So we have a memorable Super Bowl in the books. All the Head Coaching and GM vacancies have been filled. The league managed, one way or another, to navigate the COVID crisis and complete the season with only moderate disruption. Time to settle in for the long, cold, dark offseason.
The central narrative for this offseason will unquestionably be all about Quarterbacks. Specifically about the movement that is expected from some of the biggest names. Let’s start with a few known quantities so far.
- Jared Goff gets traded to the Lions…for,
- Matthew Stafford who gets traded to the Rams
- Philip Rivers retires from the Colts
Those 3 moves are pretty interesting in and of themselves. The Goff for Stafford deal is super interesting when you factor in the draft picks, the Goff contract, the Lions apparent appeasement of Stafford, the Cabo story and the various relationships between the Rams and Lions management. Philip Rivers has had a hell of a career and probably is in the discussion of greatest QBs to never win a Super Bowl but he’s been really overshadowed this offseason by all the craziness and the other QB rumors.
About those rumors, let’s take a look. It’s a long list:
- Drew Brees is probably retiring.
- Tom Brady is probably coming back to defend his title.
- Aaron Rodgers makes some cryptic remarks about his future but will probably be back with the Pack.
- Dak Prescott is still unsigned but almost certainly will get franchised coming off that injury.
- Russell Wilson could be on the trading block, which is one of the craziest rumors on this list.
- Deshaun Watson is demanding a trade, and would command a king’s ransom, but the Texans swear they aren’t listening to offers.
- Carson Wentz is expected to the next guy to get traded, rumored to be the Bears or Colts, both fan bases are outraged at the suggestion.
- Mitchell Trubisky is a free agent and the Bears lame duck staff is searching high and low for a replacement. Fans are terrified.
- Cam Newton is awful in New England and it seems like a long shot for him to return. He probably needs to hang it up but likely won’t.
- Jimmy Garoppolo seems to be on his way out in San Fran, as they are aggressively shopping for a trade. Belicheck is supposedly super interested in a reunion.
- The Colts have Jacoby Brissett but he’s not likely to start.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick is a free agent.
- Tua Tagovailoa is the expected starter in Miami but no one seems to think that’s going to work out.
- Sam Darnold’s run with the Jets seems like it’s over and the team is in the market for just about anyone else. They also have a high draft pick.
- Everyone expects the Jaguars to draft Trevor Lawrence first overall…not sure where that leaves Gardner Minshew.
- Jared Goff may never start a game for the Lions, we’ve heard conflicting reports on how bullish this org is on him. Lots of people think the “we loved Goff in the draft” is just air cover for the fact they did Stafford a solid.
- Matt Ryan has a new GM and people think he might be available triggering a total tear down in Atlanta. The Niners might be a suitor.
- Kirk Cousins has one year left and also has been rumored to be a target for the Niners. Probably one of the less likely outcomes I think, but you have to bet the Vikings would jump at the chance to be rid of him for picks.
- Jameis Winston seems like a potential long term fit in New Orleans, but he’s a free agent.
- Alex Smith seems like a candidate for retirement. It doesn’t look like that leg can hold up for an entire season. Even if he’s back, it’s probably as a backup on a reduced salary.
- Drew Lock probably gets another run as the Broncos starter, but either a rookie or a veteran would show no one.
- Daniel Jones seems to be following the Sam Darnold trajectory so a new starter in New York could be in the offing.
Honestly, you can count the number of teams without a question at QB on one hand. Sure, many of the above rumors will amount to nothing and a few of the teams who would want to upgrade the position won’t find a match and will run it back. This year’s draft might be the most loaded QB class in a decade, at least in terms of quantity if not quality, and will certainly have an impact on these rumors.
Long story short, I’ve never seen anything like it.