Sean Pendergast

NFL Fan's Guide to Offseason Quarterback Drama

Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, and could make a few teams instant Super Bowl contenders.
Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, and could make a few teams instant Super Bowl contenders. Photo by Daniel Kramer
For years, the only thing the NFL didn't really do as well as their other American major sports counterparts was the offseason, particularly the movement of high level players from team to team. In short, there never was any, especially at quarterback. If a team found a quarterback that was even just above average, they locked them up for the next several years on a contract and wouldn't even think of moving on.

The NBA's offseason had always been the gold standard for player movement drama, with a LeBron James or a Kevin Durant routinely moving onto their next stop in free agency. They would be just one of at least a half dozen or so All Stars, seemingly every summer, to change zip codes. Now, the NFL dwarves the NBA in offseason drama, with the movement (or threatened movement) of multiple quarterbacks every spring for the last four years or so.

This season, there are a couple names that have been through the drama cycle before, and some new ones added to the radar. in my estimation, these are the five most interesting quarterbacks who will be on the move, or POTENTIALLY on the move:

Rodgers is a repeat participant in offseason drama, really dating back to the offseason when the Packers fired Mike McCarthy back in 2019. Last season, Rodgers' agitation of the Packers' organization resulted in them giving him a $150 million contract extension. The end result in the first year of that extension was an 8-9 record and the Packers' missing the playoffs for the first time under head coach Matt LaFleur. Now, Rodgers is reportedly making noise about retiring or wanting out again, and reports up in Green Bay are that the team is now ready to oblige. They're tired of Rodgers and his hippie ways! (NOTE: Rodgers is literally on a darkness retreat in a jungle somewhere as this is being typed.)

POSSIBLE RODGERS FITS (if he leaves the Packers): Jets, Raiders, Titans, 49ers

DEREK CARR, Free Agent
Carr signed a three-year extension last winter, but it had very little guaranteed money, so when the Raiders finished 6-11 this past season, it essentially turned into a one and done deal. Carr and new head coach Josh McDaniels could just never get things moving in the right direction. Now, Carr is a free agent, and because he was cut from an existing contract, he doesn't have to wait until March to sign with a new team. He's already taken visits to see the Saints and the Jets. Personally, I think any NFC South team would be wise to sign Carr, as he would immediately make that team the favorite in a QB-starved division.

POSSIBLE CARR FITS: Jets, Titans, Saints, Panthers, Bucs, Falcons

Jackson is a likely candidate to get the franchise tag from the Ravens, as the two sides have been haggling over a long term deal for nearly two years now. The big game changer over the last year was the $230 million fully guaranteed deal given to Deshaun Watson by the Browns. Jackson, who has actually been a league MVP (unlike Watson), thinks he deserves an equivalent deal, and he is holding firm. The Ravens, likely concerned that Jackson has finished the last two seasons injured, are holding firm on offering about half the guaranteed money Watson received. Depending on what type of franchise tag the Ravens use, excessive or non exclusive, Jackson could still go find a deal in free agency, and give the Ravens the chance to match it. If Jackson left, his new team would owe the Ravens two first round picks.

POSSIBLE JACKSON FITS (if he leaves the Ravens): Jets, Falcons, Raiders, Panthers, Patriots

Garoppolo's run in San Francisco is finally over, and Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan has made it clear that the team will not be bringing Jimmy G back this time. So Garoppolo is a pure free agent, and likely viewed as someone who can take an already strong roster, and not steer it into the ocean or anything. Can Garoppolo game manage his way to 11 wins on a team like the Jets, or the Colts, or perhaps the Titans? I think the Texans likely have pondered a short term future with Garoppolo, given his ties to Nick Caserio in New England, but I don't think that's the solution Texans fans are hoping for.

POSSIBLE GAROPPOLO FITS: Jets, Raiders, Colts, Titans, Falcons, Saints, Texans

This is the longest shot on the board, and yet I am totally intrigued by the possibility of the Chicago Bears, owners of the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, trading soon-to-be third year QB Justin Fields, and then using the top pick on Alabama's Bryce Young. I doubt it happens, as Fields was solid enough in Year 2 of his career, but it's fun hypothetical! Well, it's fun, unless you're a Texans fan who wants Bryce Young playing at NRG Stadium, as this is the only scenario that fully prevents the Texans from getting Young on their roster.

POSSIBLE FIELDS FITS (if he is traded): Falcons, Raiders, Panthers, Titans

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast