The calendar may read 2019, but we’re still two months away from the NFL’s new league year, which begins with the start of free agency March 13.
Still, it won’t take that long for the quarterback carousel to crank up. In actuality, it’s slowly spinning already as college passers declare for April’s draft — Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray put his name in (for now) before Monday’s deadline — or, in the case of Oregon’s Justin Herbert, didn’t.
Expect the usual mix of college prospects and, likely, a compelling group of veterans available for work. And even though five clubs brought in first-round passers in 2018, there’s usually perpetual demand in the quarterback market.
Here are nine on the supply side of the equation who could alter the landscape next season.
Probably the greatest relief pitcher in NFL history, Foles should soon have an opportunity to call another team his own while landing a contract that will set his family up forever. Following the Super Bowl, the cap-strapped Eagles must decide whether to exercise a $20 million option to keep him for 2019, though Foles could still opt to buy his freedom for $2 million if Philly keeps him under contract. Regardless, it seems unlikely the Eagles can afford to retain him (even if he winds up franchised) yet should be able to engineer something tantamount to a sign-and-trade that nets them valuable draft capital while parking their beloved Super Bowl MVP in a good situation.
Fine fit — Jaguars: Foles could help any number of teams, but Jacksonville seems like the best example of an outfit built to win immediately … provided the quarterback position is upgraded. His low-key personality could be made to order for a locker room that has a cacophony of, ahem, voices. There might even be an opportunity to reunite with former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who interviewed for the Jags’ vacant offensive coordinator post, according to reports.
There’s still time for the Oakland A’s to convince Murray — he’s already been drafted by them in the first round as an outfielder — that Major League Baseball is the way to go. But let’s consider the football option. Coming off a season with Oklahoma when he passed for more than 4,000 yards and rushed in excess of 1,000 while generating a combined 54 touchdowns, Murray is going to generate intrigue, especially as spread concepts are embraced at the pro level and concern about diminutive passers (Murray isn’t 6 feet or 200 pounds) seems to be diminishing. Doesn’t hurt that Baker Mayfield, Murray’s predecessor with the Sooners, just turned in a record-setting rookie season for Cleveland.
Fine fit — Giants: Owners of the draft’s sixth selection, they appear like the first team on the board with an obvious need under center regardless of Eli Manning’s fate. Murray and Saquon Barkley could form a combustible (in a good way) tandem that would take this offense to a level unseen by Giants fans — and just imagine if Odell Beckham Jr. is willing to play nice with the kids. And don’t forget, coach Pat Shurmur has experience working with a short quarterback and did just fine with Case Keenum and the Vikings in 2017. And though Murray’s height might be comparable to Keenum’s, his skill set is on a wholly different plane.
The Ohio State star, who smashed Drew Brees’ Big Ten single-season record with 50 touchdown passes in 2018, probably made a good business decision by declaring for the draft given Murray’s status remains in question and Herbert’s entry has been delayed until 2020. Haskins, just a redshirt sophomore, is raw and will have to prove he can transition from Urban Meyer’s system — only Alex Smith has successfully made the leap from Meyer’s offense to the NFL, and his curve was hardly smooth.
Fine fit — Broncos: As my colleague Mike Schwartz noted in his first mock draft, GM John Elway vowed a year ago that “I’m not done swinging and missing” in the quest to sufficiently replace Peyton Manning. Denver is halfway through Keenum’s two-year deal, and if 2018 was an accurate indicator, Elway could be taking another swing. A New Jersey native, Haskins has telegraphed a desire to land with the Giants, and they might still prove the right fit. Regardless, Haskins would certainly benefit from a situation where he could sit and learn behind a vet.
Coach John Harbaugh essentially admitted after Baltimore’s wild-card loss that Flacco’s days in a Ravens uniform are over, explaining: “Joe’s going to have a market. A lot of teams are going to want Joe, because they understand that. I’ll be in Joe’s corner, wherever he’s at, unless we play him. He’s special. Joe Flacco is a great talent.” The next questions are how much Baltimore will seek in return for a soon-to-be-34-year-old who’s struggled with injuries most of the past four seasons, and the level of interest in a player with a Super MVP award in his trophy case but few other signature moments aside from his epic 2012 postseason.
Fine fit — Buccaneers: Sure, Flacco wants to move on to a locale where he can play immediately, but there aren’t a lot of scenarios where the veteran route will be the first choice. However Tampa Bay could be a solution. As much as new coach Bruce Arians has talked up Jameis Winston, the former No. 1 pick’s turnover bugaboo remains, and he has no contract beyond 2019. The Bucs also need a backup, and what could be better than a strong-armed stud comfortable taking deep drops — traits Arians historically covets and maximizes? If Winston doesn’t pan out, certainly a realistic concern, Flacco couldn’t do much better than uniting with a coach who resurrected Carson Palmer.
As a junior in 2017, the Missouri star threw a Southeastern Conference record 44 TD passes. Lock will probably be hard pressed to vault Murray or Haskins but still seems likely to be a first rounder — even if vaunted Mizzou passers (Chase Daniel, Blaine Gabbert, Brad Smith) have made little headway at the NFL level.
Fine fit — Dolphins: If Murray opts for football, Miami is probably in a decent position to find a potential replacement for Ryan Tannehill with the 13th pick. And maybe Tannehill is retained as a bridge — think Alex Smith — to alleviate pressure on the next guy who has to walk in Dan Marino’s footsteps.
