With this year’s NFL free agency period producing one of the biggest waves of quarterback movement we’ve ever seen, the 2020 NFL regular season will look a lot different in both conferences because of the head-turning uniform changes we’ve witnessed this spring.
Grading the NFL Quarterback Free Agency Moves
With that said, this fun-filled look at this offseason’s quarterback free agency period will provide both, some expert insight into what could lie ahead for several of these teams in 2020 while also providing a bit of entertainment in these trying, Covid-19 based times.
Starters Who Re-signed
Drew Brees. Dak Prescott and Ryan Tannehill will all be back with the Saints, Cowboys and Titans respectively after the Boys put the franchise tag on Prescott and Brees and Tannehill re-signed deals with New Orleans and Tennessee respectively.
Starters Who Signed With New Teams
- 2019 team: New England Patriots
- 2020 team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (reportedly $30 million per year)
The Patriots will almost certainly take a big step backwards in 2020, unless you believe that guys like Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer can fill Brady’s ample shoes. For me though, I’m wondering why the completely awful Hoyer still has a job in the league.
- 2019 team: Los Angeles Chargers
- 2020 team: Indianapolis Colts (one year, $25 million)
Rivers also bolts the only home he ever know by moving from the Chargers to the Colts on a one-year $25 million deal on this NFL free agency. Now, the Bolts appear to be turning the keys and Super Bowl Odds to their franchise over to veteran Tyrod Taylor while hoping to land a franchise quarterback with the sixth overall pick In the draft and that’s just not the worst thing ever.
Indianapolis gets a veteran signal-caller that should be a bit better than Jacoby Brissett, although it should be noted that I saw some considerable drop-off in the 28-year-old Rivers last season.
- 2019 team: New Orleans Saints
- 2020 team: Carolina Panthers (three years, $63 million)
Bridgewater moves on from New Orleans after going 5-0 last season with Drew Brees out of the lineup. While the Saints are still in great shape with Drew Brees and Taysom Hill, I believe Carolina’s acquisition was one of, if not the, best free agent signing there’s been this spring. Bridgewater hooks up with creative first-year head coach Matt Rhule and I’m expecting the two to help get the Panthers back into playoff contention sooner rather than later.
- 2019 team: Tennessee Titans
- 2020 team: Las Vegas Raiders
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft never could get it together long enough to become Tennessee’s franchise quarterback and worse, the Titans took off last season after benching Mariota in favor of veteran Ryan Tannehill. Now though, the Raiders will give the still-talented former Oregon signal-caller another shot to be a starter, seeing as how Jon Gruden clearly isn’t in love with Derek Carr.
- 2019 team: Jacksonville Jaguars
- 2020 team: Chicago Bears (acquired for a fourth-round pick)
It was one, helluva’ one-year ride with Jacksonville in 2019. After leaving Philadelphia to sign a big deal with the Jaguars, Foles was injured in Week 1 and was never the same when he did return to action as rookie Gardner Minshew II played well enough for the franchise to name him their starter moving forward. Now Foles goes to Chicago where I can easily see him replacing the ineffective Mitch Trubisky as the starter at some point in 2020, if it’s not right out of the gate.
Backups At Best
- 2019 team: Washington
- 2020 team: Cleveland Browns (three years, $18 million)
Keenum is a smart veteran player that won’t cost you games with pitiful play, but he’s also not going to go out and lead his team to victory with precise passing. The future in Washington is either going to be second-year signal-caller Dwayne Haskins or possibly, the Skins go go after Tua in the NFL draft. The signing was a good one for a Browns team that saw Baker Mayfield take a significant step backwards last season. The move also reunites Keenum with former Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski where he had his best season ever in 2017.
- 2019 team: Chicago Bears
- 2020 team: Detroit Lions (three years, $13 million)
Daniels leaves Chicago, but the Bears are in great shape after adding Nick Foles to the um…fold. The Lions get an aging – and quite frankly – mediocre – veteran that will serve as the clipboard holder until starter Matthew Stafford suffers an injury. In other words, the Lions did nothing to really improve their backup or future quarterback outlook.
- 2019 team: Detroit Lions
- 2020 team: Denver Broncos (two years, $5 million)
Driskel leaves Detroit where he will be replaced by the aforementioned Daniel and heads off to Denver where the broncos need as many serviceable quarterbacks as possible, although I’m thinking a 59-year-old John Elway could still outplay every quarterback on the Broncos’ roster.
- 2019 team: Washington
- 2020 team: New York Giants (terms TBD)
With Keenum bolting from Washington, the Skins now need a veteran backup for Dwayne Haskins. New York gets a capable backup for franchise cornerstone Daniel Jones though he’ll be in a battle with Alex Tanney for the backup job in the Big Apple.
Remaining Unsigned Free Agents
Blake Bortles, Joe Flacco, Mike Glennon, Brett Hundley, Josh McCown, Trevor Siemian, Jameis Winston
Likely available via trade (or if they’re released)
Andy Dalton, Cam Newton.