At least five to ten starting quarterbacks change each offseason, for the most part. Just because there’s a quarterback starting now, doesn’t mean their job is guaranteed next season. The offseason is the time where front offices analyze their team and see what changes need to be made. Usually, those changes start from coaching, and go to the quarterback and then disperse. There is no bigger decision to be made than who’s the quarterback of each team. That is the leader of the team, and the person controlling the offense. If he’s holding the team back, GMs want to address that and move on.
Some quarterbacks also retire. We’re in a spot where veterans are perfectly meshing with young quarterbacks. You have guys like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers who are near the end of their career, who are playing with young stars like Carson Wentz and Jared Goff. Teams see the future talent and want to put together a team that can compete with those guys. Obviously, they want to hang on to those players for as long as possible, but they want to be prepared for when they’re gone. You don’t want to go from a time of winning, to losing because you weren’t prepared for the next generation.
We will break down every NFL team's rotation to find out which quarterback will be starting in 2019. Not only will we tell you, but we will discuss the state of their position and what the future looks like for that quarterback in question.
32 Arizona Cardinals - Josh Rosen
Josh Rosen was anticipated to be quarterback most ready to start right away in the NFL. Well, that’s not looking too pretty so far. Rosen has thrown about as many touchdowns as he has interceptions. He’s been very inconsistent, and in games where you expect him to play well, he’s struggled. Rosen has the starting job moving forward, and that doesn’t seem like it will be played with. We have seen other rookie quarterbacks like Mitchell Trubisky and Jared Goff both turn things around in their second seasons.
31 Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan
Last season, some fans started to question Matt Ryan’s status as the starting quarterback. It didn’t make any sense. Matt Ryan is one of the better quarterbacks in the league and gives the Falcons the best shot to win on Sundays. Ryan may be one of the more underrated quarterbacks when he gets outside of the pocket. If the Falcons improve the defense, Ryan has a good shot at leading the Falcons back to the Super Bowl. If fans are still concerned about Ryan’s status, look at his statistics.
30 Baltimore Ravens - Lamar Jackson
Finally, Lamar Jackson had the chance to start for the Ravens. Jackson got the start in Week 11 against the Bengals and ended a three-game losing streak. Jackson got this opportunity as Joe Flacco was out with a hip injury. Flacco has improved this season, but eventually, the Ravens need to part ways with him. They need more than okay from Flacco, considering his enormous cap hit in 2019 of $24.7 million.
The Ravens drafted Jackson for a reason, and they will move forward with him next season. What the Ravens need to focus on is getting Jackson started in the passing game.
29 Buffalo Bills - Tyrod Taylor
You probably thought Tyrod Taylor’s career as a starting quarterback was done, right? The Bills are in a sticky situation, following their first playoff appearance since 1999. The Bills organization is now starting to appreciate Taylor, as Josh Allen has struggled tremendously, turning the football over frequently. Allen will still be the future, but Taylor could sign a one-year deal to come in and help mentor their young quarterback while giving the Bills a chance to make the playoffs next season.
28 Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton
Another quarterback who has been scrutinized for some plays this season is Cam Newton. Newton's had his share of great games this season, but he's also missed some big throws at inopportune times.
Looking at the big picture though, Newton has played really well. Inconsistency has defined Newton’s career, but he now has a good chance to make back to back playoff appearances, and back to back winning records for the first time in his career.
27 Chicago Bears - Mitchell Trubisky
In 2017, Mitchell Trubisky was considered a potential draft bust. One year later, the Chicago Bears on leading the NFC North led by Trubisky. This season, Trubisky has been so much better, playing lights out in some games. It helps having one of the most dangerous defenses in the league, but you can’t ignore the progression Trubisky has taken from year one to year two. This version of Trubisky is here to stay though, as they’re building something special in Chicago.
26 Cincinnati Bengals - Andy Dalton
It’s a shame that the Bengals defense is so bad because their offense is legit. Behind Andy Dalton and this talent receiving corps, this offense could go places if their defense was at least serviceable. Dalton has been playing really well, and would likely have been playing better had he not lost A.J. Green for a few games. Dalton might have the best receiving corps of his career, and should only get better as 2017 first round speedster John Ross keeps improving.
