There are quite a few good QBs on the move this offseason. Teams are trying to decide how to plan for the future whether it be through the Draft or free agency. There are some talented guys out there this year that could be making a big move.
Dak has shown the Cowboys that he should be their QB of the future. He had his best statistical year in 2019 and was valuable to the success that the Cowboys had this year despite missing the playoffs. The Cowboys and Dak were unable to get a deal done at the beginning of the year and both sides decided that they would try and work something out after the season ended. It is pretty clear that Dak wants to be with the Cowboys and the organization feels the same about him. The Cowboys have a loaded roster currently that should be a playoff contender, and with their new head coach its time for them to make a push for the big game. There will be a lot of expectation on this team in 2020 and it would only make sense to re-sign Dak. He knows the team, has chemistry with the players, and is a high-level starter in this league. The Cowboys don’t want to start the whole process over with a young QB and try and re-tool the team. If Dak ends up anywhere but Dallas it will be a major shock.
Winston had a good year in 2019 throwing for over 5,000 yards and 33 TD, but he also brought the bad joining an exclusive club by throwing 30 interceptions. This has been the case with him since he entered the league in terms of combining the good and the bad. He has always had issues with turnovers, and there is no doubt that not all of the blame rests on his shoulders. He has not gotten a lot of help in the last few years, but he still makes some very questionable decisions and makes you scratch your head. Jameis has developed and gotten better the last 2 years and he is still a young talent in the league. There is a good chance that he will end up in Tampa working with Arians to improve. He already has chemistry with the pass catchers and staff in Tampa so it would make sense for them to keep him around. This, of course, all lies in what Arians wants to do. If he can find another QB that he feels gives this team the best chance to win he wouldn’t hesitate to move on from Winston, but I think he sees some talent in Jameis and will try to keep him around. If this doesn’t work out though there are some suitors in the league that would take a chance on Winston.
The Chargers will be looking for a QB this off-season. It is not a sure thing that Rivers will not return next year but they will need a replacement in the next few years. Winston could be a good fit in LA though. He has the great arm strength and knows how to throw the ball around. Sure he will still have to work on making good decisions and being accurate with his long throws, but it would be exciting to see him throwing to Allen, Williams, Ekelar, and Henry (assuming the Chargers keep him in free agency). The offense would be able to take better care of Winston with the ability to check down to good pass catchers that can help him out. The line is far better than Tampa’s so that could also be an improvement to his game.
The Dolphins will need a long term QB for the future. It will be interesting to see how things develop in Miami over the off-season, but after starting 0-7 they seemed to turn the corner and became a very competitive team down the stretch. Fitzpatrick was able to bring his spark to another team and lead them to multiple victories. The Dolphins traded for Josh Rosen before last season, but his play did not seem to impress the coaching staff. The Dolphins will be looking for a franchise QB that very well could be Winston. He is young enough that he still has a lot of years left to play in the league, but he also has played enough that he would be able to come in and would be a viable starter from day 1. The Dolphins showed that they had some great playmakers this year so seeing Jameis in another high performing offense could be a treat.
The Titans were a surprise this year and made a deep playoff push. They started slow until Tannehill took over at QB and then it all seemed to click for the Titans. Tannehill seemed to step right back into a starting role with almost no problems. He was a great QB for the Titans this year and showed that he still has what it takes to lead a team with his composure and talent. The Titans will most likely sign Tannehill to a long term deal after how this season went for both of them. If the Titans are not able to secure him it will be a huge loss that they can’t afford. It would quite surprising if they didn’t lock him down, but crazier things have happened. There will be other teams in the market for a QB that could try and steal him away from the Titans.
The biggest contender that would be a good fit would be Pittsburgh. The Steelers are a mess at QB. Ben was injured early in the season and he should be back for next season, but he is getting older and the Steelers will need a solution for the long term. The Steelers could use a player like Tannehill that can manage games making smart efficient throws on a run-first team. He could easily fit into the Steelers’ goals because behind Ben the backups showed this year that they are not capable right now of commanding a winning team.
Mariota lost the starting job for the Titans this year to Ryan Tannehill. Mariota has struggled lately and it was not a surprise that he was relieved of his starting duties. It is pretty doubtful that he will end up back with the Titans after this season. I don’t think that Mariota is going to go to any team and walk-in as the starter. He is going to be on the move to be a good backup that can manage a team in case of injury. There are some intriguing teams out there that may be looking for just that this year, but one that may make the most sense might be surprising.
The Bears will probably be looking for another QB to add to their roster this year. Trubisky has not played to the level that the Bear’s expected out of their first-round draft pick, and there is some real concern that he is not going to be their franchise QB of the future. With the Bears not having a high draft pick this year they will have to make a move for a potential backup that could take over in case Trubisky gets hurt again or is not playing good enough to keep starting for them. Mariota could make some sense in Chicago as he is familiar with a team that liked to run the ball but also liked to add some complexity to their game under Nagy. Mariota played at Oregon in college under Chip Kelly and his high-octane offense. This offense had a lot of complexity and reads that could translate into success in Nagy’s new offense. Mark Helfrich is also currently the offensive coordinator for the Bears, but he has connections to Mariota from Oregon. They could easily work together due to familiarity and chemistry from their college days. Mariota could be an asset to the Bears this season if Trubisky is unable to improve his game.
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Keenum has been moved around the last few years playing for Denver, Minnesota, and Washington. He is a solid game manager but he also can sling the ball downfield. He is a good QB that has lots of starting experience in the league. He was a good starter in Washington this year on a bad team, but for the long term, it doesn’t make sense for Washington to keep Keenum around. Washington hopefully drafted their QB of the future in Dwayne Haskins last year, and they already transitioned to him during the season to try and get him some experience. Washington will probably want to get a good look at Haskins at the start of 2020. Washington also still has Colt McCoy and Josh Woodrum at backup QBs and they of course still have Alex Smith on the roster. It is not likely that Smith will play this year as he is still trying to recover from his gruesome leg injury in 2018. With all of these options and trying to move into the future, it might be time for Keenum to move to another new team.
The Lions and Stafford have had some tough luck in the last couple of years dealing with injuries. Stafford should be back to full health to start next year but after losing him the last 2 seasons the Lion’s will most likely be looking for a solid backup to bring in. Keenum would fit into this mold for them. He has a lot of experience as a starter and would be able to step in for Stafford if needed with little drop-off in performance. This would be a better situation than putting aa rookie or a starter with almost no experience on the field again. Keenum can also make all the throws on the field for the Lions if needed. He would also be a good asset for the Lions to have to help teach their younger talent the ropes of being a QB in the NFL. This could be a great match for the future.
Cleveland didn’t have the year that they wanted in 2019. There were high expectations at the beginning of the year, but poor play, play calling, and injuries derailed their season. Baker did not perform at a high enough level last year something that he has already admitted this offseason. The Browns are not looking for a new starting QB but they might be looking for some experienced depth at the position. Keenum could be a great mentor to help develop Baker into the franchise QB the Browns hope they drafted. Keenum’s knowledge with multiple teams could help Baker learn the ropes of continued success in the NFL. If Baker were to get injured or if his level of play dropped off to a point that was not sustainable Keenum would easily be able to step in as the starter for the Browns and be able to perform. This situation could be ideal for both sides.