NFL Quarterback Landing Spots
This 2020 off season could see some of the biggest switch ups for quarterbacks around the NFL. As expected, Tom Brady is talked about excessively following his playoff loss. The San Diego Chargers have let veteren quarterback Phillip Rivers go and he will inevitably find himself in free agency. Andy Dalton, Phillip Rivers and Teddy Bridgewater are among the quarterbacks making headlines this off season.
Tom Brady: New England Patriots —> New England Patriots
Brady made a public commercial with Hulu while nonchalantly hinting that it’s a high possibility that he will play this upcoming 2020-2021 season. The question now remains: will Brady stay in New England? Tom Brady is set to become a free agent this off-season. Despite Brady coming off a subpar 2019 season, the veteran quarterback has plenty of achievements under his belt and still has plenty to offer. Rumors are circulating that Brady could possibly end up with Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders. I believe that Gruden’s mindset is to not only bring Brady for talent but also to help with ticket sales in the move of the franchise from Oakland to Las Vegas. However, I don’t think Belichick is ready to let his sidekick go just yet.
Andy Dalton: Cincinnati Bengals —> Cincinnati Bengals/Philadelphia Eagles
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is set to be the number one draft pick for the Bengals despite rumors that Burrow is not looking forward to playing there; Burrow later denied those rumors and said that he would play for any team that drafted him. With Burrow coming in, that leaves starting quarterback Andy Dalton in the midst of 2020 changes. Zac Taylor, who was recently named head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals last year, has options because Dalton still has one year remaining in his contract and is not yet a free agent. I believe that Taylor will stick with Dalton for the next season to help mentor Burrow, and after that, Dalton will become a free agent, likely saying farewell to Cincy. If Taylor was to get rid of Dalton, Philadelphia looks like a beneficial option for him. We’ve seen how the Eagles organization invests in backup quarterbacks, such as Chase Daniel and of course, Nick Foles. Carson Wentz’s injury history has proven to be an issue, and with a veteran quarterback like Dalton, the Eagles would have a sturdy backup despite unfortunate circumstances.
Marcus Mariota: Tennessee Titans —> Los Angeles Chargers
Mariota was benched in Week 7 and did not see the field after that in the 2019-2020 season due to Ryan Tannehill’s success. Mariota is a free agent and will likely be departing from the Titans franchise. The Chargers look like the best option for Mariota due to the fact that Rivers will be leaving this off season. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who previously played for the Bills, is next in line for the starting quarterback position with the Chargers. Mariota would likely go up against Taylor to fight for the starting position. Mariota could be in an awkward position if Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert is drafted. The most fitting scenario for Mariota if he signs with the Chargers would ultimately be a battle between Taylor for the starting spot as Tagovailoa/Herbert develops. If the Chargers decide to sign Mariota, he would have the best offensive weapons of his career with running back Austin Ekeler and wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. Marcus Mariota has the best potential with the Chargers and their offensive lineup.
Phillip Rivers: Los Angeles Chargers —> Indianapolis Colts
Rivers will for certain not be playing with the Chargers this year but has still expressed his desire to continue playing in the NFL. Frank Reich, who was named head coach of the Colts in 2018, was Rivers’ quarterback coach in 2013 for the Chargers and offensive coordinator in 2014-2015 with the Chargers. Having a history and strong relationship with Reich, I think that Rivers would be well off in Indiana. The quarterback situation with Jacoby Brissett is not certain, but Colts general manager Chris Ballard admitted that Brissett had a decent year but will not commit to him as the 2020 starter for them. If the Colts look to draft a quarterback in the first round, Utah State QB Jordan Love could be an option but would likely not start as a rookie. All quarterback decisions for Reich and the Colts are still up in the air, fans will have to wait and see the moves they make in the off-season.
Teddy Bridgewater: New Orleans Saints —> Indianapolis Colts
Bridgewater has proven that he has potential to be a franchise quarterback and if the Colts look to pass on Brissett, Bridgewater could take over. Bridgewater tends to throw shorter passes, matching the Colts offense and Frank Reich’s style of play. Phillip Rivers is another quarterback on the Colts radar, but if they decide to go with Bridgewater I think that it would benefit the team in the long run. Bridgewater is a younger, more agile quarterback than Rivers. I think that the Colts would have a real shot at the playoffs if they sign Teddy Bridgewater.