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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Quarterback Edition

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1) Last week, ESPN’s Ed Werder was reporting that the New England Patriots were no longer expecting to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Werder claims to have “inside” sources and after speaking with people “familiar” with New England’s approach, he thinks the Pats hang on to the 25 year old.

I don’t deny what he’s heard from his sources, but I do think his sources are saying exactly what the Patriots organization wants them to say. Make no mistake about it, Garoppolo will be traded if the right deal comes along, and with at least three teams in a potential bidding war, odds are high someone will pony up the right compensation.

I see this coming down to two teams, the Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears. If the Browns will give up a package built around the 12th overall pick, I think Garopolo ends up in Cleveland. If not, a package built around Chicago’s 2nd round pick should be enough to bring him back to Illinois.

San Francisco is another team that could offer a package built around a high #2, but I think they have their sites fixated elsewhere.

2) Last week Werder had another source telling him that Tony Romo was expecting to be released by the Dallas Cowboys, which makes complete sense. No one will trade for a 37 year old QB, with a near $25 million cap hit. At his age, Romo will likely want to sign with a contender, and even though he believes he can play 2 to 3 more years, I can’t see him wanting to go to a team not ready to win right now.

I think he ends up with the Denver Broncos, but the latest buzz has the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs as the favorites to land him.

3) If the Chiefs end up with Romo, then what happens to Alex Smith? Cutting him would save almost $10 million in cap space, and the Chiefs do have a couple high profile free agents they want to re-sign. Smith hasn’t been able to get the Chiefs over the hump, but he’s a quality QB that can win games with the right system and defense around him.

4) Another ‘quality QB that can win games with the right system and defense around him,’ is the Buffalo Bills’ Tyrod Taylor. Many believe the Bills will part ways with Taylor, because he has a huge guarantee that will kick in if Buffalo elects to keep him. A potential landing spot for Taylor would then be the Browns, partly because his Buffalo QB coach, David Lee, was just hired in Cleveland.

5) Another QB that could be had via trade is A.J. McCarron of the Cincinnati Bengals.

I’m not sure if any current GMs believe McCarron is that good, but it would make sense for Cincinnati to trade him if the right deal comes along.

6) Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon may end up with a nice pay day, because at only 27 years old, his best football may be in front of him. He had a solid rookie year with the Bucs in 2013, and during his career he has a 2 to 1 TD to interception ratio.

I think he’s gets starter money, and he may end up with the New York Jets.

For a good look at Glennon check out this video from the Philadelphia Eagles website. The part on Glennon starts at 1:45, but the entire clip has good Xs & Os stuff on the FA QB class.

7) The biggest free agent QB on the market is Kirk Cousins, but I can’t see the Washington Redskins letting him get away. If he does, a likely destination is with the San Francisco 49ers, and his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is the ‘Niners new head coach.

If San Francisco can’t nab Cousins, then I think it’s likely they take a QB with the 2nd overall pick and allow he and Shanahan to grow together.

8) The ‘Niners and QB Colin Kaepernick are likely to part ways, and I wonder if another team will give him a shot to start in 2017?

Even though San Francisco only won 1 game with Kaepernick starting for them last year, he put up some good numbers. After failing to reach 50% passing his first 2 games, he went on to complete 62% his last nine games, while averaging 212 yards per game, while throwing 14 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions, with a 96.5 passer rating.

Then again, his on field play may not matter, because any team thinking about signing him will no doubt take into account his National Anthem protest. Kaepernick may be passionate about being an activist, but he was a still a good guy for their locker room. Several weeks ago, the players voted him their most inspirational and courageous teammate.

He’s also very active in his community, From the February 3rd USA Today.

As for Kaepernick, he has been speaking to school groups and gradually doling out the $1 million he pledged to give to community organizations.

Each month, Kaepernick awards $100,000 in grants to a handful of local groups. Though he gave $50,000 last month for a health clinic at Standing Rock, the other donations have been for $25,000 and spread among several groups.

Without getting political, would you want your favorite team to give Kaepernick a shot?

9) I wonder if the Los Angeles Rams are going to be looking for a veteran to come in and start while 2016 #1 draft pick Jared Goff spends more time learning on the bench? Goff started 7 of the 8 game he played in and he wasn’t very good.

He completed under 55% of his passes, with a 63.6 passer rating, he also had 7 interceptions and he fumbled 5 times. With a brand new coach, maybe they just roll with the growing pains of Goff, but it would not surprise me to see them go after one of the veterans on the market. Maybe Josh McCown can help ease the Goff era in.

10) Another QB rumored to be available either via trade, or as a free agent if he’s released, is the Bears’ Jay Cutler.

At this point most NFL analysts believe that Cutler will be cut in order to save the Bears $14 million in cap space, but what if the Bears decide to hold onto him?

He’s not due an exorbitant amount of money when looking at the price tags of other starting QBs in the NFL, so why not stick with Cutler and draft his eventual replacement?

This morning on WSCR in Chicago, Mike Mulligan expressed concern about having Cutler around a young quarterback, something I’ve heard from other analysts, reporters and fans, as well. But why? What has Cutler done in the past that makes it seem he wouldn’t be a good teammate?

Cutler will be 34 in a couple of months, and he clearly knows he’s on the back nine of his playing days, so it would behoove him to take on a mentorship role at this point in his career.

Most draftniks believe there’s not one QB in this draft class that can step in and be a day one starter, so if the Bears were trying to figure out a bridge guy to play until the kid is ready, why not Jay?