Is Josh Allen better than Jameis Winston
Mailbag to the Free Agency: Quarterback ranking - who changes, who stays?
Which quarterbacks will actually switch? Can the New England Patriots attack again immediately? Where is the market strong this offseason, and could the league face a historic free agency? SPOX-Editor Adrian Franke answers your questions in his column.
Do you want to ask questions to the SPOX-NFL column? That goes right here to the author!
Quarterback ranking: who changes, who stays?
Samu: Rating from 1-10: How likely is it that the following QBs will play for a different team than last season: Gardner Minshew, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Mitch Trubisky, Drew Lock, Matt Ryan.
The quarterback carousel in the Free Agency will be incredibly exciting, also because Deshaun Watson or even Russell Wilson can potentially mess everything up - and the draft can come up with an excellent leading group a few weeks later. That could turn some of the candidates into real bargains in the market.
I'll go through the names one by one, where "1" means I absolutely can't imagine a move and "10" means that the quarterback is already playing somewhere else in my head
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Just last night this personality vanished into thin air. Dak Prescott has signed a new four-year contract with the Cowboys and will therefore stay in Texas for the long term!
Change probability: 0.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
One of the more interesting names this year that's been a little under the radar when it comes to the quarterback market. The Jaguars will most likely choose their new quarterback with the number 1 pick and could then certainly keep Minshew as a backup. Honestly, that would be almost a waste of resources, because I could imagine that Jacksonville could get a very interesting asset for Minshew in the trade market.
Minshew may never become an elite quarterback, but he's got a solid baseline and upside too. He works well through the pocket, he reads the field quickly and he has highlight throws in his repertoire. Plus: Minshew is extremely cheap. His cap hit in the event of a trade for the receiving team would be $ 850,000 in 2021 and $ 965,000 in 2022. Needless to say, that would be the cheapest starting quarterback by far.
A team like the Chicago Bears in particular should urgently inquire about this.
Change probability: 7.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
Winston allegedly waived money last year to study for a year in New Orleans behind Drew Brees and under Sean Payton. It remains to be seen whether this will also be noticeable in sporting terms - but we can assume that it did not have the strongest market last year and this year the QB market seems to be even more competitive, especially due to the strong draft class.
That means: Winston probably wouldn't have too many options - and I also think that he has to choose his next team very carefully. Because if Winston changes to a team like Chicago or Philadelphia and the season goes bad there, that could very well have been the last chance Winston gets. So I suspect that he will ultimately stay in New Orleans on a one-year contract, where he is now familiar with the Scheme and coaching staff, and where he will then also start before Taysom Hill.
Change probability: 3.
Cam Newton, New England Patriots
Most likely the "50/50" category on this list. The Patriots are and will remain a big lucky bag for me this offseason. Newton's season as Passer was pretty weak, but Bill Belichick seems to think highly of the former MVP, appreciates him for his mobility and could be of the opinion that a significantly improved Receiving Corps would lift Newton to another level. The tendency for me is to switch, and yet I would not be surprised to stay with a very manageable contract.
Change probability: 6.
Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears
There are rumors that the Bears might hold Trubisky again after all, as a temporary solution, as a safety net, if you don't get any of your preferred candidates in the draft, whatever. I do not see it. For GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy, 2021 will be a very critical season, and I can't imagine that they will potentially fall back on Trubisky again. Not only because it doesn't have the sporty quality, but because the two of them are also somewhere about making a clear cut in the quarterback position.
Change probability: 9.
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
I don't suspect that Drew Lock will change teams - even if that was a realistic option in the course of the Matt-Stafford trade. What I could rather imagine is that the Broncos will bring a serious alternative into the team and put Lock on a short leash. That could be an option like Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tyrod Taylor, but of course it could also happen via the number 9 pick in the draft.
Change probability: 2.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan was going to make a gigantic dead-cap hit; I could only imagine a trade this offseason if the Falcons really make a profound upheaval, and I don't suspect that. The new head coach Arthur Smith brings a familiar offense, at least in part, Ryan should still have a few good years in the tank. A QB pick on 4 wouldn't surprise me - but my guess is that Atlanta wants to open another playoff window over the next two to three years with Ryan, Julio Jones and Co.
Change probability: 2.
TMC: Which team can go from "Worst to First" in the Free Agency with just a few moves?
The 49ers would be the easiest candidate here, simply because San Francisco had to make do with such a decimated roster last year that this team will be much stronger even without a free agency.
But why not design a more exciting construct - with the Jacksonville Jaguars!
For these "worst to first" questions, of course, you always have to consider the division. I expect a jump from the Cincinnati Bengals, but in a division with Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, jumping straight to the top is extremely difficult. The same applies to the Atlanta Falcons, who have to deal with defending champions Tampa Bay as well as a Panthers team on the upswing and a lucky bag in New Orleans. The jets also have massive resources - but they also have to deal with the bills in their own division.
Jacksonville comes from a 1-15 season, but I already think the talent in the squad is better than that. Again, you have to see where this squad is at: The Jaguars had an incredibly young defensive team last year, players like Josh Allen, K'Lavon Chaisson and CJ Henderson should become the cornerstone of this defense, and I think they can too. But they are not there yet.
Offensive there are good building blocks in the offensive line, as well as two good receivers in D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault, but most of all you have to consider the enormous resources Jacksonville has in this offseason. No team has more cap space than the Jaguars and in my opinion no team has more draft capital: Jacksonville has the first pick in rounds one to four within the top 100, as well as pick number 25 in the first and pick number 45 in the second round. That is absolutely enormous.
We all assume that the number 1 pick will be the quarterback of the future. But with the gigantic Cap Space, the Jaguars can otherwise position themselves in order to have fewer needs to cover in the draft and to use the top talent available in each case. Jacksonville should bid in the race for one of the top receivers in the free agent market, should try to get the best left tackle available - maybe Orlando Brown via Trade from Baltimore - should try to sign a slot corner and invest in the defensive line.
And the division is quite a lucky bag. Houston almost has to be written off for 2021, the Colts could crash crashing to try to get Carson Wentz back on track and the Titans lose their offensive coordinator and allegedly their number 2 receiver and tight end Jonnu Smith, and the edge rush is still a bigger problem defensively.
Ultimately, it depends on how quickly - presumably - Trevor Lawrence hits. But no team is in a better position to achieve a complete turnaround this offseason than the Jaguars.
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