Open Rants by kkunert327

Quarterback Carousel
Published at 2/29/2020
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In what is an unprecedented off season where we have many key names at quarterback that could be available. Normally, we are lucky to have 1 or 2 potential starters moving teams. This year we have 4-10 names that could possibly move and actually make an impact next year. So without further adieu, here we go!

1) Derek Carr

Current Team: Las Vegas Raiders

- I honestly, early on when Gruden arrived in Oakland could not see Derek Carr making the trip over to Las Vegas. He just does not have the personality nor the skill set that Gruden wants in his quarterbacks. Couple that with a shaky first year together where both coach and player seemed to butt heads it looked doomed to be a split. However, year 2 saw them getting everything together and putting up a surprisingly solid season despite so much off season turmoil. They do have two first round picks to package together to move up for either Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert if they fall in love with either of them. Not only is there a draft possibility of a change, but they are said to be heavily involved with the courtship for Tom Brady's favor. With enough salary cap to blow the market away for Brady's favor a new shiny toy in Las Vegas could be the signal for a change for Carr

2020 Team: Las Vegas Raiders

They may say they will trade up for a new qb, but Gruden seems determined to use all the picks he got in return for Mack and Cooper at the beginning of his tenure back in Oakland. Meanwhile, they may want to overspend for Brady, but they lack a lot of what Brady will look for in a landing spot. They lack true outside weapons besides a solid tight end for him to throw to. Their offensive line is just okay, but really nothing special. Lastly, I cannot see Gruden being willing to change his coaching style just for Brady nor do I think he makes this team good enough to compete against the Chiefs in the AFC West. Instead, I believe staying status quo with Carr and surround him with better weapons for him to utilize downfield. He put up very good numbers and with a defense that often blew a lead he still had them competitive in most games. Year 3 with Gruden should see them take a leap in the win column for 2020.

2) Teddy Bridgewater 

Current Team: New Orleans Saints

- Teddy famously turned down a bigger contract from the Dolphins to return to New Orleans to continue to be Brees' back up. Maybe he found some voodoo witch down in the Bayou that predicted how bad the Dolphins would be and Brees getting hurt so he could go show off that he can still win in this league. Bridgewater will probably struggle away from New Orleans away from Sean Payton's play calling and two terrific weapons to help him out in Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. However, he is a solid starter in this league who can still help a solid of the road team reach the playoffs. He should certainly be a better option than the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Nick Foles who ended up starting for their new teams last year. Bridgewater does have some arm strength, size, and inability to play outside in rough weather could have some teams take him off their boards. He is still rather young at only 27 with a ton of potential still in there for him to succeed. 

2020 Team: Indianapolis Colts

- This may be wishful thinking on my part since the Colts are heavily linked to Phillip Rivers, but I just see a ton more upside and long term stability from Bridgewater. The Colts have the 2nd most cap space and are led by a wise GM in Chris Ballard who will work the draft and free agency to surround Bridgewater with better talent. They do sport one of the best offensive lines in the league that will keep Bridgewater up right and healthy for the most part. Marlon Mack albeit injury prone is a terrific back when on the field and they could go after a back like Jonathan Taylor in the first round with Bridgewater in house to help out the offense. Ideal for Bridgewater this is also a great fit with him playing indoors for his home games then having nice weather teams like Tennessee, Jacksonville, and indoor Houston to go on the road for. In-climate weather should not end up being a factor for the glove wearing Bridgewater over in Indy.

3) Cam Newton

Current Team: Carolina Panthers

- Newton at one point was seen as an overpaid quarterback and that was coming off a recent MVP season. However, at only about $20 mill next year he actually seems like a bargain now. For the Panthers and new head coach Matt Rhule they have a lot of time to figure out this quarterback thing if you think about it. With a 7 year deal, they can take a sort of 49ers approach where they waited to get the right guy when Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch showed up with their longer than normal contracts. As for Newton, it will be interesting to see what teams are going to be willing to part with a seemingly broken down quarterback right now coming off of two injury riddled seasons. He may not even be cleared to play by training camp this summer coming off a recent foot surgery. A team trading for him has to have some sort of starter already in house or a back up ready to play at a high level if he is still not healthy.

