In 2020, more than a dozen capable NFL quarterbacks will hit the open market. Some are Super Bowl champions; a few have tremendous upside; others are very experienced and waiting for their shot. Many teams want to score big in the 2020 NFL Draft, but others will look to what’s already available.
After 2019, Eli Manning will enter his 17th season in the NFL. The longtime New York Giants quarterback has regressed in recent years, leading to his eventual replacement. Their new quarterback, Daniel Jones, seems to have the starting spot locked up as well. Everything is starting to point toward Manning’s departure from New York.
Over the course of his career, Manning has 55,000+ passing yards and 350+ passing touchdowns. He’s been a consistent 4,000-yard passer each year, but his declining mobility and issues with turnovers might have other teams reluctant to sign him. With that in mind, Manning could make a decent filler for a team that needs to develop their young quarterback. He’s not that reliable, but if put in the right system he can be a game manager and do what’s asked of him.
There’s no questioning Tom Brady’s status as one of the best to ever do it, but his contract voids after the 2019 season. Many have speculated Brady will leave the New England Patriots and try to prove his worth elsewhere, leaving HC Bill Belichik to continue the dynasty. Brady has said in the past that he wants to play through his 40s, and the 42-year-old is showing few signs of slowing down.
The “G.O.A.T” has produced 70,000+ passing yards and 500+ passing touchdowns in his career, along with a staggering postseason stat line. If Brady does decide to take his talents to another team, he’ll likely make them a winner right away. He’s been the ultimate professional with the Patriots throughout his career, but in a new environment he’d take the reigns and do things his way. Teams that are close to winning in 2019 need to strongly consider signing Brady in the offseason.
Aside from a decent rookie year, Marcus Mariota hasn’t progressed in his tenure with the Titans. In four seasons, he’s been unable to throw for more than 3,500 passing yards and often puts the team in bad places. Along with plenty of other flaws, there’s a reason why Ryan Tannehill is calling the shots in Tennessee.
In the right system — like Lamar Jackson in Baltimore — Mariota could flourish. He’s definitely one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the league, but he’s also one of the most inconsistent. He needs pieces around him to perform well, whether it be a decent rushing attack, receiving core, or offensive line. Tennessee doesn’t really have any of those, making it much harder on Mariota.
With the right coach and offensive scheme, Mariota can be molded into a much better quarterback — just not for the Titans it seems.
Injuries and more injuries have plagued the recent years of Cam Newton’s career. Kyle Allen seems to be the new guy for Carolina, so it’s probably time for the Heisman Trophy-winner to switch uniforms.
Newton hasn’t been the same since his breakout rookie season in 2011. His passing numbers have staggered around 3,500 yards per season, and aside from a decent campaign in 2017, his rushing numbers are down as well.
After being placed on the Panthers’ injured reserve list, Newton’s future might be up in the air. There are plenty of destinations for him around the league, and Carolina would be foolish to not consider dealing the veteran quarterback. There isn’t much reason to go away from Allen at this point, and they have stability with Will Grier behind him.
After 2019, Philip Rivers will have played 14 seasons as the Chargers’ starting quarterback. In those 14 seasons, he’s been one of the true iron men of the NFL. However, he’ll be 38-years-old in December, meaning his time in the league is running short.
Whether it be Rivers or the team around him, the Chargers haven’t been able to produce on the field. Despite finishing the 2018 season with a record of 12-4, they lost their first and only playoff game against the New England Patriots. Years and years of mediocrity might finally catch up with Rivers after the 2019 season.
There’s no guarantee Rivers will be gone next season, but a younger, more promising QB could easily help Los Angeles get to where they want to be. Even a different, more proven veteran could step in and stop the bleeding. Their talent on offense will only last for so long, meaning they’ll need to find an answer very soon.
Possible Landing Spots
Despite the NFL’s pass-happy play in 2019, some offenses still haven’t gotten the memo. One commonality among most struggling teams this season happens to be at the quarterback position. If the guy under center is having a bad year, so is the team.
The Bears and current quarterback Mitchell Trubisky have struggled through 2019. Many have doubted Trubisky, and that’s led to questions about his job stability. Through eight games in 2019, the Bears rank 30th in the NFL in passing offense.
The Titans are in a bit of an identity crisis and need to act fast. The team seems to be torn between Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill — two rather average quarterbacks. Despite Tannehill’s minimal success so far in Tennessee, they’ll need a long-term option at the end of the season.
List of starting caliber #NFL QBs that are likely not playing for the rest of 2019:
— BRAYZY (@staybrayzy) November 10, 2019
With Andy Dalton on the bench, it’s become clear the Bengals have issues at quarterback. Rookie Ryan Finley has taken over for the veteran, but if he doesn’t prove to be the guy, there will be trouble. If they miss out on a quarterback in the 2020 draft, they’ll need to consider the surplus of experienced players on the market.
Current Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has done wonders for his team in 2019, but he’s not someone to build around. And apparently neither is Josh Rosen. If Miami chooses not to draft a quarterback next year, there should be plenty of proven ones to pick from in free agency.
Los Angeles Chargers
Despite current quarterback Philip Rivers’ passing numbers in 2019, the Chargers need to think for the future. Rivers will turn 38-years-old in December, and he’ll also be a free agent at the end of the season.
Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger signed a massive contract extension in spring of 2019, but an injury cut his 2019 season short. The 37-year-old will enter his 16th season in the NFL in 2020, and Pittsburgh should be prepared if any setbacks occur in his recovery.
Joe Flacco’s sub-par 2019 season has proven why he shouldn’t be starting in the NFL anymore. The Broncos could potentially turn to the inexperienced Drew Lock next season, but the quarterback options on the table in 2020 might tantalize them.
Featured Image Courtesy of For The Win (ftw.usatoday.com).
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