Now more than two years removed from his devastating 2016 knee injury with Minnesota, he looked sharp enough with the Jets in the preseason that New Orleans parted with a third-round pick to get him. He didn’t dazzle in a Week 17 start while Brees rested, but the Saints also sat most of their starting O-line and Alvin Kamara in a game that had no bearing on their seeding. Bottom line, Bridgewater displayed strong indications he could be a franchise quarterback before his injury and is still only 26. Scheduled to be a free agent, he probably won’t command a big-time investment on the front end for a team seeking a short-term fix capable of becoming a long-term solution.
Fine fit — Saints: A Florida native, Bridgewater could clearly help any of the state’s three NFL teams, especially Miami or Jacksonville. But it’s worth monitoring developments in New Orleans. Brees, who is under contract for 2019, turns 40 Tuesday and could be headed toward a potential fairy tale ending to his career. Bridgewater now has a full season with the playbook and, as unique as Taysom Hill’s skill set is, might still be a better fallback if Brees rides into the sunset. And, don’t forget, Sean Payton has no first-round pick in this draft.
The Giants haven’t gone full Flacco, but GM Dave Gettleman has clearly signaled no commitment to the two-time Super Bowl MVP in 2019. Such a hedge represents a seismic shift for an organization that, despite Barkley’s superb rookie year, took heat for not drafting Manning’s eventual replacement in 2018.
Fine fit — Redskins: If Manning is set loose and wants to continue playing, there will be ongoing speculation about a reunion with Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville. But the Jags would really be better off with someone who has far less mileage on his body. Enter Washington, potentially an ideal solution for Manning given he knows the NFC East and would likely relish opportunities to stick it to the Giants. The Redskins seem likely to be in the market for a veteran given Alex Smith may struggle to reclaim his starting job any time soon as he copes with complications from his horrendous leg injury.
Miami’s new regime has a big decision to make. Tannehill has never played in the postseason, missed a ton of games lately and seemed to plateau under former coach Adam Gase. The 2012 first-round pick is only 30 and has some decent tools but could be hard pressed to find another starting opportunity if cast aside.
Fine fit — Titans: If you saw Gabbert try to salvage Tennessee’s postseason hopes in the regular-season finale, then you know this team needs someone more capable in reserve behind oft-injured Marcus Mariota. Between Mariota and Tannehill, the Titans might be able to stock the position with two capable players who are similarly skilled and hope to get 16 quality starts between them.
The Duke quarterback seems to be settling in as a first-round dark horse after deciding to forego his senior season. He’s an intriguing athlete who’s going pro with the blessing of Blue Devils coach (and renowned Manning whisperer) David Cutcliffe. Jones could use an NFL redshirt year to sharpen his accuracy and decision making.
Fine fit — Chargers/Patriots: Tom Brady, 41, and Philip Rivers, 37, just teamed up to give us the oldest combination of quarterbacks to ever start a playoff game. Their teams eventually have to lay the groundwork for a succession plan. Right?
Other prominent quarterbacks to monitor: Blake Bortles, Sam Bradford, Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Colin Kaepernick, Tyrod Taylor
Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis
A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries:
- 1 of 67
- 2 of 67
- 3 of 67
- 4 of 67
- 5 of 67
- 6 of 67
- 7 of 67
- 8 of 67
- 9 of 67
- 10 of 67
- 11 of 67
- 12 of 67
- 13 of 67
- 14 of 67
- 15 of 67
- 16 of 67
- 17 of 67
- 18 of 67
- 19 of 67
- 20 of 67
- 21 of 67
- 22 of 67
- 23 of 67
- 24 of 67
- 25 of 67
- 26 of 67
- 27 of 67
- 28 of 67
- 29 of 67
- 30 of 67
- 31 of 67
- 32 of 67
- 33 of 67
- 34 of 67
- 35 of 67
- 36 of 67
- 37 of 67
- 38 of 67
- 39 of 67
- 40 of 67
- 41 of 67
- 42 of 67
- 43 of 67
- 44 of 67
- 45 of 67
- 46 of 67
- 47 of 67
- 48 of 67
- 49 of 67
- 50 of 67
- 51 of 67
- 52 of 67
- 53 of 67
- 54 of 67
- 55 of 67
- 56 of 67
- 57 of 67
- 58 of 67
- 59 of 67
- 60 of 67
- 61 of 67
- 62 of 67
- 63 of 67
- 64 of 67
- 65 of 67
- 66 of 67
- 67 of 67
If you love talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our new Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders.
- Week 7 NFL Practice Squad Power Rankings 2021: On the Dolphins ground game woes and Running Backs Don't Matter
- Week 6 NFL Practice Squad Power Rankings 2021: Let's talk about some famous dads
- NFL Week 9 picks: 49ers upset Cardinals, Aaron Rodgers absence leads to Packers loss against Chiefs
- Bills vs Titans live stream: How to watch the NFL action online from anywhere
- The inside story of Tom Brady’s departure from New England
- Joe Flacco “perfect fit” for Broncos offense, but can he return to previous form?
- Eagles drawing heavy trade attention ahead of deadline; Philly open to possibilities, but it's no fire sale
- Drew Brees shoots down return to Saints with Jameis Winston injured, believes Trevor Siemian can get job done
- Broncos Mailbag: Who will benefit the most from Von Miller trade?
- Exploring what's next for Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler at Oklahoma — and beyond
- Leftovers & Links: Notre Dame's QB 'respect' differs from national norm - Inside the Irish | NBC Sports
- Will Browns, Baker Mayfield agree on a second contract? - ProFootballTalk
Nine quarterbacks likely available to NFL teams in 2019, and the teams that need them have 4259 words, post on www.jsonline.com at January 14, 2019. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.