Quarterbacks and wide receivers can be extremely talented and still struggle in the NFL. Of course, every position in the NFL depends on those around them, but these two positions heavily rely on those around them. 10 quarterbacks and 10 wide receivers need a change in scenery this offseason, and it’s more than just free agents.
There are so many different reasons why a player would need a new team, and we will break down the top-10 at each position. Some free agents, some still under contract. Some are expected, while others may shock you. With these players being traded or signed to another team, it would benefit both each team in the acquisition, along with the player. Sometimes, all a player needs is a change in scheme.
Recently, we have seen changes help players and new teams. Amari Cooper was struggling in Oakland but helped give the Raiders a first round pick, and the Cowboys offense opened up which led them to clinch the NFC East. If Alex Smith was still healthy, there was a good chance the Redskins would have clinched the division. Smith had future in Washington, the Redskins had their quarterback, and the Chiefs got a draft pick and were able to move forward with Patrick Mahomes.
These moves can be scary because they’re big changes. They don’t always work out, but then many times they do. It’s a big risk, but you need to take risks to win in the NFL. There are 20 moves that can really help teams and players this offseason.
20 Quarterback: Nick Mullens
Once Jimmy Garoppolo recovers in 2019, Nick Mullens' starting job will be gone. Mullens has a lot of potential, but there’s no potential in San Francisco. Garoppolo just signed a major contract and is the clear starter for the future. In eight games that Mullens has played, he’s thrown for over 200 yards in each of his starts, and over 300 twice. Through that time, he has a 64.2 completion percentage, 2,277 passing yards, and 13 touchdowns.
Those numbers aren’t too bad for an undrafted free agent. Mullens won't be a starter right away, but he could grow into one. Teams like the Patriots or Steelers may not be a bad idea, as they could use a solid backup behind established vets like Brady and Big Ben.
19 Wide Receiver: Donte Moncrief
Look at what Donte Moncrief has done with one of the worst quarterback situations in the NFL. This season, Moncrief grabbed 48 receptions for 668 yards and three touchdowns. He was second on the team while going two games without a catch. Moncrief has the decision to go elsewhere this offseason, as he will be a free agent.
Rather than letting his career go down the drain, it would benefit him if he finds a team where he can succeed. Maybe sign another one-year deal, or two years max to prove yourself. Moncrief wants to make his money while he’s young, but he has to go to a team that has a no.1 threat to take some pressure off him.
18 Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor
A lot of people look down at Tyrod Taylor because he struggled to start the season in Cleveland, only to see Baker Mayfield take over and nearly led the Browns into the playoffs. Be realistic, though; Hue Jackson held both of those quarterbacks back. Once Jackson was fired, Mayfield took a massive step forward and led his team to success. Taylor probably would’ve had more success as well.
There’s a good chance that Taylor never starts for a team again, but he deserves to. Any team like the Jaguars looking for a short-term solution should take a strong look at Taylor. At the very least, he’s smart with the football.
17 Wide Receiver: Kevin White
Even though Kevin White is now healthy, it hasn’t helped his chances at getting involved in the Bears offense. There are so many wide receivers ahead of him, including Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller. That puts White far down on the list, likely giving him no chance to have a career with the team.
Maybe it’s a good thing that White will enter free agency this offseason, as he can find a team where he can play. Unfortunately, he’s going to look at desperate teams like the Bills or maybe Cardinals. At this point though, he has to take whatever opportunities he can get.
16 Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill
Right now, there are two different scenarios. The Miami Herald wrote that the Dolphins plan to move forward from Ryan Tannehill, the same day that Tannehill said he wanted to return to the organization. Tannehill would be owed $19 million next season, which is a lot for a quarterback who has endured a lot of injuries, as well as struggles when healthy. We'll also have to see what a new coaching staff will want to do with Tannehill.
A lot of questions will be answered in the coming months, but truth be told, it would benefit the team and player if the Dolphins moved on from Tannehill. Maybe Tannehill will work in a different system, while the Dolphins could re-build.
