Forecasting the 2021 quarterback carousel

Again in late-January, NFL insider Adam Schefter offered what some assumed was a sizzling take when he stated that he would put the “Over/Underneath” at 18 in regard to the variety of groups that may have a brand new beginning quarterback come Week One of many 2021 season.

In some circles, this might qualify as a daring prediction relatively than a sizzling take because the NFL report is 16 (1999).

To me, it’s an attention-grabbing offseason story . . . that form of misses the purpose.

I’m not significantly concerned about what number of groups may have a unique starter in Week One of many 2021 season than they’d Week One final yr.

I perceive that Week One makes for a handy method to measure turnover, however I’m extra wherein groups, barring damage or suspension, may have moved on from their 2020 starter(s) and entrusted their franchise to a unique beginning QB by the END of 2021.

To me, the Chargers are a superb instance of why this distinction is vital.

Tyrod Taylor obtained the beginning for the Chargers in Week 1 final yr. It was his solely begin of the season. Justin Herbert obtained the beginning Week 2 and ended up Wally Pipp’ing him.

Tyrod Taylor is now in Houston and Justin Herbert is firmly entrenched as QB1 in L.A.

But Schefter’s checklist would come with the Chargers as workforce that has a brand new QB.

Mine wouldn’t. Not except somebody apart from Justin Herbert is beginning for them by Week 18 of the 2021 season.


What follows is my (temporary) tackle every of the 32 groups and my very own estimation of their odds of getting a unique beginning quarterback at any level within the 2021 season than they’d on the END of the 2020 season – no matter whether or not they have a unique quarterback in Week One of many 2021 season.

Observe: The groups are listed in draft order as a result of (a) it will get a lot of the apparent ones out of the way in which first, and (b) it saves 2 of the three most attention-grabbing groups for the tip.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Gardner Minshew period was enjoyable will it lasted. A minimum of for these of us who aren’t diehard Jaguars followers and might overlook the truth that the workforce “earned” the #1 choose on his watch.

City Meyer and the Jacksonville entrance workplace can attempt to fake that there’s a probability they’ll take somebody apart from Trevor Lawrence on the high of the draft, however I don’t assume there’s anybody on the planet who believes them.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

New York Jets

When a workforce trades the QB that began the final recreation of the 2020 season, the chances of them having a brand new QB beginning the ultimate recreation of the 2021 season are 100% by default. The solely query is which QB will probably be beginning the Week 18 recreation for them and the good cash is on Zach Wilson.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

San Francisco 49ers

That is an attention-grabbing one. Even when we fully ignore the truth that they’re division rivals.

On the one hand, the one purpose to commerce three #1s – and a 2022 R3 – to maneuver as much as #3 within the draft is to take a QB. And San Francisco has admitted that’s the case.

However that commerce is simply the appetizer.

Query #1: Who will the Niners choose at #3?

Query #2: Are they actually going to maintain Jimmy Garoppolo?

Let’s take a look at Query #2 first.

My take is that saying they’re going to maintain Jimmy and really holding Jimmy are two very various things.

Clearly, they need to to say that they’re snug holding him or they lose all leverage with regards to a commerce (and/or once they ask him to redo his contract). And clearly they would commerce him in the event that they obtained a suggestion they appreciated, virtually no matter anything.

However . . .

I believe they’re severe about hanging onto him.

Partly, due to what I believe the reply to Query #1 is.

Well-liked opinion has the Niners taking Alabama QB Mac Jones at #3. It will be a strong selection – a protected selection. And as a Seahawks fan, I hope and pray that IS who they choose.

However my cash is on Trey Lance.

Lance has much less expertise than Jones, confronted “lesser” foes at NDSU, and is rather more “uncooked expertise” than “completed product”. However he arguably has the very best ceiling of any QB within the draft and is way extra harmful now than Jones will ever be.

Given the division they’re in and the truth that they’ve a high quality starter that they (arguably / not less than theoretically) nonetheless consider in . . .

I believe they’d be smart to play “the lengthy recreation” and make Trey Lance their choice at #3.

Now, about these odds . . .

Technically, the chances are 100% as a result of C.J. Beathard began the ultimate recreation of the 2020 season for the Niners and he’s now in Jacksonville. However Jimmy G would have been the starter on the finish of final season if he wasn’t on IR and there’s an honest probability he’s their starter all through the 2021 season, so . . .

