NFL insider notes: Ranking 13 teams most desperate for a franchise QB, with Steelers, Buccaneers at the top

Behind the scenes, the scrambling has already begun.

In conflict rooms and assembly rooms, on yachts and inside palatial estates — anyplace billionaire NFL homeowners meet with their coaches and administration groups — the plotting and planning and pleading and praying has lengthy been underway. For the legion of groups which are unsettled on the quarterback place, the desperation is already palpable in some corridors of the league. Hope is briefly provide.

Fingers are wringing. Jaws are clenched.

Probing questions are being requested of these in command of NFL groups which are at instances not possible to reply. Provide and demand in The Nice QB Chase of 2022, alas, should not aligned, and lots of a normal supervisor or offensive coordinator or head coach is already shedding sleep questioning how this riddle shall be solved. How can we get a franchise quarterback? And at what value?

The draft affords few options. No certain issues. Extra questions than solutions there as nicely. Certain, two to 4 of them will seemingly get snatched up within the first spherical, however anticipating speedy dividends is folly. Many a gaze is already being solid on the 2023 quarterback crop, which appears to be extra strong. GMs are scurrying for any morsel of details about what authorized penalties Deshaun Watson would possibly face, realizing full nicely that readability about any felony fees he would possibly face, not to mention a suspension, is very unlikely earlier than the draft. Skepticism is rising about Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers really changing into out there, though precise particulars are briefly provide. And regardless, these two will have the ability to steer the place they land, and lots of the groups most in want of their companies aren’t shut sufficient to profitable to draw their consideration.

Curiosity in guys like Jimmy Garoppolo and Carson Wentz is lukewarm as finest I can inform, whereas some rumblings about Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan have picked up. However, once more, how a lot can they elevate a franchise at this level? Make a play for Gardner Minshew? Yeah, that is the panorama.

The free agent class is less-than-stellar. There are some narratives throughout the scouting neighborhood about Marcus Mariota and Mitch Trubisky benefitting from a reset, maybe, however attempt promoting your proprietor on that consequence because the panacea to all that ails many of those franchises. Jameis Winston turning the nook underneath Sean Payton’s tutelage, however there are issues about his previous habits and that pesky 30-pick season from just some years again.  Teddy Bridgewater continues to make the rounds. Tyrod Taylor is a good mentor to a younger QB, however good luck discovering somebody to uplift the franchise in free company at this place.

Slim pickings. Fairly bleak.

It acquired me to serious about which groups actually are probably the most determined to make one thing occur at quarterback. Among the many many golf equipment missing anybody on their present QB roster who realistically portends to be the long-term answer at this spot, which might be most prepared to promote their collective souls to get a franchise man? I’ve some ideas. From most panicked to least. None of those golf equipment is in an ideal spot, however some appear extra caught than others:

Pittsburgh would not give off the air of being in a QB pickle, and Mason Rudolph continues to be propped up, however this staff cannot afford to waste the blue-chip expertise it has on protection. The Steelers do not have shedding seasons underneath Mike Tomlin, and so they reached the playoffs a yr in the past with poor quarterback play, however you are not profitable in January within the AFC with the QBs they’ve proper now. And I doubt both understudy proves to be the inheritor to Huge Ben in the long run. Add a legit QB who can push the ball downfield, improve the offensive line, and 2022 may very well be fairly attention-grabbing whereas avoiding any lengthy rebuild.

Life comes at you quick. Going from defending a Lombardi Trophy to waving goodbye to Tom Brady is loads to swallow. And even with their cap points, and a roster purge, there’ll nonetheless be considerable expertise right here and the NFC South shall be up for grabs. Might they be the touchdown spot for Wilson or Rodgers? Nonetheless would have loads to supply. It clearly labored out nicely for TB12 there!

You may nearly really feel the group sweating all as one whereas proprietor David Tepper frets about all of the errors they’ve made at this place already. The NFC South appears pretty broad open, with Payton and Tom Brady gone, and the Bucs and Saints in a cap crunch, however Carolina is caught with Sam Darnold’s $18M albatross contract, and the stories concerning the staff poking round on Cousins would not shock me. Jobs are on the road there. The Panthers must get this QB factor fastened within the coming weeks. It will not be simple. In the event that they took one sixth general, few could be stunned.


I would be throughout retaining Winston. They’ve stable bones on this roster, the protection is legit, the offensive line continues to be good, and so they can discover a couple of extra talent guys. Taysom Hill ain’t it, I do know that a lot. I may see Trubisky right here, too.


Their turnover at QB the final 20 years is nothing wanting staggering. Nobody lasts because the starter greater than a few years. It is change into a generational problem for a once-proud franchise. And it is a dangerous yr to attempt to repair it.  They simply is likely to be caught going by means of the draft, too. Mock draft nation is already bracing for it.

I would be researching these cleanses Rodgers is raving about. Embrace yoga and self-induced vomiting. Get my affords prepared for the Packers and my recruiting pitch fired up in case he turns into out there. In need of that, or Wilson (who I do not see dwelling in Denver), I do not know. They’ve been in QB purgatory since Peyton Manning began falling aside. Brutal place to be. Robust to get out from except you find yourself selecting very excessive in a powerful QB draft (or mortgage a number of drafts to maneuver up to take action). Going with one other mid-tier, short-term QB could be pretty hopeless.

In the event that they did not have $18M dedicated to Baker Mayfield for 2022, I consider this staff could be angling for a mess of choices. However the Browns are seemingly caught with the previous top-overall choose. I may see them doing one thing on Day 2 of the draft.

I get how badly they wish to enhance from Wentz. I additionally do not see a simple path to take action. As I’ve prompt previously, swapping QBs with the 49ers (for Jimmy G) would possibly make some sense, although I’m not certain both man is markedly higher than the opposite. However it might be a change. Their palms would possibly find yourself tied.

They may get to the playoffs with Cousins subsequent yr, however that experiment is not going to convey them a Tremendous Bowl. And the jury is out on Kellen Mond. Yr 1 with a rookie head coach, so that they need not determine it out this offseason, however doing one other short-term take care of Cousins to get extra cap reduction could be misguided. I do not see it.

Quite a bit just like the Vikings, with the Falcons sticking with their older quarterback too lengthy, paying him an excessive amount of cash and lacking a window to get first rate return for him by way of commerce. Hijacked by the QBs cap scenario, which is an issue of their very own making. Ryan can nonetheless aid you beat middling groups, nevertheless, of which there look like a lot within the NFC. It may very well be worse.

The brand new coach and GM acquired six-year offers in 2021. They’re caught with Jared Goff’s brutal contract for an additional yr. They need not drive the QB problem this yr, as they may nearly definitely be selecting very excessive once more in 2023. I would give attention to upgrading the general roster this offseason since this was all the time going to be a multi-year rebuild.

This Daniel Jones factor is very unlikely to work out. However Brian Daboll, in his first yr as a head coach, would not have to overreact to an issue that he didn’t create. He and rookie GM Joe Schoen inherited it. They’ll assault it in 2023.

Davis Mills intrigues me. Not sufficient to not nonetheless be searching for different developmental passers, however sufficient to not chase one among these free brokers or lock myself into taking a QB within the prime rounds this spring. There may be some clay to mildew there, and this entrance workplace clearly has the proprietor underneath their spell, and I believe in the event that they do make a daring QB transfer it is subsequent yr. I additionally surprise if sooner or later they simply minimize Watson, as a result of paying him $35M to not play this yr, if that is what it involves, appears loopy to me.


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