With this season bringing the most parity we have seen in the NFL in quite some time, along with quarterbacks being the most disgruntled and ready to be put in a ready-to-win situation, there is a potential for the most quarterback movement in a long time.
Many teams are going through periods of transition that haven’t been before.
It’s a blessing to be in a situation where there is stability between the organization between the team and the single-most-important individual position in sports.
In many cases, the state of your team is defined by your quarterback; it’s like a marriage or a relationship.
Let’s check in on the relationship statuses of each team and their quarterback to truly evaluate the state of the franchise going forward by dividing them into groups.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans
Let’s go ahead and get these teams out of the way- all of these teams have proven franchise guys that are either young, under contract, proven superstars, or all of the above.
No drama here at all between these commitments.
THE “HONEYMOON STAGE”
New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Chicago Bears
They’re young, they’re promising, everything is sunshine and rainbows!
The Patriots, Jaguars, and Bears all drafted rookie quarterbacks in Mac Jones, Justin Fields, and Trevor Lawrence that even with or without wins have looked the part, and Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow already look like franchise guys their second year in.
There hasn’t been enough time for any turmoil to occur in the relationship… yet.
Minnesota Vikings, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles
Here we have a variety of scenarios where one side of the relationship is more committed and happy than the other and is trying to prove themselves worthy of the other’s love and dedication.
The Vikings are sitting with $35 million committed to Kirk Cousins next year, and he continues to be just good enough to blow a lead after looking solid for 3 quarters. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson and Head Coach Mike Zimmer seem to have a new passive-aggressive way of expressing their hatred towards Kirk each week as the Vikings are always in the middle.
The Raiders are practically in the exact same spot with Derek Carr, who has around $20 million committed to him next year while the team is in shambles everywhere else, and Jon Gruden had made comments gushing about every other quarterback in the league before he parted ways.
The Falcons are trying to figure out the kindest way to break up with Matt Ryan, the aging quarterback who has been nothing but good to them for decades.
The Colts, Eagles, and Giants all in their own way said, “I guess we’ll run it with this guy this year” with Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, and Daniel Jones, but none of them have been bad enough to break it off and go with a full-scale rebuild- they all keep winning or keep looking competent. It puts them in an odd spot. They just want to be loved!
ONE OF THEM IS LIKING PICTURES OF SOMEONE ELSE’S INSTAGRAM
Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints
The title of the tier says it all. One is already planning for other options.
Russell Wilson gave out a list of teams he’d be “okay with getting traded to” last offseason, and with the season looking as bad as it is for Seattle, they might be primed for a restart. Russ can’t be too happy.
The Browns are approaching Baker Mayfield’s rookie contract running its course, so the decision to decide whether or not to pay him is looming, and, even though he’s been playing with a torn labrum, he’s looked like the weakness on a team with a championship-hungry roster.
The 49ers traded up to draft Trey Lance- that’s the kiss of death if you’re Jimmy Garoppolo once Lance is ready to play.
The Jets took Zach Wilson #2 overall, but considering how embarrassing the whole team has been when he’s been on the field and his backup Mike White got their most-impressive win, there are already rumblings that they made the wrong decision with Wilson.
The Dolphins would trade for Deshaun Watson tomorrow and get away from Tua if they knew the status of his legal situation- fair or not to Tua.
Finally, the Saints had committed this year to Jameis on a one-year deal, but with him out for the year and Sean Payton regarded as a coach many elite quarterbacks would want to play for, the Saints are likely going to be flirting with other people this offseason.
FILED FOR DIVORCE
Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers
There’s a mutual agreement on both sides that the end is near.
The Steelers and Big Ben know that this is his last ride given his old noodle arm.
The Packers and Aaron Rodgers had a reality-show-level stand-off this offseason to the point where he threatened retirement, so since they reworked his deal to where they can likely work out a trade, they both know this is their “last dance” in reference to Aaron Rodgers’s Instagram post of Michael Jordan.
SINGLE AND READY TO MINGLE
Denver Broncos, Washington Football Team, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions
These are the teams that are ready to move on now. They’ve got their hottest fit on at the club, the cologne has been overspray, and the GMs and coaches are acting as each other’s personal wingmen. In other words, they see no future or have no hope in their current state of the position.
The Broncos are going to be freed of Teddy Bridgewater by the end of the year, and they’ll have plenty of assets to potentially be in the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes, as rumored during the NFL Draft earlier this year.
The Washington Football Team are in no way committed to Taylor Heinecke after he’s struggled, and they actively tried to replace him with 38-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason.
The Panthers kicked the tires on Sam Darnold, who actually ended up being as bad as we thought he was when on the Jets, so now they’re using a Cam Newton who was sitting on his couch the week prior. With one of the most-aggressive owners in sports, they’ll be looking to go after a veteran or make a big splash.
The Texans are starting Tyrod Taylor since the Deshaun Watson situation is a whirlwind of unknown controversy and legal troubles aside, he’s already requested a trade.
And the Lions are winless using guys named Jared Goff and Tim Boyle! They’ll likely get the first pick in a weak quarterback draft! Congratulations, Detroit!
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