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 75%

Observe: I believe the chances are 100% if San Francisco drafts Mac Jones, however in all probability solely 50/50 in the event that they draft Trey Lance. If Jimmy is wholesome and enjoying effectively and/or if the 9ers are enjoying for a spot within the playoffs, then I believe Jimmy continues to be below middle Week 18. Whoever the 9ers choose at #3 is sort of actually the starter come Week 1 of the 2022 season . . . however 2021? – that’s much less sure.

Atlanta Falcons

Matty Ice is considered one of my favourite quarterbacks. Hopefully the Atlanta brass shares that opinion as a result of they’re caught with him . . . not less than for now.

Dude has $65M in lifeless cash on his contract in 2021.

Greenback Signal. Six. 5. Comma. Zero. Zero. Zero. Comma. Zero. Zero. Zero. Dot. Zero. Zero.

Amusingly, even with $40.5M in lifeless cash left subsequent yr, the Falcons would save $8M by reducing him unfastened (or buying and selling him). As is, his $48,662,500 cap hit in 2022 makes RW3’s $37M 2022 cap hit seem to be a cut price.

That stated . . .

The Falcons want a succession plan.

They’ve a brand new head coach and a brand new GM and new regimes usually need “their” man, not the man the earlier regime chosen.

And . . .

Atlanta has the #4 choose.

The workforce is reportedly “open to buying and selling the choose.”

I name bullshit.

Or, relatively, I believe that’s a dumbass transfer.

Primarily as a result of except they suck once more in 2021, they’re unlikely to have a top-5 choose subsequent yr which implies ANY draft capital they add this yr will probably be given away subsequent yr once they have to maneuver up within the draft to take a QB who could or might not be higher than the QB they might take now.

And if I’m unsuitable in regards to the Niners taking Trey Lance than I’ll double down on the stupidity issue if Atlanta trades #4. As a result of Trey Lance sitting behind Matt Ryan for a yr could be the right state of affairs for the Falcons.

Matt Ryan is their starter in 2021 although. All yr lengthy.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Cincinnati Bengals

I’m not going to play the “technically . . .” card for each workforce.

It doesn’t matter that Joe Burrow didn’t begin the ultimate recreation of the 2020 season; he’s Cincinnati’s QB for the foreseeable future.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Miami Dolphins

If the ‘Fins had been going to seize a brand new QB, they wouldn’t have traded the #3 choose. At this level, barring a franchise-altering commerce, Tua is their man for the following yr or three.

And, personally, if I’m Miami, I’m good with that call. At #6, I’m taking Kyle Pitts or one of many Alabama receivers and at #18, I’m taking Najee Harris (or buying and selling again and taking him within the 20’s).

Positive, the Dolphins might use some assistance on the O-line and on protection however that’s what their three Day Two picks are for, beginning with #36. On Day One, I’d be including playmakers and giving my QB some weapons.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Detroit Lions

It will be straightforward to joke in regards to the Lions needing to choose a QB at #7 since they traded Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff and Goff is . . . um . . . not good. However have you ever seen their vast receiver group post-free company?

The Lions are the one NFL workforce outdoors Seattle that I pay “shut consideration” to and if I had been them, I’d commerce again from #7 (just a few occasions) and add some picks. Positive, it might imply passing on one of many top-3 wideouts within the draft, however they might take two of the top-10 wideouts with a few trades and be significantly better off.

Even with the esteemed Jared Goff throwing them the ball.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

Carolina Panthers

Regardless of studies that the Panthers are “open to drafting (a) quarterback with (the) no. 8 choose”, I don’t see it occurring.

With considered one of their later picks? Positive.

If Kyle Trask is on the market at #39 or if Kellen Mond is on the market on Day 3? Positive.

However at #8? That may be . . . effectively, actually good really.

It isn’t very seemingly although.

Provided that the Panthers have instructed Teddy Bridgewater that he can discover commerce choices, calculating the chances of the Panthers having a unique QB taking snaps on the finish of 2021 than they’d on the finish of 2020 is fairly darn straightforward.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

Denver Broncos

Ought to the Broncos transfer on from Drew Lock? Perhaps. Most likely.

However will they?

At #9, there’s a probability that they might get one of many high 5 QBs within the draft. However, actually, it’s a reasonably slim probability.

It’s a foregone conclusion that the primary 3 picks will all be QBs. Personally, I believe the primary 4 will probably be – both Atlanta will take a successor to Matt Ryan or they’ll commerce the choose to a workforce that plans to take a QB.