2020 Team: Carolina Panthers

- I know I am a bit of a buzzkill thus far with two quarterbacks staying with their current team, but this one makes sense. Why not roll with Cam and see what they have in Carolina for Matt Rhule in his first season. If Newton continues to play like he did the past few seasons they will most likely be picking at the top of the draft with an opportunity to select either Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. If they end up trading Newton now they will most likely be selling cheap with teams not willing to take a big gamble on his health. Then they may end up with buyers' remorse if he stays healthy and plays back up to his MVP level somewhere else. It makes sense to see what they have in Newton and if he ends up playing well enough they could possibly end up getting more for him next off season if they decide to part ways. Some worry he may win too many games for them to draft a new quarterback next year, but they could always be aggressive in the draft next year and trade up like many teams before them. So that idea is just an excuse to see him play else where before he's healthy enough to really make an impact anywhere else outside of Carolina.

4) Jameis Winston

Current Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

- Wintson is a must see NFL event if you ask me with his ability to make a spectacular play for either team with ability to throw touchdowns for his team or the defense. He does have great talent, but his immaturity and inability to grow and learn from his mistakes has to be frustrating for a coaching staff. With Bruce Arians not having many years left in him may decide they are better off with a new option whether through the draft or free agency. I do know, someone will take a gamble on Winston elsewhere in this league with his incredible talent. Maybe with his new eye surgery he can see downfield better, some teammates and coaches have mentioned he sometimes could not even see the scoreboard with his bad vision. Again seems like a bad judgement move by Winston for not getting this fixed years ago with how bad he was at throwing picks. 

2020 Team: Los Angeles Chargers

- I really doubt the Chargers are truly in the hunt for Tom Brady like many say they are. Like the Raiders they have their warts, one of them playing in a division with the Chiefs and couple that with a terrible o-line just does not seem appealing for the soon to be 42 year old quarterback. However, a much cheaper option with more upside, and long term potential could be bringing in Jameis Winston. He might have some competition to beat out Tyrod Taylor for the job, but that might be good for him since he never really faced any push back in Tampa outside of an aging Ryan Fitzpatrick who ended up throwing more picks than he did. One of Winston's best traits is his leadership, poise, and confidence, maybe having to stave off Taylor will bring it out of him to become better. His mobility is solid enough to play behind their leaky o-line along with still having top wide outs in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams should see him still succeed out in Los Angeles. Now if he can mature out in LA is another thing.

5) Phillip Rivers

Current Team: Los Angeles Chargers

We all know Rivers' story by now being an aging vet who has seen his play take a step back the past two seasons. He still has a live arm, the moxy, leadership, and ability to start in the league for 2-3 more seasons. Maybe he will cut his picks if he can play behind a better o-line than he has had with the Chargers the past few seasons. Now it is a matter of if he wants to keep playing at his age and if he wants to just take any job or find the right job that can help him make a run to a Super Bowl. Clearly, he is not returning to the Chargers, but he is in play for a number of teams on the cusp of winning a Championship or a team looking to find a bridge quarterback for a year or two, it's just depends on what he is looking to do moving forward. 

2020 Team: Tennessee Titans

- You cannot tell me that the Titans are confident in Tannehill moving forward to help them return to the AFC Championship game. He barely cleared over 80 yards per game and barely even 10 passing attempts per game. I know they went run heavy with Derrick Henry, but clearly when they were falling behind the Chiefs they did not trust Tannehill to make a big play and he clearly proved it by coming up short throughout the game. Now Rivers lacks the mobility aspect that coach Vrabel seemed to like from Tannehill, but he will allow them to open up the offense more. They do maintain a solid offensive line that could remain intact if they keep Conklin. I also doubt they let Henry walk after the post season he put up. Their receivers are also pretty solid and were unable to show it with their uneven quarterbacks throwing them the ball. Rivers should be able to find A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, Delanie Walker, Jonnu Smith, and Adam Humphries to put them back in contention for a Super Bowl run.

