that would change. It truly does make the most sense for Dalton to go to the Patriots in my eyes. Where does Dalton fit on the quarterback carousel? Belichick could turn him back into a top talent.
Cam Newton is still one of the most fascinating guys on the market. If he is healthy and is the same guy as before the myriad of shoulder injuries he could turn a franchise around. If not this could be it for him. He was not good in 2019 because of the injuries problem or a decline in arm talent, maybe both. To me, Newton makes sense on one of these teams that are going to draft someone. The Chargers or The Dolphins could sign Cam and have a ton of options. 1. Cam gets hot and carries you throughout the season to the playoffs. 2. Cam plays well and at mid-season, you believe in your rookie so you trade Cam for several high-value draft picks. 3. Rookie beats Cam out, Cam still looks good in camp, trade him for a little less. It just isn’t going to be that high risk if you’re a team because Cam simply isn’t going to make top quarterback money on the market.
There is so much good, but also so much downright terrible with Jameis Winston. The words of Bruce Arians ring true. Winston is worth taking on as a project though. A team like perhaps the Redskins could use him to set a fire under Haskins. Winston teaming up with Gruden made sense but that’s not a viable option anymore with Mariota involved. Winston might be on the streets for a while but bet on him being on a roster by August 10th the quarterback Carousel spins all offseason long.
Really there is no room for Joe Flacco in the league anymore. Does he still have the arm? Sure, but as my good friend, Marc Sessler of NFL.com says he is a stone-age pony. The type of player that gets stuck in the pocket and can’t escape. This may be the end of the road for Mr. Flacco.
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