As the 2016 NFL season comes to a close many teams are left with a difficult question; who should be our next starting quarterback? The majority of the 32 teams in the NFL will have no problem keeping things the same and penciling in their current starter as the QB for next year but there are at least nine teams that have a less certain situation.
I’ve broken these teams down into two main categories of “new faces” and “same faces.” Teams that will be starting the same QB as last year I’ve broken down into three categories based on the level of certainty of that QB coming back to start next season.
Tony Romo is 36 years old and out of a job in Dallas. Denver has two young QBs; one is average and the other needs time to develop. Romo is looking for a playoff contender and that is exactly what Denver will be with a signal caller with Tony Romo’s talents. Denver’s Defense can handle the interception machine that is Tony Romo and the weapons on that offense will be elevated by the skilled veteran. Look at the other teams that are getting new QBs and then it’ll be obvious why Denver is the only destination for Tony Romo.
San Francisco 49ers
Although there are no sure-thing rookie QB’s that will be ready to start day one, Kizer has the best abilities to become that day one starter. He needs some time to get comfortable under center but the new coach of the 49ers will be able to put a system in place to play to Kizer’s strengths and hide his weaknesses.
The Browns are the team most likely to trade for Garoppolo although there will be plenty of callers. Tom Brady isn’t going anywhere in New England and Bill Belichick already has a younger heir to the throne in Jacoby Brissett. They will not need to keep Garoppolo for the final year of his contract when they can trade him to a more desperate team like the Browns. The Browns could easily go for a QB in the draft but they showed last year they would prefer drafting the supporting cast.
Although John Elway says the team does not need a veteran they won’t be able to pass up the talents of Tony Romo. This leaves Siemen without a role in Denver. I expect the young QB to find his way back into the Chicagoland area where he will fit well into a John Fox offense. He will have a better running game to keep pressure off of him and just needs to play a mistake-free accurate style of football to be successful for the Bears.
New York Jets
You may not like the history Cutler has had in Chicago but his best days included Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall who are waiting for Cutler in New York. The Jets cannot expect Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg to be ready to start anytime soon and after the Fitzpatrick disaster this year they need a fresh face. Cutler will benefit from a good running game and great receiving weapons. If the Jets can improve their defense in the draft they are suddenly ready to compete for the playoffs.
Brock Osweiler is not that great of a QB but I wouldn’t call him a bad QB. That could certainly change next year. He falls into the category of “maybe we need another year?” The Texans are in a strange situation where they won’t be able to get another team to trade for their overpaid QB and cutting him is too much of a financial loss. This means Brock will be on the roster come training camp and will compete for the starting job. I think that with an offseason to get prepared he can win that battle. Still, it’s pretty much a coin flip if we see him week one.
Bortles has had a very difficult season. He consistently is an NFL leader in interceptions thrown but if he throws for nearly 4,500 yards and 35 TDs that is a forgivable offense. I think Bortles future in Jacksonville entirely depends on who they sign as their Head Coach for 2017. Bortles should be able to win a QB battle against nearly any free agent the team could sign and will certainly beat a rookie QB. Don’t expect to see a new face starting for the Jaguars on week one. It is too soon to move on from Bortles but a new coach may be tempted.
I certainly expect to see Carson Palmer starting for the Cardinals next season. I only bump him down from a sure-thing because he is 37 and might not have another season in him. That is completely on him. If he shows up to camp then he will start.
Taylor will be the topic of debate for much of the offseason. Many will say he is not worth the $18 million a year that Buffalo agreed to pay him before the start of the season but he hasn’t given anyone a reason to say that. This team has faced a year of overall struggles and that is shown by the recent firing of the Ryan brothers. Don’t forget that the current offensive coordinator was a midseason replacement as well. Taylor hasn’t done anything to season to lose his job and there isn’t a sure-thing option for the Bills this offseason. I expect the Bills to get a new head coach that is willing to work with Tyrod Taylor while they draft or sign a security backup.