This is going to be another wacky offseason of quarterback movement. You can already see it. Change is already in the air. It's looking increasingly inevitable in more organizations than one would expect, given all the upheaval of the last few years.
Upwards of half of the league could be in line for a QB switch by 2022. Yeah, crazy but true.
There are already a slew of Band-Aid QB moves for 2021 that are proving to be a poor fit. There are a bunch of clubs where the coach and GM are already on the hot seat, which could very well spell change at the quarterback position as well in just a few short months. It isn't very pretty under center in far too many places, and when you factor in the recent unrest regarding future Hall of Famers like Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, too, it's not difficult at all to imagine a 2022 scenario in which there are teams clamoring for a new signal caller, in a draft year unlikely to be as robust at that position as most recent years.
Buckle up. It's going to be wild. Again.
Sure, we are just about a third of the way through the regular season, but follow me here. It's becoming obvious that a wide swath of teams do not have their QB of 2022 on the roster, let alone a QB of the future. And the competition to get to the top of the draft, or to land someone like Wilson or Rodgers or Deshaun Watson, figures to be quite intense. Here are the teams most likely to be looking to upgrade at the QB spot come 2022:
Sam Darnold ain't the answer. The last three games have been brutal and this was never the QB solution owner David Tepper was sold on in the first place. Too many turnovers. Too few big plays. Not enough completions. Without RUN CMC, it is particularly ugly. Tepper has long wanted Watson. At some point he may get him. But after going through Teddy Bridgewater and now Darnold, the Panthers are making one splash or another at QB next year.
Jared Goff was a high-priced salary dump. He is functional at best, and with this coaching staff on offense (less than innovative) and with this cast around him, you have no shot to win. He was never gonna be more than a look-see, and he could end up benched sooner rather than later. No one will be hotter to draft a QB than the Lions.
Big Ben is done. This year looks just like last year in the passing game, he took the pay cut to come back for one more shot … But this is it. The next guy isn't likely on the roster. Rodgers has been making googly eyes at them. Maybe it makes sense. I would say a reboot with a spry young QB makes more sense. But Mason Rudolph ain't it.
Washington Football Team
Ryan Fitzpatrick is at the end and injuries are a reality for him. Just a matter of how long it takes for them to set in. Couldn't make it through Week 1 this year. Taylor Heinicke is a run around guy but not a true starter. He is Gardner Minshew Lite. They have never had a long-term QB in place since Dan Snyder bought the team. Maybe they never will. But something has to give in 2022.
It was always silly to roll more money forward with Matt Ryan. They should have drafted his replacement with the fourth pick last year. But Arthur Smith is limited by the immobile QB, who has been on steady decline, and they'd better find the next guy next year, even if he sits for a little bit. Time to turn the page.
Davis Mills is gonna get every chance to play a bunch. And he may have a future in the league. But him earning the spot to be the starter in 2022 seems like a stretch. Maybe they get someone like Tua in a trade (more on that in a minute), but Watson won't be in Houston by Week 1 next year, and someone else will be at the helm.
Coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier might be on borrowed time. It's pretty ugly in Miami and turmoil is amuck. Passing on Justin Herbert to take Tua might be a problem, Flores has never embraced Tua outwardly like he should have, and whether he stays or goes, I have a hard time seeing Miami staying status quo in 2022.
Ditto for New York. Coach and GM have one foot out the door. Maybe one foot and three toes. Will the next guys think Daniel Jones is the answer? He has been better this year despite a weak staff, but there are reasons to believe he was heavily over-drafted. This franchise needs another total restart, and if nothing else there will be some QB competition in town next year.
Jalen Hurts has been dealt a raw hand. Rookie head coach. Total disregard for the run game. But he misses a lot of easy passes and Philly ain't the most patient place and who knows how long Nick Sirianni's run is there. They could end up with three first-round picks in the top half of the first round, and as much as management would love to see Hurts grab the reigns and cement his status, that is far from a sure thing. Seems a little unlikely right now, frankly.
Jameis Winston does some nice things and New Orleans can finally push the ball downfield again. But is that enough to satisfy Sean Payton? There were some rumblings among NFL GMs that the Saints might be sniffing around on Watson, and given the overall roster strength, adding an elite veteran QB might be the way they go. They won't sweat parting with a bunch of future picks, and Rodgers, Wilson and Watson all make a lot of sense.
If they do bite the bullet and assess the myriad roster holes and embrace a rebuild of sorts, trading Wilson is the only way to go. He isn't going to be doing an extension with two years on his deal, and 2022 would be the time to deal him. They might end up getting the next guy in that trade, and GM John Schneider has deep ties to the Packers and Rodgers, FWIW. My gut says Wilson is elsewhere in 2022.
I think it's more likely Tom Brady plays til he is 50 than he retires at 44, but should they win back-to-back Super Bowls you have to at least entertain the question that perhaps he leaves the game. Doubtful, under any circumstances at this point, but, again, the dude is 44.