Training camp is the time of year where teams can sort out who the key starters and rotational players are and what their roles will be. However, no training camp battle is more important than a showdown between two signal-callers. Whether it be a young buck versus a veteran or two veterans duking it out, they are both entertaining and critical to the team’s success. So let’s take a look at the quarterback battles in 2021.
Chicago Bears- Andy Dalton vs Justin Fields
Whether they have already named Dalton the starter or not, this is a critical battle to watch. Even if Fields outplays Dalton I think the start will still go to the former TCU Horned Frog. However, that is just what we are looking for. Is Justin Fields really better than Andy Dalton already? The reports from Bears rookie minicamp would indicate that Justin Fields impressed early and often even through Nagy reassuring the media that Andy Dalton was their starting quarterback. Even though there might not be starting implications on the line, this is one of the more important battles to watch.
Denver Broncos- Drew Lock vs Teddy Bridgewater
Since showing flashes of greatness at the end of his rookie season, Drew Lock has disappointed the Broncos organization and it feels like his starting job has never really been secure. Enter former Panthers starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the mix. Bridgewater is nothing special but he is a solid starting quarterback nonetheless. Let’s be honest here, neither Teddy nor Drew Lock is a long-term spectacular option, so it will really come down to who can impress more in camp and demonstrate a fluid and efficient operation of Pat Shurmur’s offense.
New England Patriots- Cam Newton vs Mac Jones
The Patriots got lucky with the reigning national champion QB Mac Jones sliding into their laps at the 15th overall pick. Jones had a historic run with the Crimson Tide in 2020 while putting up eye-popping numbers and tape along the way. However, there is another historic college quarterback in the building. 2015 MVP Cam Newton says he is finally healthy and has returned to form. Whether this is true or not is yet to be seen but this training camp battle may be more up for grabs than people think. Bill Belichick wants to get back to winning and he will roll with whichever signal-caller can get them back to victory sooner.
New Orleans Saints- Jameis Winston vs Taysom Hill
Out with the first ballot hall of famer, in with the veterans with something to prove. Taysom Hill has long been known as one of the best athletes in the NFL who can be deployed at most positions on offense or special teams, but that narrative may soon change. Taysom trained exclusively as a quarterback with the hopes that he may be the next starting quarterback for the black and gold. Taysom’s opposition is one of only eight quarterbacks to throw for 5,000+ yards in a season. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Jameis Winston has been followed by the horrific 30 TD/30 INT season he had in 2019 and the concerns are valid. If Sean Payton can reign in Jameis’ turnover issues and channel his first overall pick talent, then the Saints may have their guy. An intriguing QB battle to watch for sure.
San Francisco 49ers- Jimmy Garrapolo vs Trey Lance
This situation is much like the Bears’. Jimmy G is the starter regardless of how well he plays in training camp, but the Trey Lance storyline is one that must be followed. The 49ers put all their chips in the middle to move up and select Lance and they think he is their long-term answer at quarterback. Perhaps, Lance can get them back to the promised land but let’s not forget that Jimmy G actually led San Francisco to a Super Bowl and he is no chump himself. This is one of the most entertaining storylines to watch and training camp will be our first side-by-side look at the respective quarterbacks.