Quarterback Drama Will Define the NFL’s Offseason

The 2022 NFL season is finally history, and now we’re turning our attention to the 2023 offseason, which should be full of quarterback moves (the carousel started on Tuesday when the Raiders released Derek Carr), contract drama, and real intrigue at the top. NFL Draft. Bell ringerThe NFL writers have chosen the most interesting storylines of the offseason, and it’s no surprise that almost all of them involve quarterbacks.

Which teams will get which veteran QBs?

If your team needs a mediocre bridge quarterback, you’ve come to the right offseason. Tampa Bay, Washington, the Carolinas, New Orleans, and possibly Arizona – if Kyler Murray’s January 3 rehab from knee surgery keeps him from missing most or all of next season – could be in the veteran quarterback market. (The Texans, Colts, and Jets also need QB, but the first two are likely to pick one, and for now, we’ll leave the Jets at the top of the list of teams that can look to trade for Aaron Rodgers. More on all of these scenarios in a bit.)

Those top four teams will likely be heavily invested in Derek Carr’s trade war – man, that’s a sad set of words – and those who miss out will have to fight for Jimmy Garoppolo. From there, the consolation prize is Andy Dalton, who had a good year with the Saints, or maybe Baker Mayfield or Jacoby Brisset, depending on your preference for quarterbacks. But good luck trying to convince your fans of any of these options. A couple of teams might have to.

The takeaway here is that in this quarterback market, patience is not a virtue. If any of the teams listed above have playoff aspirations, they will need to get the job done quickly. They shouldn’t wait and let someone fall on them. This is how you end a post tweet “QB1” it goes to hell. Stephen Ruiz

Will Aaron Rogers emerge from the darkness and choose the planes?

Rogers will soon go on a four-day retreat to decide if he wants to return to the NFL. (Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Sunday that the retreat of darkness had already begunbut Rogers showed up on The Pat McAfee Show Tuesday, so if this retreat doesn’t include media breaks, it hasn’t started yet.) If Rodgers decides to continue playing football, he power ending up with the New York Jets, who have been in hiding in the dark for half a century. Rogers just adapted to the dark. Jets fans haven’t seen the light of day until they… it’s really unclear if any Jets fans under 60 have ever seen the light of day.

Let’s rewind here. Rodgers and the Packers orchestrated a massive, three-year, $150 million extension he signed last year so Rodgers could find a new team this offseason — or at least do it in a way that would let the Packers choose between keeping him or 2020 first. . -circular selection Jordan Love. It is likely that Green Bay will choose Love and send Rogers into exile (or New Jersey).

But Rodgers is being paid so much — his combined earnings over the next two years will be $72.3 million, according to Over the Cap — that no team would trade him unless he wants to go there, so he essentially has a no-trade clause. And as I said last month, since the Packers don’t want to send Rodgers to another NFC team and possibly face him in the playoffs, that leaves as possible trade destinations AFC teams that need a QB, but also have a fairly good composition. to lure Rogers out of the darkness. And that really leaves three teams: the Jets, the Raiders and the Titans. Vegas is closer to Rogers’ heart (with Davante Adams) and closer to home (in California). The Titans have the best atmosphere and the easiest division to win football. The Jets have the best lineup, but Jets. Decisions, decisions. Anyone who wants to part with, say, the choice of the second day in 2023 and the conditional first number in 2024 can attract Rogers – as long as he survives from this strange The Dark Knight Rises Batman cave. Danny Heifetz

What happened to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens?

We know Lamar Jackson won’t be a free agent, but we also can’t be 100% sure he’ll be the Ravens’ starting quarterback in the first week of next season. Both sides have been negotiating a contract for some time and still have not found a compromise. How would this happen? There are four scenarios:

1. The two parties finally agree on a long-term contract. This will be the cleanest result. Jackson will be the face of the franchise for years to come and everyone will be happy. But given that it hasn’t happened yet, it’s fair to wonder if they’ll ever get there.

