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Assessing the quarterback landscape across the NFL

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Which teams need a quarterback and who is set at the position?

New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

There are a lot of interesting veteran quarterback names on the free agent market right now. Former Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco. Former number one overall pick and MVP Cam Newton. Fellow former number one overall pick Jameis Winston. Plus a plethora of viable backup options like Mike Glennon, Matt Moore, and Geno Smith.

In the 2020 NFL Draft, there are plenty of options at quarterback as well. It’s presumed the Cincinnati Bengals will select LSU QB Joe Burrow with the number one overall pick. Behind Burrow, the consensus number two quarterback is Alabama’s Tua Tavovailoa, who many project to go to the Miami Dolphins after Miami tanked “strategically remained minimally competitive” last year. Still, there are also names like Utah State’s Jordan Love, Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Washington’s Jacob Eason, and Georgia’s Jake Fromm, to name a few.

With so many quarterbacks either available now via free agency or available later during the draft, now is a good time to take look around the NFL and gauge the quarterback climate for all 32 teams.

Let’s define some terms. A team listed below with “ZERO” need at quarterback means the team has a franchise quarterback on the roster who is not an imminent threat of retiring, meaning the team should have zero interest in spending significant draft capital or free agent dollars on the quarterback position. “LOW” means the team has at least one quarterback on the roster who the team has named a starter, but there are concerns about the quarterback in 2020. “MEDIUM” means the team has a franchise quarterback on the roster, but there are questions about that quarterback’s ability to play beyond even the 2020 season. “HIGH” means, despite anything the team might say otherwise, the team has an immediate need for a starting quarterback in 2020.

AFC East

New England PatriotsJarrett StidhamHIGH - There are huge shoes to fill after Tom Brady has left New England, but it’s possible the Patriots throw the 2020 season to go after Trevor Lawrence next year.

Buffalo BillsJosh Allen – ZERO

New York JetsSam Darnold – ZERO

Miami Dolphins - Ryan Fitzpatrick - HIGH - It’s fully anticipated the Dolphins grab Tua, but it’s no guarantee Washington doesn’t pick him second overall or the Chargers don’t leapfrog Miami themselves

AFC North

Baltimore RavensLamar Jackson – ZERO

Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethsliberger – MEDIUM

Cleveland BrownsBaker Mayfield – ZERO

Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow? – ZERO

AFC South

Houston TexansDeshaun Watson – ZERO

Tennessee TitansRyan Tannehill – ZERO

Indianapolis ColtsPhilip Rivers – MEDIUM

Jacksonville Jaguars – Gardner Minshew – MEDIUM

AFC West

Kansas City ChiefsPatrick Mahomes – ZERO

Denver BroncosDrew Lock – MEDIUM

Oakland RaidersDerek Carr/Marcus Mariota – LOW

Los Angeles Chargers – Tyrod TaylorHIGH - The Chargers are saying they plan on rolling with Tyrod Taylor, but that’s not a big enough name to sell tickets in the Los Angeles Market. They need a game-changer right now.

NFC East

Philadelphia EaglesCarson Wentz – ZERO

Dallas CowboysDak Prescott – ZERO

New York GiantsDaniel Jones – LOW

Washington – Dwayne Haskins – MEDIUM

NFC North

Green Bay PackersAaron Rodgers – ZERO

Minnesota VikingsKirk Cousins – ZERO

Chicago Bears – Nick Foles/Mitchell Trubisky – LOW

Detroit LionsMatthew Stafford – LOW

NFC South

New Orleans SaintsDrew Brees – MEDIUM

Atlanta FalconsMatt Ryan – ZERO

Carolina PanthersTeddy Bridgewater – ZERO

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tom Brady – MEDIUM

NFC West

San Francisco 49ersJimmy Garoppolo – ZERO

Seattle SeahawksRussell Wilson – ZERO

Los Angeles RamsJared Goff – ZERO

Arizona CardinalsKyler Murray – ZERO


Of the 32 teams, that’s 3 with a high need, 18 who have zero need, and another ten teams somewhere in the middle. If you place names like Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Jordan Love, and Justin Herbert in the mix, you’re suddenly in a position where there are more potential starting quarterbacks than there are starting roles.

This list also did not include quarterbacks that could potentially hit the trade market in the near future or are already rumored to be available. Andy Dalton of Cincinnati is already reportedly available for trade. If the Dolphins grab Tua, that suddenly makes Josh Rosen available. Similarly, if Washington were to grab a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft, especially after already adding Kyle Allen in free agency, Dwayne Haskins likely becomes available.

So where do you think these big name quarterbacks end up in 2020? Cam Newton in New England? Or maybe the Chargers make more sense? Do the Chargers opt for someone like Herbert in the draft? Does Jameis have to take a backup role? Maybe somewhere like New Orleans? Make your prediction in the comments. Send me presents.