By Wanda Wiedman //@WandaW63
Last season it was about defenses and backup quarterbacks. It was calm, cool, collectiveness of backup QB Nick Foles who lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a long overdue Super Bowl trophy. All 31 teams were put on notice after that and the QB carousel has been in full swing since the start of free agency.
Just in case some of you have been under a rock, here are the QB changes that have occurred in the past two-weeks of the quarterback matrix.
After a lengthy, but meticulous process, former Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is now a Minnesota Viking. Washington traded with the Kansas City Chiefs for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round draft pick, making QB Alex Smith a Washington Redskin. Smith signed a four-year, $94 million extension with Washington, while Cousins signed a three-year $84 million fully guaranteed contract.
Is your head spinning yet?
The Vikings sent their other quarterbacks packing, with Case Keenum officially in Denver on a two-year deal putting the Broncos back in the mix. Sam Bradford now leads the Arizona Cardinals after signing a two-year deal worth $40 million. Technically it is a one-year deal with a team-held option in 2019.
After recovering from a brutal knee injury, Teddy Bridgewater has gone on to greener pastures. Well actually, to the New York Jets on a one-year deal behind starting QB Josh McCown. Talk about a clean sweep in Minnesota!
And what’s a little quarterback shopping without the Cleveland Browns? The Browns took a bold step and traded their 65th overall draft pick for starting QB Tyrod Taylor of the Buffalo Bills. In turn, the Browns also dealt rookie starter DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for CB Damarious Randall.
As far as backup QBs, well the list is a little long, but here goes. Try to keep up.
- A.J. McCarron (Bengals) to start for the Buffalo Bills
- Mike Glennon (Bears) backup for Bradford in Arizona
- Ryan Fitzpatrick re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tom Savage (Texans) backup with the New Orleans Saints
- Chad Henne (Jaguars) backup with the Chiefs
- Tyler Bray (Chiefs) and Chase Daniel (Saints) backup with the Chicago Bears
- David Fales re-signed with the Miami Dolphins
- Trevor Siemian backup to Cousins in Minnesota
- Nick Foles remains in Philadelphia as it should be.
Possible landing spots for other backups:
- Brock Osweiler testing the waters with the Dolphins
- Blaine Gabbert has a visit with the Tennessee Titans
But what about those quarterback-needy teams that rely on the NFL Draft to save their future? This draft has a crop of QBs that can help a franchise become relevant.
Starting with the obvious will be the Browns who have four strong possibilities to start under center. But the obvious choice to put them in the winning column would be picking USC darling Sam Darnold at number one. Not only is he the best fit for the Browns, but he actually wants to go Cleveland! He showed all the scouts and the doubters on his Pro Day that he has the arm and the confidence to finally give Cleveland a franchise QB.
Next to make a play at the QB position are the Jets who did not answer their franchise question with Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty. They would do well to take Josh Rosen of UCLA as he is the most polished pocket passer of the draft class. Though the Jets have a new offensive coordinator in Jeremy Bates, a young stud like Rosen would make it easier to work with.
But the most intriguing is who will take Oklahoma’s, Baker Mayfield. A gamer who has an incredible competitive spirit, he will dazzle in the pocket in throw with accuracy. Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals trade up to get him.
The Broncos are also in need of a franchise QB and general manager John Elway needs to look long term. Elway loves tall, strong arm passers and he will get that with Wyoming’s Josh Allen. This young man has all the prototypical traits that coaches and Elway like. Some time behind Keenum and he will be ready to go.
Enter the NFL Matrix at your own risk.
Talk quarterback matrix with Wanda on Twitter @WandaW63