The NFL off-season is full of speculation as there is nothing else to do. 31 of 32 teams are unhappy. How are they going to improve? Invariably, the discussion focuses on QB’s around the league. Following are what has happened or what is speculated to happen.
In 2016, the LA Rams traded with the Titans for the #1 overall pick to draft Jared Goff. The Rams gave up 2 1st round picks, 2 2nd round picks and 2 3rd round picks.
In 2021, the LA Rams gave up on Goff and traded him to the Lions for Matthew Stafford, age 33. They sent Goff along with 2 1st round picks and a 3rd round pick to the Lions.
So, at the end of the day, they spent 4 1st round picks, 2 2nd round picks, and 3 3rd round picks for Stafford.
Additionally, the Rams traded for CB Jalen Ramsey and paid 2 1st round picks and a 4th round pick and had to pay him a 5 year $105 million contract.
In 2016, the Eagles traded 2 1st round picks, a 2nd round pick, a 3rd round pick and a 4th round pick to the Browns for their #2 overall pick to draft Carson Wentz.
In 2021, the Eagles gave up on Wentz and traded him to the Colts for a 3rd round pick this year and a 2nd round pick next year.
They currently do not have any experienced QB’s on their roster. They drafted Jalen Hurts last year in the 2nd round and he may be a bust. So, they most likely will draft another QB again in the 1st round this year.
The Miami Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa in the 1st round last year and he may be a bust. So, the Dolphins most likely will draft another QB again in the 1st round.
The Jets selected Sam Darnold in the 1st round in 2018. They will most likely draft another QB again in the 1st round this year. There is speculation that Darnold will be traded.
Dak Prescott wants a long term contract but Jerry Jones seems unwilling to give him what he deserves. Although, Jones gave DE DeMarcus Lawrence a 5 year $105 million contract, WR Amari Cooper a 5 year $100 million contract, LT Tyron Smith an 8 year $98 million contract and RB Zeke Elliott a 6 year $90 million contract, they are nowhere near a long term contract for Prescott.
DeShaun Watson wants to be traded.
Aaron Rodgers hasn’t gotten offensive weapons and isn’t happy. The Packers shockingly drafted QB Jordan Love in the 1st round last year… HUH ??? He hasn’t made it to the active roster yet so isn’t even good enough to be a back-up QB….
Russell Wilson is tired of being sacked and isn’t happy. Instead of beefing up a very bad O-Line, they traded for safety Jamal Adams and gave up 2 1st round picks, a 3rd round pick and their Safety Bradley McDougal. Adams plays like a Linebacker and his pass coverage skills are average at best. Plus, he is looking for a big payday from the Seahawks who will have to cut salaries to make room for what he is asking. He will demand to be the top paid DB in the NFL.
Drew Brees will most likely retire so the Saints have Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. Can these two QB’s lead the Saints to the top?
Ben Roethlisberger will cost $41 million in cap space for the Steelers in 2021 and he looked his age last year. What will the Steelers do?
The Bears aren’t happy with Mitchell Trubisky. What will they do?
The Broncos aren’t happy with Drew Lock. What will they do?
The Panthers aren’t happy with Teddy Bridgewater. They want DeShaun and are willing to pay the moon for him.
The Washington Football Team is looking for a QB. They will surely cut Alex Smith as they won’t want to pay him $15 million this year. Since they cut Dwayne Haskins, their remaining QB is Taylor Heineke.
Do any teams want to take a risk with Cam Newton? Perhaps Washington as Rivera was Cam’s coach at Carolina.
And what will the Patriots do? They certainly won’t start the season with Stidham at QB.
This leaves us with Jimmy Garoppolo, the QB that the entire football media universe roasts as the worst QB in the NFC West. Let’s take a look at how the Niners performed last year in the NFC West with half their roster on IR. They beat the Rams twice, once with Garoppolo and once with Nick Mullens. They beat the Cardinals with C. J. Beathard and took the Cardinals out of Playoff contention. Although they lost to the Seahawks twice, C.J. Beathard had a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter before Russell Wilson carried them to a last minute win. And, Jared Goff, who the Rams banished, beat Russell Wilson in Seattle in the Playoffs. So, just how good are Wilson, Murray, and Stafford? Although we haven’t seen Stafford in the NFC West yet, he is 0-3 in Playoffs.
All of the so-called sports analyst experts state that the Niners should give away the farm to trade for DeShaun Watson. Peter King said that the Niners should trade 7 players for Watson including Fred Warner or Nick Bosa, 3 1st round picks and 3 2nd round picks. Watson is 1-2 in Playoff games. Additionally, in his 4 years with the Texans, his career win/loss record is 29-35. In the 4 years prior to Watson, the Texans were an identical 29-35 and 1-2 in Playoff games. Further, comparing Watson’s stats to Dak Prescott’s stats there isn’t much of a difference. Using the 2019 season stats when both QB’s played the entire season, Watson threw for 3,852 yards with 26 TD’s and a rating of 98. Prescott threw for 4,902 yards, with 30 TD’s and a rating of 99.7. Dak’s career win/loss record is 43-29.And surprise, surprise… in 2019, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards with 27 TD’s and a rating of 102 and took the Niners to the Super Bowl. Garoppolo’s career win/loss record is 22-8. Just looking at these stats, Garoppolo is better than Prescott followed by a trailing Watson.
I have several points to make:
- The Upper tier teams are unhappy with their QB’s. Their goal is to win the Super Bowl so when they fail, they want to upgrade their QB. The Lower tier teams draft a QB every year or every other year instead of having a plan to make all areas of the team better.
- In the NFC West, the Rams and Seahawks bet the farm on a few impact players and expended all of their high draft picks. They are playing to win today. The Cardinals are on the right path as they are getting better each year. Lynch and Shanahan have the best plan as they value draft picks and mix in key veterans where needed. Last year was an extreme anomaly due to the high number of injuries to key players. Just remember what Shanahan said after the last game of the year when they lost to the Seahawks in the last minute… He said, “I’m glad the season is over. Next year, I just want all my players back”.