Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The NFL: Who Needs a Good Quarterback in 2013?

Peyton Manning
Football fans all know how important it is to have a top quarterback on your team. Here's a rundown on several NFL teams that are or should be in the market for a high quality quarterback.

NFL teams that appear to be in dire need of a good quarterback...

1. Arizona Cardinals*
2. Buffalo Bills*
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Kansas City Chiefs*
5. New York Jets
6. Philadelphia Eagles*

NFL teams which, in my opinion, could use a change at quarterback...

1. Cleveland Browns* - Age is the issue here. Weeden is older than either Aaron Rodgers or Alex Smith...
2. Dallas Cowboys - Same old story with Tony Romo. He performs well right up until crunch time...
3. Oakland Raiders - Even with a good supporting cast I just don't see Carson leading a team to the Super Bowl.

* Denotes teams with new head coaches for 2013.

So in my opinion there are 9 NFL teams right now that need a high quality QB or could use a change at the position. What's out there to fill those needs?

NFL teams which have what appears to be a good quality NFL quarterback they'd be willing to part with:

1. Miami Dolphins - Matt Moore may be a bridge to a future QB... (under contract)

2. New York Jets - Both Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez could be available but don't bet on it... (Both are under contract)

3. San Francisco 49ers - Alex Smith (will be a free agent)

4. Seattle Seahawks - Matt Flynn (Under contract)

5. I would have included the Washington Redskins here (Kirk Cousins) but not after what happened to RG3.

That makes at least 5 QBs with quality NFL experience on the market this off-season.

Then there's the number of quarterbacks available in the 2013 college talent draft which appear to be of starter-type quality...

West Virginia's Geno Smith
1. Geno Smith - West Virginia. The top rated QB in this upcoming draft.

2. Matt Barkley - Southern California. Fell in the draft ratings but still considered starter quality.
3. Tyler Wilson - Arkansas. He has all the tools NFL scouts want to see.

I'm sure there's a sleeper or two out there some lucky team may pick up but those 3 are supposedly the crème de la crème!

So how do I think these quarterback questions will pan out? The following explanations are given in order of each team's 2013 draft selection position.

1. Andy Reid is the new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and by virtue of a terrible 2012 season they have the first pick in the draft. Andy's claim to fame being that he is great at developing young QB's. Based on this, I expect the Chiefs to use their pick and take the number one rated quarterback coming out of college, Geno Smith...

2. If I owned the Jacksonville Jaguars this would be a no-brainer... You know where I'm going here. I'd do whatever is reasonable to pick up Tim Tebow from the New York Jets (straight up trade for Blaine Gabbert? Chad Henne?) and order my head coach to either design an offense that features Tim's talents or go find another job. I'd then use the second pick in the 2013 NFL draft to shore up either the 30th ranked defense in the league or the 29th ranked offense... Tebow will put fans in the stands as well as giving the lowly Jags a fighting chance...

3. The Oakland Raiders probably still have a year or two of fair to good productivity coming out of Carson Palmer, but the writing's on the wall. This guy has seen much better days. I believe I'd go ahead and bite the bullet here and use the 3rd pick in the draft on Matt Barkley. I'd sit him down behind Palmer for a year or two and then see what we've got. Could be the start of a new Raider dynasty!

4. This is a good one...

If I controlled the Philadelphia Eagles I'd be out there right now shopping Michael Vick (and I assume they are), but who would want the oft-injured QB? That's why I didn't include the Eagles in the category concerning teams with a high quality QB they'd be willing to part with. One way or another Vick's done in Philly. Will a new head coach be willing to use the 4th pick in the upcoming draft on a QB thought to be a 2nd round pick at best? Here's where I'd be talking to my owner, Jeff Lurie, and the conversation would go something like this: "Let's go out and make Alex Smith an offer he can't refuse... The guy's a proven commodity capable of leading a team to the playoffs and winning once there..." Lurie would be a fool not to go along and they'd still have all their draft picks...

