Zwiller: A guide to the NFL QB market — NFC Edition
Thomas Zwiller | Monday, February 8, 2021
Washington: With the midseason release of Dwayne Haskins, the Washington Football Team really doesn’t have a quarterback of the future. Alex Smith, while performing beyond most expectations and earning Comeback Player of the Year, is aging, and Heinicke, while a nice story, is not a long-term option. WFT needs a QB, but they likely won’t draft one and will keep Smith and Heinicke. They could be in the free-agent hunt, with Cam Newton reuniting with Ron Rivera.
Giants: I never really liked the drafting of Daniel Jones, and at best I thought it was a reach picking him sixth overall. In my opinion, he seemed to regress: While his completion percentage went up, his TD-INT ratio got worse. The only positive was a drop-off in fumbles, which was a major issue in 2019. The Giants will most likely continue to give Jones time to improve, and they will continue to build around him. I think the Giants could use a mid-round pick on a lineman, but they have more pressing needs, like adding to their defense.
Cowboys: The solution to the Dallas QB problem is simple: sign Dak Prescott to a long-term deal. The fact that he was only franchise-tagged instead of being signed to a deal that fits his needs is ridiculous, as he has more than proved he deserves the money. If you think that Dak doesn’t deserve the spot, you need only look at his stats this year compared to Andy Dalton. Dak played five games and had a QB rating of 100, whereas Dalton had a QBR of 87 through 11 games.
Eagles: Carson Wentz has continued his regression this season; that was painfully obvious. To be fair, the team around him is not nearly what it was when he was making his MVP run, but with the contract he signed, he needs to elevate the talent around him, not seemingly make it worse. There are currently trade rumors around Wentz; odds are good that he goes to the Colts, who are desperately in need of a QB with the departure of Phillip Rivers. Trade Wentz to help your salary situation, try to get picks, and draft an offensive playmaker to help Jalen Hurts.
Packers: The Packers upset Rodgers by drafting Jordan Love in the first round last year, and to follow that up Rodger won MVP. Thanks to that MVP, Rodgers is more than due for an extension and a restructuring of his contract for more guaranteed money. The Packers need to get him a first-round weapon, not because the offense is lacking, but because you need to appease Rodgers. Then work on that defense.
Bears: While I don’t think Mitch Trubisky has a future as a starter in the league, the Bears making the playoffs has taken away any chance they had of drafting a QB. I think Mitch will most likely come back, as will Foles. There is a chance to make a play for Wentz, but that seems unlikely.
Vikings: Kirk Cousins likely isn’t going anywhere, there have been rumors of a potential trade of Cousins for Jimmy Garoppolo but that seems dumb to me. I would much rather keep Cousins, because for the first time since 2009 the Vikings were a top-10 offense under Cousins. Plus, the best “ability” is availability, and Cousins has missed one game in six seasons, while Garoppolo has missed 23 in the last three seasons.
Lions: The current future of the Lions during this rebuild is Jared Goff. He has been trending down in the past few seasons, despite quality weapons and head coach Sean McVay. I think that Goff will struggle now that he is on a noticeably worse team. The Lions need to get the best wide receiver available to them to help Goff make the transition.
Saints: With Drew Brees most likely retiring, it turns to the Saints’ backups. Taysom Hill is a good gadget player, but watching him play made me feel like he won’t be the answer. While Jameis Winston was a turnover machine in Tampa Bay, I think that may be more due to coaching than anything. I think Winston will be the Saints’ best option moving forward.
Buccaneers: Should Tom Brady retire, the Buccaneers have a major problem at QB. However, I don’t think TB12 is going to retire — with a team this good I don’t think he’ll call it quits just yet. I think he wants another ring.
Panthers: Teddy Bridgewater underperformed this season, but I think he is the Panthers’ best option going forward. It was a weird year, as well as losing Christian McCaffrey all season. They most likely are too low in the Draft to get one of the top QBs, and there are other places that need help, primarily in the secondary.
Falcons: Matt Ryan doesn’t seem to be long for Atlanta. With a new coaching staff coming in, they will most likely want to start fresh. ESPN has the Falcons drafting Zach Wilson out of BYU, so Ryan’s days are numbered in Atlanta, but not as a starter.
Seahawks: Russell Wilson had a great start to the season and seemed like the early on MVP, but that lasted until Week 7 when they played the Cardinals. Russ’s problem is that he is trying to compensate for a terrible defense. Spend picks on patching the defense and the offensive line. Russ can’t keep getting sacked 40+ times a season.
Rams: The Matthew Stafford deal has settled it; the Rams have officially gone all-in on making a Super Bowl. The Rams haven’t picked in the first round since drafting Goff, and after trading him they won’t pick until 2024. I think Stafford is going to be excellent, but the margin for error is slight. To help Stafford, get an offensive lineman.
Cardinals: Kyler Murray made slight progress as a passer this year. His key improvement was in his running game: he took fewer sacks and his yards per scramble increased, and he’s scrambling more often. I think he’s learned to avoid pressure, and if he can work on his interceptions and fumbles, I think next year could see more improvement. I would suggest getting a cornerback to tighten up the defense, and let Murray continue to improve.
49ers: To me, the 49ers should feel no pressure to move on from Jimmy G. If everyone comes back healthy, this is a team that could be atop the division once again. If they luck into Deshaun Watson, get him and suddenly the 49ers look like a Super Bowl contender. But again, that trade will cost a lot of draft capital. Much like the Rams, the margin of error would be slight.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.