With the NFL offseason just a week away, there are many quarterbacks on the market available for teams to pick up. Here is the list of the top quarterbacks who will be available in the 2021 offseason:
5. Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold has not had the best time in New York since being drafted by the Jets back in 2018. In three full seasons as starting quarterback, Darnold’s Jets have only gone 13-35. Other teams in the AFC East have developed into playoff contending teams, with the Bills making the playoffs for the second straight season and the Dolphins finishing the year 10-6. However, Darnold was able to break some records in his time with the Jets as he had the highest completion rate as a Jets rookie with 57.7 back in 2018.
Last season, Darnold continued to make rookie mistakes while also struggling with injuries. The Jets have been in talks with other teams in trading him out of New York with new head coach Robert Saleh making several changes to turn the team around. Though Darnold needs improvement, he is still a solid quarterback and he can fit well on a new team. Jets Nation is reporting that Darnold can land in either Carolina, Indianapolis, New Orleans or Washington.
4. Tua Tagovailoa
The Dolphins drafted Tagovailoa during the 2020 draft in hopes that he can become Miami’s franchise quarterback. He shared a lot of playing time this season with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Both Tagovailoa and Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins to an impressive 10-6 season and second in the AFC East, but unfortunately missed out on a Wild Card playoff spot.
Because Watson requested a trade, Miami has been their number one target. Due to the season the Dolphins just had, Watson would be a great fit to bring Miami back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. This puts Tagovailoa’s future in Miami up in the air. When asked about his future in Miami, Tagovailoa said he is unsure. “Honestly, I’m not too sure. I can’t control things that I can’t control. What I can do is continue to work hard,” said Tua according to CBS Sports. Maybe Tagovailoa can land in Houston if Miami agrees to trade him for Watson in the offseason.
3. Cam Newton
Cam Newton did not live up to Bill Belichick’s expectations in 2020. After a disappointing 7-9 season and their first losing record since 2000, Newton only threw eight touchdown passes and had 2,657 passing yards. He struggled to find his receivers as all receivers on the team combined totaled only four touchdown catches. However, Newton was able to total 12 rushing touchdowns, which is the most ever by a New England quarterback in history.
The Patriots have not officially announced if they will keep Newton for 2021. Newton only signed a one-year contract in 2020, so the Patriots must decide to either extend his contract or move on. One team that has a potential to sign Newton is the Bengals. With Joe Burrow recovering from his knee injury, Newton will be a perfect fit for the Bengals. The Bengals are not looking for a long-term quarterback and signing a former NFL MVP to the team will help take the place of Burrow until he gets healthy.
2. Aaron Rodgers
It came as a surprise to Packers fans that Aaron Rodgers may want out of Green Bay after almost 16 years. After the NFC Championship loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rodgers admitted that his future with the Packers is very unclear. A two-time NFL MVP, Rodgers is the leading candidate to become MVP again with his impressive 4,299 passing yards, 48 touchdown passes and an 84.3 quarterback rating.
Rumors have been going around that Rodgers may end up in New Orleans if Drew Brees officially decides to retire. New Orleans would be a perfect team for Rodgers to join to try to win another Super Bowl. Rodgers has lost four of the five NFC Championship games with the Packers. The Saints have the talent on the team to make it to the Super Bowl and with a soon to be three-time NFL MVP, it can be very possible to see this move happen in the offseason.
1. Deshaun Watson
There is no doubt that Watson’s time with the Texans has come to the end. Watson has been unhappy with the Texans’ organization and he has already formally asked for a trade. He has also removed “Houston Texans” from all his social media bios. Watson has been one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. He has led the Texans to the playoffs in both in 2018 and 2019. However, the Texans had a disappointing 2020 season with a 4-12 record that resulted in the firing of head coach and GM Bill O’Brian.
The top three teams currently after Watson are the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts. Any team would be lucky to get Watson, as he finished the season with 4,823 passing yards, 33 touchdown passes and a 70.2 percent completion rate. The team to show the most interest in Watson are the Dolphins. With the Dolphins finishing the season strong, they are ready to make a playoff push and they want to start it with a top tier quarterback.