This offseason has had unprecedented speculation at an NFL Quarterback Carousel. Ranging from superstar quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson to the retirement of NFL cornerstones like Phillip Rivers, NFL beat reporters and pundits are widely speculating a shift in many of the constants that we’ve become so used to seeing. Let’s get started:
Credit for the photo: Full10Yards.com
NFL Teams rumored to be looking:
If you weren’t counting, that’s 19 franchises rumored to have questions with their current quarterback room. This doesn’t mean they will be making a change at quarterback or are even seriously considering making a change, as many of these rumors are due to the unprecedented trade request from Texans superstar Desean Watson. Nonetheless, it’s fun to speculate.
So let’s see who’s on the block, available in the draft, and where we’d love to see them go.
Trevor Lawrence – He feels destined to go in the NFL Draft at pick 1.01 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Frankly, this feels like a perfect fit. Married to a career college coach in Urban Meyer, he will be put in an offense he can digest and in a position to grow with Chark, Shenault, Robinson, and the young pieces they bring in through the draft.
Justin Fields – Arguably the #2 quarterback in the draft class, Justin Fields brings a nice mixture of elite passing ability with big bodied rushing ability. I’ve watched a lot of film on Fields, and it seems like he needs a decent offensive line to fire on all cylinders. My favorite realistic landing spot is the Carolina Panthers, and even though they don’t have the offensive line I think he needs yet, they make up for that with an arsenal of elite weapons including McCaffery and DJ Moore.
This offensive firepower, a fairly young team, offensive coordinator Joe Brady and sitting behind bridge quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (no pun intended Teddy) for a few games in 2021 should give him time to learn the offense and get used to the speed of the NFL. Runner up? Washington Football Team, who’s offensive line actually ranked 3rdin Pass Blocking and 10thin Run Blocking per PFF.
Zack Wilson – In contention as the #2 quarterback taken in this loaded draft class, Wilson excels at extending plays and making off platform throws. I have concerns for his durability, as he weighs in at just over 200 lbs, but he’s an exciting quarterback with a cannon for an arm. I’d love to see him drop in to replace Matt Ryan on the Atlanta Falcons. With Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, a quickly developing Russel Gage, and Hayden Hurst to throw to, the Falcons would be an absolutely killer spot for Wilson to occupy.
Mac Jones – Pocket presence, on time throws, and a winning pedigree highlight Jones best attributes while subpar athleticism and a serviceable but unremarkable arm strength are his clear weaknesses. The New England Patriots dealt with pocket passer Tom Brady for the last 20 years. He’s the GOAT, so I’m not postulating that Mac Jones is even a semi-serviceable replacement, but they are used to that playstyle. It makes sense that a fairly immobile quarterback who has great touch would find a nice home in New England. The Wide Receiver group there is lackluster, to say the least, but with some investment from the front office, this would be a good fit for the NFL hopeful.
Trey Lance – Starting one fantastic college season in his career, Trey Lance is an extremely raw but promising prospect. He has the accuracy, decision making, and mobility to boost ANY offense that he lands on but a lack of reps will slow his effectiveness early in his career. Due to that, I think any team he goes to will have him sit for the majority if not the entirety of his rookie year. With that said, my pick for Trey is the Carolina Panthers. See Justin Fields description for why it’s desirable, this is an ascending team that could make great progress in it’s rebuild with a more-adept-at-passing Cam Newton. Sign me up.
Derek Carr – Always efficient, always safe, Derek Carr has done OK in Las Vegas so far. He belongs on a team with a strong defense where he can game manage his way to victory. If he leaves the Raiders, it would likely take a fair amount of compensation from the acquiring team. I read rumors of the Raiders being in the Watson market, but I hate him landing in Houston, so I’ll just lay out a dream that he lands on the Washington Football Team. Solid offensive line play and a great defense mean they could be an ideal spot for him to land. And they’re looking for a quarterback to take them to the next level.