Cincy and Miami will (ought to) keep put at #5 + #6 and neither is taking a QB.

Detroit ought to commerce again although. And Carolina is a wildcard.

I believe that we might completely see 5 of the primary 8 picks getting used on QBs.

That stated . . .

IF there’s a QB on the board that the Broncos like at #9 then they need to completely take him. But when it’s a query of rolling with Drew Lock once more in 2021 or buying and selling their future to maneuver up within the draft . . .

I’d keep put at #9. Particularly since there are prone to be a number of bidders for any choose that’s provided up whereas any of the highest QBs are nonetheless on the board and Denver gained’t win a bidding battle.

Placing this one other means . . .

Denver has too many wants on protection to mortgage their future for a QB. If one “falls” to them, nice. If not, take a defensive participant at #9 and transfer on.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 50%

Dallas Cowboys

Technically . . .

Yeah, simply kidding – I’m not really going there.

Final yr’s Week 17 starter, Andy Dalton, is now in Chicago and Dak Prescott simply signed a 4-year, $160M contract. Assuming he’s 100%, Dallas is ready at QB for the foreseeable future.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

On a non-QB be aware, please, please, PLEASE DO NOT let Kyle Pitts find yourself in Dallas.

New York Giants

Regardless of public sentiment, the Giants look like “all-in” with Daniel Jones. I gained’t say there’s NO probability they make a change however . . .

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: < 1%

Philadelphia Eagles

I might write a whole article on the mess that’s the Eagles’ QB state of affairs and the way their dealing with of that place would make Invoice O’Brien proud.

For now although, I’ll simply say that they wouldn’t have traded again from #6 if they’d any intention of transferring on from Jalen Hurts this season.

Subsequent season although . . . once they might have as many as three first spherical picks . . . LOOK OUT!

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert is the true deal. The Chargers are set at QB; they simply must construct up the workforce round him.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Minnesota Vikings

No matter what chances are you’ll consider Kirk Cousins, the Vikings are just about married to him for the following two seasons. Except they commerce him – which appears unlikely.

Why? I’m glad you requested.

By advantage of being on their roster on March nineteenth, Kirk Cousins’ $35M base wage for the 2022 season turned absolutely assured which implies he’s now assured $56M in base wage the following 2 seasons. Add $20M in prorated bonuses and also you get $76M – which is how a lot lifeless cash there’s on his contract proper now.


Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

New England Patriots

Personally, I like seeing the Patriots (and particularly Invoice Belichick) knocked off their pedestal. And I sincerely hope they hold driving the subpar model of Cam Newton for an additional season or three.

Nonetheless . . .

I believe Cam is only a placeholder and regardless of their reluctance to mortgage the longer term up to now, I believe the Patriots will make a giant bounce up the board on this yr’s draft – particularly if Justin Fields continues to be on the board at #7. (which is the place I believe they’ll bounce to)

In the event that they don’t transfer up, I believe they’ll make Florida’s Kyle Trask the sixth QB off the board.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 75%

Arizona Cardinals

100% set at QB. Won’t be making a change.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Las Vegas Raiders

I’m not a Derek Carr fan. And it’s no secret that the Raiders aren’t 100% dedicated to him. Plus, they’ve reportedly gotten presents for him. Sure, he’s nonetheless on their roster, however . . . for a way lengthy?

Personally, I believe they transfer him in the event that they get a suggestion they like. They’ve already obtained Marcus Mariota below contract and each their O-line and their protection (as an entire) want extra consideration than they will present with the picks they at present have.

I don’t see them getting a suggestion they like although.

Which brings us to “Plan B” . . .

My prediction is that they’ll insert Mariota into the lineup round midseason after which, if that goes effectively, they’ll commerce (or launch) Derek Carr someday between the commerce deadline and subsequent yr’s draft.

However . . .

Carr solely has $2.5M in lifeless cash on his contract proper now and the workforce would save $19.625M in the event that they moved on from him proper now. Subsequent yr, there’s ZERO lifeless cash and the workforce would save $19,777,519.

Clearly they don’t wish to let him go away and get nothing in return, however additionally they have roughly 39 million causes to not less than think about doing simply that.

At actually any second.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 50%


Yeah . . . I’m not ever going to name them the Washington Soccer Staff – besides in a sardonic, sarcastic, or condescending means. Experiences that they could hold that as their title are . . . becoming. And so fully silly.

Concerning their quarterback state of affairs . . .

