Quarterback carousel


via/FTN fantasy

Every NFL offseason, the quarterback carousel spins once more. Many starting caliber quarterbacks find new homes in new cities. This year is no different. With most of the top quarterbacks rehomed, besides Lamar Jackson, teams are preparing to compete or rebuild for the long haul. But who will compete this year? Baker Mayfield with Tampa Bay? Derek Carr with the Saints? Or Lamar Jackson with…whoever?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished this season with a 8-9 record and made the playoffs after finishing first in their division. With the Tom Brady era over after three seasons, the Buccaneers have two signal callers that could take the job. The Bucs drafted Kyle Trask in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft after their Super Bowl win. Trask has had very little playing time, only ever throwing nine career passes. Trask was a highly rated prospect in his draft and many projected him to be a first rounder. Trask has some competition though: Baker Mayfield. The former 2018 first overall pick has had some flashes, but many negatives. Mayfield led the 2020 Cleveland Browns to a playoff berth, which included a win over division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. But after Cleveland replaced Mayfield with Deshaun Watson, they traded him to the Carolina Panthers, where he was eventually cut. After a brief tenure with the Los Angeles Rams, Mayfield signed with the Bucs on a one-year $8 million deal. Many expect the Bucs to pick up a young rookie at some point in the draft, whether it’s in the first round with Will Levis or a later prospect such as Hendon Hooker or Dorian Ryan Thompson.

Aaron Rodgers has been one of the biggest factors in the course of this offseason and the effect it has on the future of the NFL. The four time MVP is known around the league for causing an offseason stir nearly every year. Last year, he signed a four-year $200 million contract, so many believed he would retire as a Packer. But after a mediocre 9-8 season and a four-day darkness retreat, Rodgers has decided he wants to be a New York Jet. The New York Jets went 7-10 this year despite having the worst quarterback play in the NFL. Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco and Mike White started the majority of the season. Many believe if the Jets even had average quarterback play, they would’ve been a contender. With Aaron Rodgers, many believe the Jets could be a Super Bowl winner, myself included. With weapons such as Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard and Breece Hall, Rodgers will be put in a better offensive core in his first year with the Jets then he ever had in 18 seasons with the Packers. Now, the Jets have been hesitant because of a comment Rodgers made saying that before his darkness retreat: he was 90% retiring. This makes the Jets not want to give up a guaranteed first round pick. But the Packers know the Jets have no other option at quarterback at this point in the offseason. 

The Baltimore Ravens have had the most eye raising quarterback scenario this offseason. Lamar Jackson is a former unanimous MVP, 2 time pro bowler, and 2019 first team all pro. But why has he not been paid for his play? Many attribute this to him wanting a fully guaranteed contract similar to that of Deshaun Watson’s. Many believe it’s due to him being injured the last two years during the playoffs. Possibly it’s because his play style of rushing so much has not been a sustainable play style when it came to other rushing quarterbacks such as Cam Newton. The Ravens have failed to build an offensive core around Jackson and many believe it’s that they’ve not tried. But I believe that is false. The Ravens have drafted 2 first round receivers, a second round running back, 2 second round receivers, and a 3rd round tight end in Jackson’s draft. Up to this point they have not worked out due to injuries or poor play. Despite this Jackson’s dual threat ability has kept the Ravens among the top teams of the AFC. Many believe that the Ravens have basically insulted Jackson by not paying him up to this point. Despite Jackson’s looming availability many teams have already opted out of Jackson. Instead rolling with younger and cheaper guys. But until a agreement is reached the future of the NFL is uncertain until Jackson has been paid.