25 Cleveland Browns - Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield is the future, but also the present. When Tyrod Taylor got hurt early in the season, Mayfield helped lift the Browns off their feet and got them their first win since 2016. Mayfield has a ton of talent, and a lot of weapons to work with. Mayfield, like every rookie, needs to develop more. For a rookie quarterback that wasn’t expected to be the starter so early into the season, he’s played well. Give this team a full offseason together, and they come back much better next season.
24 Dallas Cowboys - Dak Prescott
Many Cowboys fans will have not be happy with this, but Dak Prescott will be the starting quarterback once again in 2019. Prescott has been playing much better since the huge letdown game against Tennessee on Monday Night Football in Week 9. Prescott has gained a lot of confidence since then, and having Amari Cooper on the team really opens up this passing game. If Prescott does get a better coach in the future, things can only get better for the Cowboys quarterback. It also helps that Jerry Jones has full confidence in Prescott.
23 Denver Broncos - Jameis Winston
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it pretty clear that they're not quite sold on any of the quarterbacks on their roster. They've simply rode the hot hand all year, as neither Jameis Winston or journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick have been able to hold onto the starting job. The Buccaneers will likely have to find another QB in the draft, which will mean they'll move on from Winston. The Broncos need to have another option on their roster besides Case Keenum, who's signed for another year. Winston could likely be acquired for a mid-round pick.
In Denver, Winston could prove himself in a contract year and would likely be able to win the starting job from Keenum out of training camp.
22 Detroit Lions - Matthew Stafford
Some pundits are saying that Matthew Stafford is done, following Golden Tate’s trade out of Detroit. How ridiculous is that? We’re talking about one of the best pure passers in the game, who lost his top target. Tate opened up this offense completely, and the Lions just wiped that away. On top of that, Marvin Jones has missed some time this season. Stafford will be fine, but he could use another receiver, which will probably be addressed this offseason. He is still one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL.
21 Green Bay Packers - Aaron Rodgers
It shouldn’t even be a discussion if Aaron Rodgers will be the starting quarterback next season. The real discussion is whether Mike McCarthy will be back next season. Rodgers apparently does not want to be coached by him, which should set up for a McCarthy firing in the offseason. As far as Rodgers and his health, he will be fine. It’s coming to a point in his career where the Packers should find his replacement sooner rather than later, but as for the present, Rodgers isn’t going anywhere.
20 Houston Texans - Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson isn't putting up the numbers he was last year, but he's still shown amazing signs of progression. There’s no sign of Watson slowing down, as he’s been one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. Right now, the Houston Texans are the frontrunners to win the AFC South, which Watson has had a big part in making that happen. If the Texans improve the running game and maybe add a speedy receiver to the edge, this offense becomes a lot more explosive. The Texans are a team to watch out for the future.
19 Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck
With Andrew Luck’s health not looking good last season, there was a chance the Colts would have to find a new quarterback. Luckily, the Colts don’t have to worry about that. Luck is back and healthy, and playing really well. After a 1-5 start, Luck’s strong performances have helped the Colts back into the playoff picture, and even emerging as a threat in the AFC South. Andrew Luck has arguably never looked better, especially since the Colts finally have an o-line.
18 Jacksonville Jaguars - Eli Manning
Blake Bortles is not the answer. Even when the Jaguars made it to the AFC Championship Game, Bortles was not the answer. In Bortles’ best season, he wasn’t all that effective. Bortles’ received a three-year extension this past offseason, mainly because he was smart with the football. Isn’t that something every NFL starter should be capable of?
Well, the Jaguars can go after someone Tom Coughlin is very familiar with, and that's Eli Manning. After a slow start to the season, Manning's game has shown some signs of life and he has proven he can still play. He might just need to move on from New York.
