Is it the quarterback who needs a new team to win, or the team who needs a new quarterback to win? In the NFL, many teams constantly have issues with their quarterback, which a lot of times prevents them from succeeding. Then there’s other times, where there’s an extremely talented quarterback who just can’t win on his own. These situations really can sink both a franchise and a player's career.
The quarterback position is probably one of the toughest positions in all of sports. You’re in charge of conducting your offense, running a play smoothly with everyone doing the appropriate tasks, as well as being able to read the defense and being able to adjust to that. In many other sports, you have others to help you out or have more time to make decisions. As the quarterback, you have to be able to make decisions instantaneously, without hesitation. And those decision also have to be good ones, as a poor decision could cause a miscue, which could lead to disaster. Many starting quarterbacks aren’t meant to be starters, but with the lack of talent and opportunity, they manage to keep their job. And other quarterbacks are so talented that they get paid all the money they want, but unfortunately, their team cannot afford to bring other talented pieces on to the team. Quarterback situations always linger in cities, and many teams may start to see their man in charge going away, while bringing someone else in.
16 A.J. McCarron
It’s easy to give up on a quarterback who hasn’t played for some time, but it seems that A.J. McCarron’s value has gone up ever since he took over relief for a bit when Andy Dalton went down in 2015. In three starts, McCarron finished with an overall record of 2-1 throwing for 854 yards, and six touchdown passes. McCarron showed that he has the ability to throw the ball down the field, and even be accurate with it. He was also able to complete passes in tight windows, which many starting quarterbacks struggle to do. At times, McCarron actually looked better than Andy Dalton.
Because of Andy Dalton clearly being the starter, it doesn’t seem like McCarron will get his chance to shine in Cincinnati. The Bengals actually were in serious talks with Cleveland to trade McCarron but in true Browns fashion, they didn't report the agreement to the league in time. Given that the Bengals actually had a deal worked out, it's only a matter of time before McCarron leaves town.
15 New Home: Buffalo Bills
Tyrod Taylor is a classic middle of the road QB. Taylor does nothing to really be talked about as a poor quarterback, but he also doesn’t do enough to be talked about as one of the better quarterbacks in the league. He’s smart with the football, and has the ability to run, but just can’t make enough happen in the passing game. Taylor has been average the past few years, but unless you have an elite team around an average QB, average isn't good enough.
A.J. McCarron brings an immediate arm, and a guy who can take charge. The pressure wouldn’t really be on him as there’s not much pressure when playing in Buffalo. Chances are he will have talent around him at the wide receiver position, and he also would have a great run game to help balance out the offense in his first year as a starter.
14 Andrew Luck
First things first, Andrew Luck needs to get his shoulder back to 100% as it's going to keep him out of action the rest of the 2017 season and rumors have begun to surface that the injury could potentially end his career. However assuming that Andrew Luck will in fact be healthy to play again in 2018, he has to get himself out of Indianapolis. The Colts look like a complete mess as they wasted some prime years of Luck's career by failing to surround him with a proper o-line, a decent running game and a playoff caliber defense.
Reports have surfaced that Luck has concerns as to whether Indy will ever be able to surround him with enough talent to win a Super Bowl. With the Colts looking like they need another rebuild, they'd be better off trading Luck and building this team from the ground up rather than waste more of Luck's career.
13 New Team: Arizona Cardinals
This makes a lot of sense because the Cardinals have everything Andrew Luck would need to bounce back from his injury and get ready to contend for a Super Bowl. He'd have a veteran receiver to depend on in Larry Fitzgerald. He'd have a healthy David Johnson by next season and a much better o-line than he had in Indy. The Cardinals' defense has been a little disappointing the last couple of seasons, but this is still a team that's only a couple of seasons removed from an NFC Championship appearance. Bruce Arians served as Luck's head coach in his rookie season after Chuck Pagano took a leave of absence to battle Leukemia and he brought out the best in the rookie QB. A reunion with Arians makes perfect sense.