6) Ryan Tannehill

Current Team: Tennessee Titans

Now let's come over to Tannehill who I do not see remaining in Tennesse despite them giving them all the love and support they are supposed to show in who could potentially stay as a starter here. However, the Titans have one of the oldest rosters in the NFL and have a rapidly closing Super Bowl window that was surprisingly more open than many thought even last season. Tannehill is just not good enough to be a full time starter putting a team in position to even make the playoffs in my opinion. At age 32 he seems more destined in being a very high end back up who can keep a team afloat with his ability to be an accurate passer coupled with his unique athleticism. He does have more potential than most 32 year olds thanks to not really starting back in college, but he seems to have plateaued the past few seasons along with injuries that derailed him down in Miami.

2020 Team: New York Jets

- I do not see Tannehill as a long term starting quarterback who can play all 16 games at a high quality level. I do think he is a very good back up who can come in and win games for a short period if needed. Darnold most likely should be able to play a full season if he avoids more odd aliments like Mono and other things. However, what he could use is a veteran presence in the locker room that can come in and help him calm down in game. Often the biggest issue for Darnold was his inability to slow things down when the pressure got on or if the team got off to a bad start. Of course, Tannehill might still see himself as a starter in this league and as he should since he did just get a team to the AFC Championship game. I just do not see many teams thinking the same for him. 

7) Andy Dalton

Current Team: Cincinnati Bengals

- With Joe Burrow pegged to be a Bengal after their first pick is called, Andy Dalton should be on the move elsewhere. It was already mentioned that the organization would prefer to send him somewhere he can land on his feet and be able to win right away. Now I am not sure many teams will be seeing him as an immediate starter, but he should be a very good back up with starter potential. He is an accurate passer who has shown great glimpses when he has talent around him, but he is not a truck type quarterback that can carry a team if there is not talent around him. If he does land somewhere solid his ability to be an accurate passer, experience playing in the cold AFC North, and maturity should see him be a very good option for where ever he lands. 

2020 Team: Chicago Bears

- The Bears seem like a similar landing spot to what the Titans were last year, but lacking a top notch back like Henry. However, their defense is leaps and bounds better than the aging Titans defense. Dalton could be a nice veteran for Trubisky to lean on in the off season and maybe finally figure it all out. If not and Trubisky looks shaky in the early goings they could pull the plug quickly and swap over to Dalton. At this point, Dalton should be experienced enough to not need a ton of practice reps in the summer or during the season to be able to play right away when needed. His ability to run an offense, make the right throws, and show a ton of poise should be a great sight on what is an actually solid offense with nice weapons. Nagy would also enjoy having a quarterback who can actually hit the receivers he schemed open for Trubisky to throw to that he often missed last season.

8) Taysom Hill

Current Team: New Orlean Saints

- I am making this one just because some people are silly enough to think he is a franchise quarterback in this league. Yes, he is a unique athlete who Sean Payton finds ways to really maximize his talent. However, if he lands elsewhere and is relied on to be a full time starter I doubt his unique quickness and athleticism could be utilized as much. He is also a 31 year old quarterback who has thrown a total of .....wait for it....0 touchdowns in his career thus far. I know the coaching staff likes to talk him up to maybe trick a team giving them a few picks for their soon to be RFA, but I doubt it will work.

2020 Team: New Orlean Saints

- Anyone who thinks he ends up elsewhere are just full of themselves. The only way I see him leaving is if they give him a low tender and a rival team looks to take him away from Sean Payton who had him looking like a world beater all season long. Not even the Saints believe he is a full time starter as they quickly went to Bridgewater when Brees went down and rarely even gave him many opportunities to throw the ball around. Even if they do keep him I still think the Saints would go out and find a better quarterback prospect to groom behind Drew Brees.