17 Kansas City Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes
Is there anyone anybody would take over Patrick Mahomes right now? Not a chance. Mahomes obviously will be back, but he won’t be as magical as he is this year. Defenses will have time to figure him out. Mahomes will still play really well, but teams will finally have some game film to study and can figure out how to contain him. Nobody knew what to expect out of this young quarterback as they didn’t see him with this offense. Now that defenses have seen it, they can gear their game plans around it.
16 Los Angeles Chargers - Philip Rivers
Retirement plans may be changing for Philip Rivers. It’s been an idea that’s been surrounding Rivers, but it may not come for another two or three seasons. Finally, the Chargers have a talented enough team that can compete in the AFC. There’s so much young talent that is only going to continue to get better. Not to mention, Rivers is having the best season of his career. It might not be this season, but within the next year or two, we could see Rivers competing for a Super Bowl.
15 Los Angeles Rams - Jared Goff
Just two seasons ago, Jared Goff was considered a draft bust. Everyone talked about the mistake the Rams made taking Goff over Carson Wentz. Now two seasons later, Goff is one of the most well-balanced quarterbacks in the league, leading quite possibly the best team in the NFL. Goff has improved significantly throughout his career, and the duo of him and Sean McVay in L.A. is here to stay. As his career progresses, Goff is only going to get better.
14 Miami Dolphins - Daniel Jones
This might be one of the more unexpected starters for next season, but we've seen more and more rookies come in and have success in the NFL, especially since the rules now heavily favor the offense. Daniel Jones is an interesting prospect, as he has great arm strength, mobility and has what teams look for in a quarterback. Adam Gase is known to get the best out of QBs and he may want his own guy to work with, before the Dolphins explore a change at head coach.
13 Minnesota Vikings - Kirk Cousins
The Minnesota Vikings fully guaranteed Kirk Cousins's contract at three years and $84 million, so he's not going anywhere next year. Cousins has put up good numbers, like he normally does, but there are definitely question marks as to whether Cousins really was the missing piece in bringing the Vikings a Super Bowl. Yes, the defense isn't as good as they were in 2017, but the Vikings offense has been inconsistent, aside from the brilliant receiving duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Nevertheless, Cousins isn't going anywhere.
12 New England Patriots - Tom Brady
Tom Brady will be the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots in 2019, so are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. Brady is a competitor that doesn’t want to leave the game. Despite being in his 40s, he continues to play at a high level. While some are saying he's declining, let's see how this season ends first.
There will always be retirement whispers because of his age, but he has no intentions of leaving the game just yet. If those plans were legitimate, the Patriots wouldn’t have traded away Jimmy Garoppolo.
11 New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees
Another legend, another year. Brees is at the age (39) where QBs are usually on the verge of retirement, but not with the team Brees has. Brees is signed through the 2019 season, and is having an MVP-caliber campaign. While Brees won’t be in the NFL much longer, he’s definitely coming back for another season. Brees isn’t going to leave his team until they have his replacement and are comfortable with him taking over. Right now, it looks like Teddy Bridgewater might be that guy, so it may be 2020 that Brees retires.
10 New York Giants - Justin Herbert
Five first round rookie quarterbacks have started in 2018, so at least one rookie quarterback will start in 2019, and it could be the one that isn’t expected to head into the draft. The Giants have shown interest in Justin Herbert, and eventually, he could change his mind and declare for the draft. We talked about how Eli Manning will likely get traded to the Jaguars, so the Giants need to find that replacement. Both the Jaguars and Giants will be looking for quarterbacks, but the Giants will play the youngster immediately, to help speed up the re-building process.
9 New York Jets - Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold hasn’t necessarily bad this season, he’s just turned the football over a lot. He’s a rookie, so he’s going to make mistakes. He’s made plenty of them this season, and not all of them are on him. This is a young quarterback on a bad team trying to make plays, and not making it happen. Some would say maybe he needs to sit on the bench and learn, but he hasn’t been that bad. When things work out, he plays good football. What makes more sense for the Jets, is to find Darnold a true No. 1 receiver.
8 Oakland Raiders - