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Early Outlook: Looking for a Quarterback
Teams in need of a quarterback can sometimes shake up a draft and cause players at other positions to fall, where needy teams take advantage of the unexpected talent on the board.
Now that a quarter of the season is in the books, I thought it would be interesting to try and identify some teams that may be interested in a change at quarterback heading into next year, and then see how this list morphs or changes as the year goes on.
I'll split the league up into varying levels of probable change, based on what I perceive as the likelihood of their addressing the position with a switch for 2014.
-Browns: The new regime in Cleveland shipped Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first round pick, stockpiling up on what will likely be a draft-day package to get the signal caller of their choosing. I wouldn’t count on Weeden or Hoyer being under center for the Browns in 2014.
-Jaguars: Jacksonville is 0-4 and have the worst offense in football. Blaine Gabbert has completed less than 50% of his passes and has a 0-5 TD to INT ratio. It’s time the Jags moved on and found someone capable of running an NFL offense.
-Eagles: The Eagles and Vick agreed on a new one-year contract in February, likely signaling that the former Falcon wasn’t in their long-term plans. It’s possible new head coach Chip Kelly goes with an in-house replacement for Vick, but he could also look elsewhere if he isn’t impressed by what he has.
-Vikings: Christian Ponder has been underwhelming as an NFL starter, and may lose his job this season to Matt Cassel while he’s recovering from a rib injury. If Cassel replaces Ponder, he could hang around in 2014 as a stop-gap for a new rookie quarterback.
-Buccaneers: The Josh Freeman experiment is officially over, giving the Bucs plenty of time to figure out whether or not Mike Glennon is the answer.
-Cardinals: Carson Palmer will likely still be around in 2014 due to $2 million of his salary being guaranteed, but the Cardinals would be foolish to not find a QB of the future to work under and eventually replace him.
-Bengals: Andy Dalton is once again off to a solid but underwhelming start. 5-4 TD to INT ratio and a QB rating in the low 80s. With the weapons he has, he should be doing better and Cincinnati may find someone who can.
-Texans: Matt Schaub’s time in Houston is probably running out. Schaub has been an efficient but never extraordinary quarterback, and the Texans would be wise to find a rookie to groom behind him.
-Titans: This all depends on how Jake Locker turns out this season. It took him a while to get going, but Locker has hit his stride this season, ranking 6th in the league in passer rating. He’s out 4-6 weeks with injury though, so keep an eye on how well he plays when he’s back.
-Raiders: Terrelle Pryor is an upgrade over Matt Flynn, but that’s not saying much for Oakland’s future. They need a more realistic long-term candidate at quarterback.
-Jets: The Jets just drafted Geno Smith in the second round so they’re likely committed to him, though he’s off to a typical rough start for a rookie QB.
-Steelers: Big Ben is the best quarterback Pittsburgh has had in years, but the bottom line is they’re 0-4 and he’s not as efficient as he has been in years past. His salary in 2014 is a whopping $12.1 million. It’s highly unlikely, but wouldn’t surprise me if the organization had at least a discussion about what life without Ben would be like.
-Chiefs: Alex Smith is playing efficient football in Kansas City, but is he really the long term future there? The Chiefs signed him to a three year deal, and may seek to find someone to groom behind him while they allow him to play out that contract.
-Bears: Jay Cutler is in a contract year, and will likely command a pretty penny to re-up with Chicago. They know what life is like without a quarterback, so I expect them to work something out. But there’s always a chance it won’t.
-Rams: The organization came out before Thursday night’s debacle and proclaimed their support for a Sam Bradford extension. With that public vote of confidence, it’s unlikely – though not impossible – the Rams and Bradford end their relationship.
-*****: Kaepernick’s numbers are down from his mid-season production last year. Is it possible the ***** made a mistake by letting Alex Smith go? I don’t expect the organization to completely give up on Colin after this season, but he will be in a contract year in 2014.
Welcome to the 2015 Rams Draft Class
Re: Early Outlook: Looking for a Quarterback-*****: Kaepernick’s numbers are down from his mid-season production last year. Is it possible the ***** made a mistake by letting Alex Smith go? I don’t expect the organization to completely give up on Colin after this season, but he will be in a contract year in 2014.
Well, I don't know that for a fact, but as a Whiner, it's safe to assume he molests baby goats."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
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