Ryan Fitzpatrick signed a 1-year deal. He’s not the long-term reply and, actually, I’ll be stunned if he’s nonetheless there in 2022.

Their present backups are . . . uninspiring.

#19 . . . gained’t get them a Prime-5 QB.

Might they commerce their whole draft to maneuver up for Trey Lance? Positive. I’d prefer to say that I’d be shocked in the event that they do, however . . . Dan Snyder.

Personally, I believe it’s more likely that they keep put and take Kyle Trask (or one of many Tier 3 QBs later within the draft).

Both means . . .

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

Chicago Bears

Mitchell Trubisky is out and Andy Dalton is in so this one’s 100%.

However . . .

A. I’ll be stunned if Dalton continues to be the starter come Week 18; and

B. I don’t assume they’ll be beginning a rookie.

To be clear, sure, I do assume RW3 continues to be “in play” and that he might but find yourself within the Windy Metropolis this yr.

That stated, I believe it’s way more seemingly that Chicago will make a commerce for a unique QB – one that may value them lots much less.

Very particularly, I believe that we might see both Derek Carr or (perhaps) Jimmy Garappolo find yourself in Chicago by midseason.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

Indianapolis Colts

They already made their change. And, actually, I believe Wentz will do significantly better in Indy than he did in Philly. I’m trying ahead to seeing if I’m proper. Go Colts! (except they’re enjoying us)

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

Tennessee Titans

Ryan Tannehill’s image should be within the dictionary subsequent to “recent begin.” Dude is solidly entrenched as their starter.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is coming again in 2021 and the workforce restructured his contract to reduce his 2021 cap hit. In fact, the 4 void years and $10.34M in lifeless cash the restructure brings with it may very well be problematic, however that’s a priority for an additional day.

Will probably be attention-grabbing to see in the event that they attempt to discover a successor within the draft or in the event that they select to kick the can down the highway a bit additional subsequent offseason.

Within the meantime . . .

Large Ben was their starter on the finish of final season and virtually actually will probably be once more on the finish of this season (except he’s on IR or they’re resting him for the playoffs).

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 2%

Cleveland Browns

I don’t see them transferring on from Baker Mayfield – not after letting him and his spouse use the stadium as their home in all these Progressive commercials.

He’ll value them $18.858M on his Fifth-year choice subsequent yr however he’s solely making about $5.1M in 2021 and the Browns will (rightly) view his choice as a cut price.

Baker isn’t going wherever.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Baltimore Ravens

They’re already taking a look at a contract extension for Lamar Jackson. ‘Nuf stated.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

New Orleans Saints

I don’t personally discover both Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston all that inspiring and I’d hate being a Saints fan proper now. Drew Brees is a first-ballot Corridor of Famer and there’s actually just one individual that I might see having ANY probability of changing him within the Bayou.

Okay, two folks if we embody RW3 – which I’m not since I don’t assume there’s any probability in hell that the Saints might make a suggestion that Seattle would even think about.

Amusingly, the one individual that I believe might do an ample job changing Drew Brees is the one one that did simply {that a} couple years in the past . . .

Teddy Bridgewater.

I don’t know if the Saints could be keen to ship a lot (if something) to the Panthers in commerce, but when Carolina had been to launch Teddy B outright . . .

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

Inexperienced Bay Packers

Man, did Aaron Rodgers give the center finger to the Packers’ entrance workplace relating to their number of Jordan Love within the first spherical final yr or what?

The query is “Now what?”

There’s $31.5M in lifeless cash on Rodger’s contract proper now in order that makes transferring on from him “tough” – however not not possible.

Personally, my cash is on them buying and selling Jordan Love and rolling the cube on Aaron Rodgers with the ability to play at a excessive degree for not less than three extra years (i.e. via the tip of his present contract).

Realistically although, they will afford to let Love sit on the bench one other yr and push the choice to subsequent offseason.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 5%

Buffalo Payments

Josh Allen answered the doubters. Barring some form of “regression to the imply,” I don’t see him going wherever anytime quickly.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.1%

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

Hahahaha. . .

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 0.0%

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Apparently, I don’t assume the Bucs have a 0% probability of getting a brand new QB on the finish of 2021. Even with Tom Brady’s latest extension.

Right here’s my take . . .

Brady is 44. Sure, he simply led the Bucs to the Tremendous Bowl title. However he regarded like he was 44 for most of the season. Russell Wilson apparently despatched TB12 some NanoBubbles through the Bucs’ (very late) bye week and . . . the remaining is historical past.