12 Patrick Mahomes
Some NFL fans could look at this and think this is absolutely ridiculous, but with the way Alex Smith has been playing this season, it doesn’t look like Patrick Mahomes will be getting the starting position any time soon. Smith currently looks like he could be competing in the race for the MVP Award.
The issue for Mahomes, is with how well Smith is playing, the Chiefs aren’t going to want to let go of the hot seat. It seems that Smith saw that his time in Kansas City was coming to an end, so he started pushing the envelope a lot more, taking more shots down the field and overall just got a lot better. If we continuously see more of this Alex Smith, we could see him in the NFL longer than we expected.
11 New Home: Los Angeles Chargers
This move isn’t practical, but it’s fun to think about. There have been rumors of Philip Rivers considering retirement, and with the chances of him contending for a Super Bowl getting slimmer and slimmer as he gets older, he may actually do it. Many players like to play as long as possible to give themselves a better shot at winning a Super Bowl, but it seems that Rivers won't be able to do it with the Chargers. The Bolts are in the process of rebuilding, and could emerge in years to come. That's why it makes perfect sense for Patrick Mahomes to head over to the Chargers.
Mahomes would be able to join a team who is fairly young, who are all growing together. This could be a rebuilding process, but on a team who has a lot of talent. Mahomes wouldn’t have so much pressure trying to win immediately, as everyone around him would be pretty young as well. Given that the Chiefs are in the same division as the Chargers, the Bolts would have to give them a huge offer to get Mahomes, but it'd be worth it for the Bolts to find their successor to Rivers.
10 Kirk Cousins
Let’s be real, Kirk Cousins has not been treated the way he deserves to be in Washington D.C. He's shown that he can be a franchise player, and yet still has not been able to reach an agreement with the Redskins to stay there long term. The tension between Cousins and the Redskins could finally cause their breakup this offseason, when Cousins realizes that he can do better, and play for a team with a better shot at making the playoffs.
With many teams, a quarterback away from making it to the playoffs, there’s a few opportunities for Cousins to go. And getting away from the NFC East would take away the pressure of competing with Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz. So far in games against those two quarterbacks, his record is 2-5. His struggles in big games have caused him to gain some criticism, which may cause him to want to find a new home.
9 New Home: Jacksonville Jaguars
This is the perfect opportunity for Kirk Cousins to refresh, and really get a shot to become one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL. The Jaguars are in the AFC South, one of the weaker divisions in the NFL, and they are an emerging team.
Cousins also would join a team with a young, strong running back, an improved offensive line, and a developing receiver corps, that will only improve as time moves on. Cousins will also play with a team that has one of the most dangerous defenses in the league, where he doesn’t have to put up crazy numbers in order to win ball games. The Jags give Cousins the best chance to win, and also a chance where he could probably land a big paycheck, as they could look to move on from Blake Bortles after this season.
8 Philip Rivers
As stated earlier, it seems that this Chargers team is in the process of rebuilding, and that usually doesn’t happen with a 35-year-old as your quarterback. Rivers still is playing well, but really needs to move on from Los Angeles, and finish his career with an opportunity to win a Super Bowl. Throughout his career, he’s been known as one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league. Unfortunately, he hasn’t played for a team that has had the talent to make it to the next level.
Rivers might want to ask for a trade, and look at teams that would help give him a good shot at making the playoffs as his time winds down. He needs a team that is a QB away from being a true Super Bowl contender.
7 New Home: Minnesota Vikings
This team could be a true Super Bowl team if they just had their quarterback situation figured out. The Vikings have been very unlucky with their quarterback situations in the past two years losing both Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater. As Bridgewater comes back, there’s no guarantee that he will become the same player that he was before his injury.
While Case Keenum has played shockingly well in relief of Bradford, do people really think he's the QB that's going to bring the Vikings a Super Bowl?
That’s why this is the perfect location for Rivers to land. He gets to play with Dalvin Cook (when healthy again), and some young receivers that would be excited to spread the ball across the field. Then on the other side of the ball, he'd have one of the best defense in the league. If Rivers went to the Vikings, this team immediately becomes a Super Bowl team.