5. The Cleveland Browns are a team in total transition from the ownership on down. From all accounts, new owner Jimmy Haslam wants a winner on the field as soon as possible. Brandon Weeden showed fairly well in 2012 and there's a lot of young talent on this team but there are no guarantees with the Browns. Haslam might be favorable to bidding for Alex Smith's services but he still needs to fill his head coach and General Manager position so it's a little early to get a read on this team and who knows? Weeden may be deemed the man.

6. The Arizona Cardinals are perhaps the poorest managed team in the NFL and that is due to the people who own the Red Birds, the Bidwell family.

Ken Whisenhunt is fired...
While it's nice Arizona has a professional football team in their midst, it's too bad it has to be owned by the Bidwells, probably the tightest owners in the game. Due to injury, the Cardinals ran a virtual quarterback carousel in 2012 and ended up 32nd out of 32 teams on offense as a result. Perhaps the one QB they put some money into, Kevin Kolb, will survive the purge...
I'd say the Arizona Desert might be a good place for Matt Flynn to wind up, but I can't see the Seahawks trading him to a division rival... The Bidwells are currently searching to fill their head coach position too (something that happens every 4 to 5 years) so again it's a little early to predict what their plan is but let me tell you, whatever they end up doing you can bet it will be the cheapest way possible. Keep a stiff upper lip Arizona fans...

7. The Buffalo Bills just filled their head coaching job with a local favorite, Doug
Marrone who left the head coaching job at Syracuse University to take this one. The man is offensive minded and leans toward a pro-style offense but has proven flexible going with read-option and no-huddle offenses at Syracuse. A new coach may gravitate to a new, young QB out of college and I look for the Bills to select Tyler Wilson with the 8th pick in the draft if he's still available (see Cleveland and Arizona above). That move will effectively remove the top 3 collegiate QB's from consideration. On the other hand, Marrone's QB at Syracuse (Ryan Nassib) is in the upcoming draft and expected to be taken by the 3rd or 4th round... Buffalo needs help on an aging defense and maybe drafting high quality defensive help with the 8th pick and then picking up their QB of the future in a later round might prove appealing.

8. The virtual circus that is the New York Jets just seems to get crazier and crazier. How Rex Ryan survived the latest debacle is beyond me. Owner Woody Johnson kept Rex but got rid of his General Manager, and the Offensive Coordinator, while the Defensive Coordinator, Mike Pettine, left for the same job with Buffalo (What's that say about the Jets' situation?). I don't get it... With Rex still professing his "love" for Mark Sanchez it looks like the former USC QB will get another chance in the tumbler next fall. I fully expect to see Tim Tebow gone though. The team had better hire a therapist for Sanchez this offseason and get his head straight or they'll be in for another crushing season. Other than at QB the talent is on hand with this team... Despite all the injuries and crap, the Jets ranked a respectable 13th on offense and 11th on defense last season...

9. Finally, and I know this won't happen unless Tony Romo is physically unable to perform, 
I truly believe the Dallas Cowboys need to go a different direction at their QB position. Once again

we witnessed Tony at the end of another Dallas Cowboys' football season muttering to himself while sitting alone on the bench watching the seconds tick down. Team Owner/General Manager and media hog Jerry Jones had to stand up and express his conviction to stick with Tony Romo for the umpteenth time and then he went out and fired Rob Ryan, his Defensive Coordinator and Skip Peete, the Running Backs' coach. Isn't it about time to try someone new at QB? Yeah Tony's stats always look great and he's a nice guy, but Jerry, do you always want to be an also-ran? Maybe swing a deal for QB Matt Flynn and push Tony over the edge before next season starts... One other thing Jerry... Just shut up!

With one of the best classes of rookie QB's ever to come out of the college ranks in 2012 and with three teams making the playoffs under their direction, it's disappointing to see such a drop off in available collegiate QB talent this year and especially when you consider the number of teams that need QB help... How those teams fill their QB needs will be very interesting to behold...


  1. The Jags new GM was college roomates with the 49ers Offensive Coordinator... Jags are looking for a head coach. If they hire the 49ers OC, I can see them going after Alex Smith. Then they better use that 2nd pick on a left tackle, or trade down for more OL help.

    Matt Flynn can not carry Romo's jock strap! Romo is fine when he has a decent O line in front of him.

    It'll be interesting to see where Tebow ends up. Maybe Miami or Tampa?

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