9) Marcus Mariota

Current Team: Tennessee Titans

- Currently, Mariota looks like a mighty big bust at this point of his career after what looked to be a promising start his rookie and sophomore seasons. Many will point to his brittle body where injuries have nagged him throughout his career thus point. Some also worry that he is too quiet and does not demonstrate an "alpha dog" mentality many coaches and media members would like to see out of their quarterbacks. I do think there is still plenty of talent here to have him emerge as a quality starter again. He is still a terrific athlete at the position and displays a ton of solid throwing touch on his passes. Where ever he lands, he most likely will be a back up much like his usurper Tannehill had to do until he had his opportunity.

2020 Team: Cleveland Browns/New Orlean Saints

Mariota I think could go to many many teams in this league from ones with young quarterbacks like the Giants, Bengals, or Broncos. To ones with established veterans like the Texans, Seahawks, and Eagles. So I ended up picking two possible spots for him that look pretty solid. One being the Saints where he can actually be a better version of Hill with a potential to actually be able to be a consistent starter thanks to his experience, youth, and arm talent. However, limited cap space could hamper this landing spots potential to draw him in. One team that has a ton of cap space a pretty solid roster that could use him is the Cleveland Browns. If Mayfield looks shaky again next season and shows up out of shape again a new GM and coaching staff may not feel as tethered to him as the likes of Freddie Kitchens and John Dorsey did. I do know Mayfield's brash nature and attitude plays very well among Cleveland fans, but if he struggles and continues to hamper a Super Bowl caliber roster I doubt they would mind a change up. Mariota is more mobile by a mile than Mayfield and could excel behind a shaky offensive line in Cleveland. His quiet nature could struggle with the egos of Jarvis Landry and OBJ, but at the same time it would also have them shine as he will be more willing to feed them passes in the short and intermediate range where they excel. It may be a quieter move where ever Mariota lands, but I think it will end up being one of the key moves of the off season. 

10) Tom Brady

Current Team: New England Patriots

- Last, but not least the Big Kahuna of the off season that will most likely be the first domino to fall to determine the rest of the quarterback carousel. Brady may be 42, but I like many others still think he is capable of being a big impact where ever he lands. His arm was never the best in the league, but he has always been an assassin who will drive the offense down field 10 yards at a time. It will be interesting to see if the team he lands with will adopt the Patriots offense that he has worked with his whole career. Much like the Broncos did with Peyton Manning. I am sure it will be a big key for where he ends up taking his talents. Ideally he would want to land somewhere with a solid offensive line, some talent on the outside, and a defense able to keep the game in check. Of course, not many teams sport that, but a few do and have openings where he could make them a Super Bowl contender immediately. 

2020 Team: New England Patriots/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I sort of still in my heart of hearts see him returning to the Patriots just on the basis of familiarity. Just ask anyone, moving is hard and that's just your life and furniture. When Brady moves, he has to take his family, along with his offense, and habits. Everything will change from the training staff to the equipment guys to even the chefs. That can be tough to get adjusted to in what will be his 21st season next year. I think he wants to see what the Patriots do this off season in terms of what free agents they bring in, but they may want to sign him first then work elsewhere quickly in the beginning of the new season. If they do try to rush Brady I can see him being turned off by it and look to take his talents elsewhere with an organization that will support, listen, and work with this off season and moving forward. I really do not see the hyped up spots like the Colts, Chargers, or Raiders being perfect fits for him and his family to move to. However, a strong dark horse could be the Bucs who legitimately have one of the better rosters in the league. Their offensive line is solid except for their tackles, but with huge cap space they could look to bring in new talent there via free agency and in a strong offensive line draft with the 14th pick. They have two All-Pro receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to go along with a potential All-Pro talent in O.J. Howard who could flourish with Brady. Their defense is improving and with Shaq Barrett most likely back their pass rush should be solid as well. With a great veteran head coach like Bruce Arians the two could really succeed together and have a good understanding of where they want to go with both reaching the latter stages of their careers. Arians has stated he came back to coach in hopes to win a Super Bowl, bringing in Brady should help him do that.

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