15 Wide Receiver: Paul Richardson
Paul Richardson recently signed a five-year deal worth $40 million, with a team that seems like a terrible fit. When the Redskins made this move, it seemed like a bad idea for both sides. While Richardson obviously likes the money, but he doesn’t have the right quarterback to help him improve as a deep ball threat. When in Seattle, that was his role on the offense.
Injuries hurt, but Richardson took a major step back after he caught for 703 yards and six touchdowns. Unfortunately, the fit wasn’t there. Maybe another struggling season would help the Redskins want to engage in trade talks.
14 Quarterback: Case Keenum
After leading the Vikings to a historic run into the NFC Championship Game, Case Keenum was due for a big payday. Keenum signed a two-year deal worth $36 million, with $25 million guaranteed. A lot of sports fans really loved Keenum after last season, but he hasn’t lived up to the hype this season. In a full season as a starter, Keenum threw 15 interceptions.
A big reason why Keenum was so successful in 2017 with Minnesota, was because he was smart with the football. Keenum’s struggles in Denver are showing that the Broncos need to find themselves a new quarterback, and with a new coach coming in, Keenum may be on the way out.
13 Wide Receiver: Michael Crabtree
Michael Crabtree is looking at his worst season since 2013. A big reason why he struggled is due to the lack of a consistent passing game in Baltimore. As successful as the Ravens have been, the passing game has never gotten going. Lamar Jackson helped this running game become one of the best in the game, (and the most unique) but there are improvements that need to be made in the passing game.
Crabtree has been good all throughout his career, so he deserves to finish off his career on a team where he can really help. Baltimore clearly was not the answer.
12 Quarterback: Joe Flacco
Once Joe Flacco was put on the bench this season, there was no going back for Baltimore. Given how ineffective Flacco was for the past few seasons, the Ravens needed a spark and Lamar Jackson provided that off the bench. With the way the Ravens finished the season, it's clear this is Lamar Jackson's team moving forward. The Ravens could move on from Flacco and save a ton of cap space to keep building their team around Jackson. Flacco could likely still be a solid upgrade for a QB needy team, in a a year where the draft just doesn't have the crop of QBs it did a year ago.
11 Wide Receiver: Cole Beasley - Dallas Cowboys
With the current state of the Cowboys, Cole Beasley doesn’t necessarily fit the offense. Beasley has been vocal about wanting to receive a big payday, which the Cowboys don’t have the money to spend. Already this offseason, the Cowboys are looking to extend Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Byron Jones. Those are four players who will be owed a lot of money.
Beasley could make as much as $10 million a year. Look for another team to come in and give him a three-year deal worth $23 million. Some teams that make sense are the Patriots and Steelers.
10 Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers
It’s a shame that Mike McCarthy was fired. What would’ve made more sense is that the Packers might part ways with Aaron Rodgers. Obviously, that would start a lot of drama in Wisconsin, but these fans have to be realistic. This Packers team is in no shape to win anytime soon.
The defense has improved, but the offense is going through a change. The wide receiver corps is the biggest change right now, and these aren’t receivers going to improve overnight. This isn’t an Aaron Rodgers that is in his 20s, but one who is towards the back end of his career with reoccurring injuries.
9 Wide Receiver: DeVante Parker - Miami Dolphins
Injuries have hurt DeVante Parker’s growth and will hurt how much he makes in free agency. Parker took a step back this year, as he caught 24 passes for 309 yards, scoring one touchdown all season. Parker has a lot of potential, but he needs to get healthy and find themselves a passing team.
When the Dolphins traded Jarvis Landry, there had to be some hope that Parker could possibly develop into the No. 1 receiver. The complete opposite happened. Now, Parker will enter free agency and look at which team will financially have the best fit, along with the best offense he can mesh in to.
8 Quarterback: Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions
Since Golden Tate got traded, Matthew Stafford really struggled. A lot of analysts are saying that Stafford is done, which is unfair considering the depleted receiving corps and lack of run game he has. Since Tate was traded to the Eagles, he threw for under 200 yards three times this season. Before Tate was traded, he only threw for the same once.
Stafford has always been one of the best passers in the league, so it’s crazy to think he just collapsed midway through the season. Give Stafford a new team that has a solid offense around him, and he may just win.
