A weak free agent class for quarterbacks is being overshadowed in part by the possibility that multiple big names could change teams, including Aaron Rodgers.
Trades are not the focus of the QB market, and neither is the possible move of Rodgers from Green Bay nor the probable departure of San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo, despite the 49ers winning another NFC Championship game with him.
Rodgers talk drowns out Russell Wilson’s departure from Seattle. Last offseason, tensions between Wilson and Seahawks emerged. The issue now is what’s best for club’s future. However, the Seahawks continue to insist that they aren’t shopping Super Bowl 48 winner.
Wilson responded to a question by a Washington Commanders fan on NBC’s Today show this week, saying, “I love the East Coast but I think that the West Coast is more suitable for me.” “I get people contacting me every day, all my friends, and all that from East Coast. But Seattle is where I am right now, and I love it.
Wilson still has two years on his contract, which includes a no trade clause. This means that he can choose where he goes. Another question is: Which teams are in need of a quarterback? Washington, with the retirements from Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady, is perhaps at the top of the list.
Rodgers’ impasse with the Packers in the summer of last year ended with an agreement to cancel his final year of his 2023 contract. The club stated that it will allow Rodgers to decide whether or not he wants to continue playing for them for as long as it takes (four years total).
Rodgers seeking a trade adds another domino to teams looking for a starter in free agent. These opportunities are very limited, if any.
THE OPEN MARKET
Jameis Winston is arguably the most prominent free agent because New Orleans looked on track to make it to the playoffs in the post-Drew Brees era. Winston’s season ended on Oct. 31 with a left anterior cruciate ligament tear.
On the flip side, the Saints won (5-2 after he was hurt) and didn’t rely heavily on Winston as a passer. The 2015 No. The 2015 No. 1 draft pick was not offered a second contract by Tampa Bay due to his excessive number of interceptions (88 in five years).
Winston is the No. 1 pick, Marcus Mariota will always be tied to Winston. The No. 2 pick in the draft and the other QB, who didn’t receive a second contract. So, Tennessee moved on and Mariota was Derek Carr’s backup in Las Vegas for the past two seasons. Mariota could get another chance at starting?
Mitchell Trubisky is the most intriguing option. His turbulent stint in Chicago was followed in Buffalo by a year as Josh Allen’s backup. The Bears declined Trubisky’s fifth-year option.
Cam Newton did not show that he had anything left for Carolina in a reprise, while Teddy Bridgewater of Denver appears to be heading for his fourth team in as many seasons. Tyrod Taylor and Jacoby Brissett are best as backups.
Andy Dalton didn’t gain traction in Chicago despite signing expecting to be the starter. He had been Dak Prescott’s backup and injury replacement in Dallas. The Bears moved Justin Fields up nine spots to No. 11.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (39), and Dalton (34) are the elder statesmen. Fitzpatrick just returned from a hip injury which limited him to one Washington start.
Let’s make a deal
The Packers don’t pretend to know what Rodgers will make, but they seem to be delaying all major roster decisions until then. Rodgers stated that he would decide before free agency. However, the club still has less than a week for Davante Adams to be placed on the franchise tag.
Green Bay should not have any trouble negotiating a trade given the recent movement of Carson Wentz (Philadelphia-Indy) and Matthew Stafford/Jared Goff(a Los Angeles Rams-Detroit swap), There will be many interested teams.
Three seasons ago, Garoppolo led the 49ers to Super Bowl. They lost to Kansas City. In a surprise run to the NFC championship game, San Francisco lost to Stafford and the Rams. The front office made it clear that they are ready to hand the team over to Trey Lance who was the third overall pick from last year’s draft.
Garoppolo’s cap is manageable at $27 million, especially if he starts somewhere. Any trade could be complicated by recent surgery to his throwing (right), shoulder.
Deshaun Watson of Houston, who is facing civil lawsuits for sexual assault and harassment allegations, has not yet received a clear outlook. Official word has not been given on any criminal charges. All clubs that are interested in Watson will need to know the truth. Watson demanded a trade before the allegations were made public. He stated that he would not play again for the Texans. Watson didn’t show up for the Texans in 2021.
WHERE IS THE NEED
Mason Rudolph may not be the long-term solution for the Steelers. They haven’t had a starter since almost 20 years. There is little to no reason to think Mason Rudolph will. With the Buccaneers, things are even more uncertain.
Brady provided a quick and simple answer to Winston’s decision to be replaced. It was neither “quick” or “easy”. Blaine Gabbert, a journeyman, is an unrestricted agent. Kyle Trask, a third-stringer has yet to snap a picture. He was a Florida second-round selection last year. The Bucs are an attractive candidate for a trade.
The Saints have a cap of $12 million for a Taysom Hill gadget QB. He would be a good candidate for the job, even if he isn’t accompanied by a veteran. Winston’s resignation should not be ruled out.
Houston may choose to sign Davis Mills, a second-year player after his significant improvement last season after Taylor’s benching.
After 2021’s failures (Fitzpatrick’s hip injury in Washington and Bridgewater’s ineffectiveness in Denver), Washington, Carolina, and Denver are still searching for quarterbacks.
Nathaniel Hackett is the Broncos’ new coach. Rodgers praised Hackett highly after three seasons as Green Bay’s offensive coordinator. Denver’s addition of Peyton Manning a decade earlier led to two trips to the Super Bowl, one in each of the four seasons. Manning was then retired.
A FINAL THING
Free agency quarterbacks have another dynamic when it comes to uncertainty about Wentz’s future. There are signs that the Colts may dump him. There’s no doubt that a third team would offer him a chance at starting, even if he was in flameouts in Philadelphia or Indy.