6 Jay Cutler
Cutler was seemingly set on retirement as he was preparing to join the broadcast booth but a torn ACL for Ryan Tannehill had the Dolphins in the market for a QB and with Adam Gase having been Cutler's OC in Chicago back in 2015, which was one of Cutler's best seasons, the Dolphins figured it made sense to sign him. So far this season, Cutler hasn't instilled confidence in Miami fans and while he's had his positive moments, it seems this season has been typical Cutler; some bright moments and plenty of head scratching plays. If Tannehill is good to go again in 2018, there's no reason to keep Cutler around, who's actually said he feels rejuvenated and wants to keep playing.
5 New Home: Broadcast Booth
Unfortunately for Cutler, if he wants to keep playing in 2018, he's going to be out of luck. Interest in him was already lukewarm last offseason and had it not been for an injury to Tannehill, Cutler would have been out of the league already. With the Dolphins' season going downhill Cutler has officially run out of chances to prove he can lead an NFL team to the promised land.
It's time for Cutler to officially step away from the game after 2017 and go to the broadcasting job waiting for him. Tony Romo has thrived as an announcer for CBS Sports and perhaps Cutler can find his calling in the broadcast booth as well, assuming he puts some effort into it.
4 Jimmy Garoppolo
Poor Jimmy G! Garoppolo goes from being on top of the world in New England, to the bottom of the barrel when he got traded to the 49ers. The assumption originally is that Garoppolo would take over the reins of Tom Brady when it was his time to retire, but apparently the Patriots had other thoughts. Maybe Brady truly will play another 5-6 years, and this team wanted to get something for Garoppolo. The Patriots won in this trade, but Jimmy Garoppolo did not.
The sad part about it, is that Kyle Shanahan doesn’t even know when they will let Garoppolo start. Overall, Garoppolo deserves a new team that is ready to win, that he can help compete. In 2016, when Brady was suspended, Garoppolo threw for 502 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Garoppolo looked like he had complete control over that offense, which gives a good indicator that he’s ready to truly lead a team.
3 New Home: Baltimore Ravens
This move comes with the expectation that the Ravens would look to move on from Joe Flacco after this season. With how mediocre Flacco has played, it doesn’t seem like the Ravens would want to continue to keep paying their quarterback this high of a price for such little production. The past three years, Flacco hasn’t really looked all that great. The team has fallen well behind int the AFC North race. There are definitely more issues with this team, but the Ravens could really use another quarterback under center.
Garoppolo gives them the perfect shot at a new hope. It brings some new energy into the clubhouse, and a guy who is trying to make an impact on the game. With his talent, he could definitely be a key factor at helping this Ravens team compete once again in the AFC North.
2 Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is physically the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL. But sadly, he has only won one Super Bowl throughout his career. The Green Bay Packers have never really done their part by adding winning components to the Packers that would help turn this team into a true Super Bowl competitor. Their defense has always struggled, the offensive line fails to protect Rodgers a lot of the time, and there's no run game. Rodgers, being as great as he is, deserves much better than he has ever had. Rodgers deserves to play for a team that he doesn’t have to lead on his own, and can depend on his teammates to help him win games.
Aaron Rodgers can practically jump on any team and make it a playoff team, but if he joins a team who is already a playoff team, things can get really interesting.
1 New Home: Pittsburgh Steelers
Rumor has it that Ben Roethlisberger is getting ready to retire. The 2017 campaign could very much so be the last season we see Big Ben playing in the NFL, which means the Steelers are in need of a new quarterback. Well, wouldn’t it be great to see Aaron Rodgers head over to Pittsburgh> The weather wouldn’t matter, as it would actually be slightly warmer for Rodgers to play there. Rodgers would play on a much better team, including one of the best wide receivers and running backs in the league. The team is already a Super Bowl contender, and adding Aaron Rodgers would almost guarantee that this team would become a Super Bowl winner in the near-future. A lot may need to happen for this to go down, including the Packers agreeing to trade A-Rod, but what if Rodgers were to force their hand? He's stated that he hasn't been pleased with the talent Green Bay's given him, so would he take the next step and demand a trade?