7 Wide Receiver: Golden Tate
Speaking of Golden Tate, the Eagles probably regret trading a third-round pick for Tate. There were some miscues on the Eagles offense early in the season, but everything seemed to be cured once Carson Wentz took over again. Tate will be a free agent this offseason, and the Eagles are going to do everything in their power to re-sign him because they traded away a draft pick.
Tate simply hasn’t fit this offense. Alshon Jeffery works as the top target, and Nelson Agholor is the big play receiver. Tate needs to sign with a team where the offense works off him, and there are other speedy receivers that help Tate get open.
6 Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater
When the Jets first signed Teddy Bridgewater, it seemed too obvious that he would eventually be traded. The Jets had no need for Bridgewater. They re-signed Josh McCown to be the backup and drafted Sam Darnold to be the future. Bridgewater was traded for a third-round pick to the New Orleans Saints, which some analysts believe was a steal of a trade.
Bridgewater still hits free agency this offseason, and Bridgewater isn’t the best fit for New Orleans. Imagine going from one of the best passers in NFL history to a game manager who hasn’t proven he’s 100% healthy. Maybe Bridgewater will be a rental until they find Brees’s replacement.
5 Wide Receiver: DeSean Jackson
Even though DeSean Jackson’s statistics look really good, he needs to find himself a better place to play. Some games Jackson is looking like the star receiver, while other games he’s non-existent. That’s what happens when you play for a team with a quarterback problem.
Right now, Jackson is probably hoping he gets traded. Some teams that would make sense are the Eagles, Saints, and a few other teams. If the Buccaneers openly said they would be willing to trade Jackson, a lot of teams would be interested. Jackson not only is a threat down the field but also opens up the rest of the field for other players to see the ball.
4 Quarterback: Derek Carr
More and more football fans are beginning to question Derek Carr. As criticized as he’s been, he’s in a bad situation. His new coach traded two of the teams’ biggest stars, leading to questions about his job, while the city of Oakland is suing the franchise he plays for. If you don’t remember, a lot of pundits were talking about how Derek Carr should be the NFL MVP two years ago. Now, he's a middle-of-the-road quarterback with deceivingly glowing stats.
Carr needs to be traded to a team with some weapons, and a new start. Things have fallen apart in Oakland, and it’s not fair that a young quarterback like him has to suffer the consequences.
3 Wide Receiver: Randall Cobb - Green Bay Packers
Randall Cobb needs to get healthy and weigh out his options on playing for a new team. It didn’t work for Jordy Nelson, but he was also older and signed with a dysfunctional team. Cobb needs to play his cards right, and sign with a team that will put him in a position to succeed, but also pay him a nice contract.
The way it may go is that Cobb will either signed a cheaper multi-year deal or sign a one-year deal where he can try to earn a big contract. The Packers are trying to get younger, and Cobb is looking to be the playmaker he once was.
2 Quarterback: Nick Foles
It’s either Nick Foles or Carson Wentz who has to go. The reality is, the Eagles locker room is not big enough to hold two talented quarterbacks. A lot of Eagles fans will side with Foles due to the Super Bowl win and the recent success but think about it. Foles will be 30 years old next season, and he’s only come in to play the last few games. Yes, he has a Super Bowl ring and has played great at times, but you need to put him under center for a full season where defenses can truly analyze him.
Wentz, on the other hand, was a big investment. He still needs to get healthy before fans throw away the remarkable 2017 season he had.
1 Wide Receiver: Devin Funchess - Carolina Panthers
Once Devin Funchess got hurt, it’s like Cam Newton completely forgot he existed. Funchess once was considered the No. 1 receiver, but then became a ghost in their receiver corps. If you didn’t look for him, you probably didn’t know he was there. Funchess has a lot of potential, though, and could be one of the highest paid wide receiver free agents this offseason.
Funchess’ drops are a problem, but he’s also really strong and has the ability to overpower defenders. He may not be a No. 1 receiver, but he’s a strong No. 2. Don’t overpay Funchess, but pay enough to land him alongside a good route runner.