It's been barely a week since the 2020 NFL season concluded with Tampa Bay dismantling Kansas City 31-9 in Super Bowl LV. Now, the focus will be on quarterbacks.
Or, rather, who will be the starting QB for (potentially) more than a dozen teams once training camp starts in the fall.
We already know of two QB's who will be starting for new teams: Matthew Stafford (L.A. Rams) and Jared Goff (Detroit Lions). There surely will be more.
The Broncos have made it clear that they haven't been enamored with the play of Drew Lock. They were in on Matthew Stafford, but like many teams, lost the sweepstakes.
Lock is young and still has plenty of upside. Look for Denver to strengthen their mediocre O-line and try to provide the strong-armed Lock with some receiving help.
With better protection and more weapons, Lock could turn things around next season.
These days, the atmosphere in Houston is taking on the air of a soap opera. Will Deshaun Watson be back? Will he be traded? Will he sit out?
If he ends up leaving - which looks like a strong possibility - that brings up another issue: what QB in his right mind would want to play for such a dysfunctional organization?
With Philip Rivers retired and Jacoby Brissett due to become a free agent, the Colts are in a pickle. Do they draft a QB, or do they trade for one?
Depending on what happens elsewhere, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgwater, Tua Tagovailoa, Gardner Minshew II - even Aaron Rodgers - could be available. If they can acquire an established signal caller, they will remain a legitimate threat in the AFC South.
Chances are very good that the Jags are going to spend their first-overall pick on a quarterback. While that QB will likely be Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, it could be Ohio State's Justin Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson.
That could mean that Gardner Minshew II will be sent packing. At just 24, he could be forced to continue his promising career elsewhere. Question is, where?
Don't look now, but the Fish might reprise what Arizona did a couple of years ago when they drafted Kyler Murray and then dispatched Josh Rosen.
That's right, they could trade away Tua Tagovailoa in favor of Lawrence, Fields, Wilson or NDSU phenom Trey Lance. Miami supposedly isn't sold on Tua, so this could very well happen.
New England Patriots
Let's see. The great Cam Newton Experiment failed miserably, and Bill Belichick clearly doesn't believe in Jarrett Stidham.
That means there will be a new pivot behind center when came breaks in the fall. Could that QB be former Patriot Jimmy Garappolo? Or Teddy Bridgwater, if the Panthers draft a QB?
New York Jets
It would be unfair to judge the performance of Sam Darnold after spending two years under the disaster that was Adam Gase.
Still, it's likely the Jets will opt to choose Justin Fields, perhaps Wilson. They'd better draft some receiving help, or the new QB - whoever he might be - won't have many weapons at his disposal.
Meanwhile, Darnold - who still has plenty of upside - has the potential to thrive under a better system with a more talented collection of targets to throw to.
Apparently, Carolina has a new quarterback on their mind. While Teddy Bridgwater was solid last season, they're looking for someone who's more dynamic.
At number eight in the 2021 draft, they're high enough to go for a QB. Could that QB be BYU's Zach Wilson?
Bears' management must be feeling a little torn here. One the one hand, their offense showed marked improvement under the enigma that is Mitchell Trubisky.
Question is, has he truly matured, or was his fine play just another brief flash of greatness? The other burning question is, is Nick Foles better than he showed, or is he a career back-up who only occasionally plays like a top-tier starter?
Expect the Bears to be in for a new QB via trade or draft, as they're said to be set on moving on from Trubisky.
Green Bay Packers
In light of Aaron Rodgers comments at the end of the season, it's not guaranteed that the reigning league MVP will be back in Green Bay for the 2021 season.
Whether Rodgers leaves via trade or chooses to sit - he's clearly disgruntled - there's a chance that Jordan Love will be thrust into the position of starter sooner than he expected.
New Orleans Saints
With surefire Hall of Famer Drew Brees expected to retire, the Saints have two pivots waiting in the wings: Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston.
Hill is athletic and a doesn't make many mistakes, while Winston is also mobile and has a stronger arm. Which QB will head coach Sean Payton choose?
The athletic game manager (Hill), or a strong-armed, mobile pivot (Winston) who can stretch the field, but may throw untimely picks? Or, does he re-acquire Bridgwater, who thrived when he filled in for Brees?
While the Eagles have said they want to keep star QB Carson Wentz, the wounds from a traumatic season are still fresh.
There's also the fact that Jalen Hurts proved to be a safer, more efficient option in his limited time as starter. He isn't the playmaker that Wentz is, but then again he isn't as mistake-prone.
Provided he's happy, Wentz is the best option. If not, the Eagles will likely trade him for receiving help and hope that Hurts can develop into a more dynamic, dual-threat QB.
San Francisco 49ers
At position 12 in the upcoming draft, the 49ers - who want to upgrade from the steady but unspectacular Jimmy Garoppolo - aren't up high enough to get a premiere QB prospect. So, they'll likely have to trade for a new pivot.
There should be no shortage of candidates, who will have a dynamic receiving corps to throw to when they arrive in San Fran.
Should he be made available, Falcons' QB Matt Ryan would be a good fit.
Washington Football Team
Washington just signed Taylor Heinicke to a two-year contract and still has Alex Smith - the NFL Comeback Player of the Year winner - under contract.
Look for them to draft a quarterback; there should be some good prospects available, or they could potentially trade up to try and get one of the top names.
Candidates to Change Teams
So with all the 2021 QB dynamics in play, the list of QBs that might change teams is quite long and could create a ripple of repercussions for fantasy team owners.
These are the quarterbacks to watch:
- Deshaun Watson
- Aaron Rodgers
- Carson Wentz
- Sam Darnold
- Teddy Bridgewater
- Jimmy Garoppolo
- Tua Tagovailoa
- Mitchell Trubisky
- Drew Lock
- Gardner Minshew II