Jimmy Garopollo – I think he stays with the 49ers unless they make a blockbuster with the Texans. Little known fact, though, is that he has a “no trade” clause in his contract, and I doubt he wants to end his career on a rebuilding and terribly managed Houston team. With obvious ties to the New England Patriots, Bill may elect to acquire his former prospect however it’s hard to see any worthy franchise really making moves for Jimmy with his recent health issues. So if a 3 way trade is required, they feel like the only team I can see participating. I’m not sure if he survives the next class of rookie QB’s in SF unless they win a superbowl, and would likely join any other team in a QB competition or a “prove it” deal. That makes me nervous but Belicek loves him, so I find the Patriots as the most desirable landing spot out of sheer longevity.
Desean Watson – Watson has a “no trade” clause in his contract, so he actually gets to mulligan with any trade deals that the franchise says are satisfactory compensation, which really throws a wrench into things. If a team were making serious offers for Watson, they either have a ton of draft capital (Jets, Dolphins, really any team with a top 10 2020 pick) or they are in win now mode and don’t care so much about the next few years first round picks (Colts, SF, Broncos). Of all of those listed, the Dolphins trading Tua and some first round picks to acquire Watson feels the most likely, but the spot I’d LOVE to see him go is to the Broncos. They have all of the requisite weapons, a stout defense (when healthy), and haven’t been able to find their QB of the future with their Post-Peyton efforts. “Lock” it in with the Broncos as my favorite landing spot.
Jameis Winston – I don’t think he’s a quality NFL quarterback. He’s too cavalier. So while that’s great for fantasy, it’s not that great for actual NFL play. That said, he could thrive on a team with a horrid defense and very few option. If the Texans trade away Desean, I would really enjoy Winston going there for a moderate but solid contract. Places I want to avoid with him? The Saints.
Mitch Trubisky – I don’t think he’s a quality NFL quarterback. His mental processing seems slow and he has trouble making reads consistently. This was exacerbated by the poor offensive line play, play calling, and overall player acquisitions by the Bears since drafting him. That said, I think he’ll find a home to compete as a starter in camp before it’s all said and done. As much as I hate putting him on my home team, I think the Washington Football Team is a place where he would be competing with low level competition and could win the starting job. I could also see the Saints as a desirable spot where all he has to do is get the ball to Kamara and Thomas on repeat. His deal, wherever he goes, should be small with few guarantees.
Carson Wentz – His 2020 season was awful from all accounts. He looked terrible, his play was disgraceful, and he burned a lot of bridges with his crappy attitude. That said, if he were to find success somewhere new, I think the Colts are the obvious lead candidate. So that’s where I’d like to see him go and reunite with his kingmaker, Frank Reich. Places I hope he stays far away from: The Bears.
Sam Darnold – He hasn’t looked good so far in the NFL, but his coaching was objectively terrible. The jury remains out on this highly touted college prospect and what we’ve been able to see from him so far. I think there are a few cap strapped teams with their veterans moving on or retiring, and I think the Pittsburgh Steelers should be at the top of the list in the low stakes bidding war for Darnold. He’s physically a bit smaller than Big Ben, but comes in with a huge arm, some mobility, and if they could turn him into any shade of Ben, it would be a huge win for both the Steelers and Darnold.
Marcus Marriotta – Washington Football Team is my favorite realistic landing spot for Marcus. He showed a flash of what we loved seeing in the first years of his career during his 2020 debut, with rushing ability on display as well as some strong, accurate
passes. He would come into a depleted offense but a stable coach with some success with mobile quarterbacks in the past. I’d love to see this happen.
Kirk Cousins – Rumor has it that Kyle Shannahan would like to reunite with a quarterback he had great offensive success with – Kirk Cousins. If Kirk were to move on, I would like to see him land with somebody who knows his strengths and weaknesses, who’s system he is already familiar with and which he has excelled in, and I think Kyle fits that bill the best. Pencil him into the 49ers as my dream landing spot, if he moves at all.
If we compare the list of teams above with the list of names I discussed, there are notable discrepancies. The reason for this is I either don’t see a future career for the quarterbacks I left off or I believe they are already at their ideal landing spots.
Hopefully this helps in your dynasty off-season QB acquisitions and sales, though most of this is just me wishcasting. Still, it pays to know what a good landing spot looks like as well as places to avoid.