However Brady’s present contract, extension and all, is definitely fairly team-friendly.

Right here’s the breakdown:

  • 2021: $1.075M base wage + $8M prorated bonus + $1,470,588 roster bonus = $10,545,588 cap hit
  • 2022: $8.925M base wage + $8M prorated bonus + $1,470,588 roster bonus = $18,395,588
  • 2023: Void yr for cap functions ($8M prorated bonus, no different $$)
  • 2024: Void yr for cap functions ($8M prorated bonus, no different $$)
  • 2025: Void yr for cap functions ($8M prorated bonus, no different $$)

Some related particulars:

  • The roster bonus was negotiated “in case” the league added a seventeenth recreation – which they clearly did – and brings his annual common to $25M per season for 2021 + 2022.
  • Per Spotrac, if Brady retires after the 2021 season, the workforce would recoup $16M of his signing bonus which primarily implies that he would get ~$37M for the 2021 season – unfold out over 2 (or perhaps 3) seasons for cap functions.

As I stated . . . it’s really fairly team-friendly.

To be clear, I’m not saying that I believe it’s seemingly that Tampa Bay would substitute Brady this season, however I’m saying that they’re in all probability okay with the concept that they may very well be paying him roughly $37M for what may be his last season within the league.

Placing that one other means . . .

Don’t be stunned if Tampa Bay drafts a quarterback or decides to commerce for one someday within the subsequent 6 months.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 50%

Seattle Seahawks

If you wish to know my ideas on RW3’s standing, there’s a Fan Publish from a month in the past (3/17) that sums them up fairly effectively.

For now although, as a author on this website, I’m going to say that the chances of Seattle having a brand new QB by the tip of 2021 are a lot nearer to 0% than to 100%.

I gained’t say they’re 0% although.

Truthfully, for pretty much as good a job as I believe the entrance workplace has accomplished in free company, I don’t actually assume they’ve adequately addressed Wilson’s issues. Proper now, if I had been in Vegas inserting a guess, I’d put cash on Wilson being sacked 40+ occasions once more in 2021.

And that’s going to be an issue if I’m proper.

Positive, the brand new OC might assist with that.

As might the brand new Left Guard.

However we’ve obtained the identical coach, the identical QB, and 80% of the road is unchanged from final yr . . . which brings to thoughts a preferred saying about doing the identical factor and anticipating totally different outcomes . . .

I sincerely hope that I’m unsuitable, however I’m skeptical (at greatest) about our potential to maintain Mr. Russell Carrington Wilson each upright and joyful.

This text isn’t about that although.

This text is in regards to the chance of every workforce having a unique beginning QB on the finish of the 2021 season than they’d on the finish of the 2020 season and . . . with some caveats . . . I believe Seattle might be okay.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: < 12%

Los Angeles Rams

Amusingly, I used to be on my third edit of this text earlier than I noticed that I had left the Rams off the checklist. It wasn’t intentional, however I believe it might have been a Freudian slip. In any case, the initials of my pseudonym are F.T.R. for a purpose . . .

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 100%

Houston Texans

Man, how a lot distinction does a few months make?

For those who’d requested me in February if I assumed the Texans would have somebody apart from Deshaun Watson below middle come Week 18 of the 2021 season, I’d have stated, “No.”

Even after he stated he needed to be traded.

I actually didn’t consider that the brand new regime would have the heart to tug that set off.


I believe they’d pull that set off in a heartbeat.

However I don’t assume there’s anybody that may dumb sufficient to make them a suggestion. A minimum of not till there’s some readability on Watson’s ongoing and severe authorized troubles.

And even then, I will probably be shocked if he doesn’t spend a lot of the 2021 season on the Commissioner’s Exempt Record and/or isn’t suspended for violating the league’s Private Conduct coverage.

Placing that one other means . . .

Houston signed Tyrod Taylor as insurance coverage towards Watson “forcing” his means out of city. My cash is on him beginning all 17 video games for them in 2021.

Odds of a brand new QB beginning at any level in 2021: 99%

Remaining ideas

I do know that I checked out this a bit bit in another way than Adam Schefter did however I believe I’d go along with the “Underneath.”

Schefter stated that he thought 18 groups may need new QBs in 2021.

The report is 16.

The report was threatened 3 years in the past (when 15 groups began new QBs Week 1) however I believe the report is protected in 2021.

And possibly 2022 as effectively.

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