2. The Ravens use the franchise’s exclusive tag on Jackson, he signs him and plays on a one-year contract. This would mean a one-year, $45.2 million contract for Jackson. His contract situation will remain up for debate next season, and all of that money will count toward the Ravens’ 2023 cap, making it harder to consider other aspects of the roster. Not ideal. (The Ravens could also put a non-exclusive label on Jackson, whose 2023 salary is around $32 million, but Baltimore is unlikely to risk letting him negotiate with another team and then have to match the salary offer.)

3. The Ravens use the franchise label on Jackson, but he refuses to sign it. It would be the most deplorable outcome. Jackson will not play and will give away a lot of money. But given what we’ve seen so far, we can’t rule out that option.

4. The Ravens use the franchise tag on Jackson and then trade him. This seems unlikely given that the Ravens have built their team around Jackson and he is only 26 years old. But if both parties can’t agree on a long-term extension, and the other team is willing to pay Jackson what he thinks he’s worth, a deal is out of the question. The Ravens will no doubt take a step back, but given how desperate the teams are for young quarterbacks, they are likely to benefit from Jackson like we’ve never seen before.

Stay tuned. This is perhaps the most unpredictable story in the NFL at the moment. Sheil Kapadia

Who will be the QB1 49ers: Trey Lance or Brock Purdy?

In September, Trey Lance was considered a future 49ers quarterback. In October, it looked like that honor belonged to Jimmy Garoppolo. In December and January it was Brock Purdy. It’s February now, and San Francisco is back to what it usually is this time of year: stuck figuring out who’s going to play quarterback next season. Despite big trade deals for Garoppolo (in 2017) and the possibility of Lance in the 2021 draft, the 49ers have had six quarterbacks — Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, C.J. Bithard, Brian Hoyer, Purdy and Lance — have started at least four. games apiece since 2017 and still can’t get off the spin on positions.

This is what it looks like this offseason: Garoppolo is moving into free agency, and coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier this month that he “doesn’t see a scenario” for him to return in 2023. Purdy and Lance have contracts, but on Feb. 22, Purdy is due to surgically repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, after which he will have a recovery period of about six months, according to Shanahan. That will get him back to training at the end of August, give or take. Meanwhile, San Francisco can take another look at Lance, who he currently has fewer passing attempts in his entire high school, college and NFL career (798) than Tom Brady this season at age 45 (799). Despite Shanahan and GM John Lynch’s tendency to go crazy at QB positions, the 49ers are in the middle of the pack (16th) in the salary cap room and don’t have a draft pick until the third round this year. therefore their resources to become big again are limited. I still find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t sniff around a trade for Aaron Rodgers, but I also don’t know what they could offer to make it work, and Shanahan said he was comfortable staying with Lance and Purdy. “I know we have two starting players on our team right now that I believe we can win with,” he said earlier this month. “When you’re in that situation, you don’t want to look around as much.” Obviously, all this will end with Garoppolo somehow returning to San Francisco, as is customary. Nora Princiotti

Who wants Will Lewis?

It’s time for NFL teams to once again claim the right to risk their football future for a player who doesn’t seem to be particularly good at football. This time it’s Will Lewis of Kentucky, a college football leader ranked 112th overall in scorers in 2022 and a potential top pick in the draft. (Bell ringerNFL 2023 Draft guide ranks him as the 14th best prospect in the draft, but projects it as not. 4 picks.) Lewis threw for 43 touchdowns in two seasons in Kentucky, while two of his first off-board QB opponents, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, threw at least 44 touchdowns in the 2021 season alone of the year. I’ll remember Lewis for going 11 of 23 with no touchdowns and an interception in last season’s loss to Vanderbilt, who lost 26 consecutive SEC games before beating Kentucky 24-21.

NFL teams may not see many touchdowns on his highlights tape, but they look at him and they see Josh Allen. Allen’s teams in Wyoming also barely scored, but he continued to prove pre-draft haters (like me!) wrong by combining his size and strength with improved passing accuracy to become one of the NFL’s most dangerous weapons. However, Allen is bigger…


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