As arguably one of the most important positions on the field, it’s no surprise that most NFL teams are either invested in or trying to find their franchise QBs. Players like Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson don’t come along often, and they don’t make waves in free agency in the way star RBs and WRs do.
Usually, a team will search for their franchise guy like one would shuffle cards, and then lock that franchise talent in for a career when they get him. Sometimes this is a long and troubled search, but sometimes teams flow seamlessly from one to another, like when the Green Bay Packers went from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. Still, the mantra is the same. QBs don’t hit the market. Here are the top potential QB moves in 2020.
At 38, Philip Rivers is getting no younger. With a Hall-of-Fame career on his belt along with a history of being a fierce competitor, Rivers wouldn’t be shamed for his decision to hang up the cleats. He’s seen clear and obvious decline in recent history, despite his successful 2018-19 campaign, and deserves to go out with dignity, carried gently away by every
single one of his children loyal chargers fan. Prediction: A quiet and respectful retirement.
After the coaching staff finally grew tired of his up-and-down play, Mariota got outshone by Ryan Tannehill. A sentence few thought they’d ever read, but here it is. Ryan Tannehill just led the Tennessee Titans to a playoff berth and doesn’t look like he plans on slowing down. Whilst this does nicely for the Titans and their fans, Mariota finds himself out of a job, but he’s in luck! As an unrestricted 2020 free agent, Marcus has his pick of the litter when it comes to teams in need of an above-average-but-not-quite-franchise-caliber-QB. Prediction: Ironically, the Miami Dolphins
Yet another UFA hitting the open market that we didn’t expect to see, Dak Prescott has had an interesting year. At 2nd on the 2019 season’s passing leaderboard, Dak shouldn’t be a free agent; maybe at 8-8, he should. At 26 this year, Dak still has his career ahead of him and is in prime position to get paid the big bucks by a desperate team that has almost every piece it needs to win a Super Bowl.
Expect him to resign with whoever follows the sound of Jason Garrett clapping himself out of a job, but don’t be surprised if he fields the market for better offers. Remember, the Cowboys have to pay/rid themselves of Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, Travis Frederick, and more. Prediction: resigns, but considers the Indianapolis Colts.
After spending most of the season injured, Cam must be frustrated. His fanbase lost faith in him, turned to his backup, watched his backup fail, and now act as though there is no answer at QB. There is, and his name is Cam Newton. The former MVP is perfectly capable of leading this franchise, much as he did before, with a little support and a significant change in coaching mentality.
Whoever “Riverboat Ron” Rivera’s replacement is needs to tackle an issue that many have before. Hold onto the old regime’s players, or start with a blank slate. Stay tuned for what happens. Prediction: Resigns, but he could be traded to the Chicago Bears for a 2nd round pick whilst the Panthers eat the $18m cap hit.
The Red Rifle is still locked and loaded, but does the franchise have faith in him? At the time of his benching, Dalton seemed to be the only functioning piece of a dysfunctional Bengals offense. Dalton was sat immediately after the trade deadline, and he was quoted saying that he wanted to be informed if they planned to move on so he could negotiate a trade. The animosity left behind by the incident made the rest of Dalton’s season look like an audition tape.
With only 1 year worth $17.5M left on his contract, Dalton may wait out the last year of his contract in Cincinnati. He might not, however, and there are a few teams where he could compete for the starting job if he’s offloaded this offseason. Prediction: Ends up in Washington, battling Dwayne Haskins for the gig.
Surprised to see Tom on here? Don’t be. At age 42, Tom Brady has shown visible decline, and may have missed the playoffs entirely if not for a historically good defense supporting his anemic offensive unit. At age 67, Bill Belichick isn’t known for sentiment. Keeping an aging QB just because they’ve spent almost their entire careers together is madness to a man like Bill and, despite it all, one big question remains.
Did the coach make the QB, or the QB make the coach? If Brady wants to prove that it was him, not Belichick, that really won all those rings, he will need to use his unrestricted free agent powers to find a new home in the twilight of his career. Belichick will survive in New England without him, but it’s time for the California boy to go home. Prediction: Los Angeles Chargers (Even if it’s just to fill the seats).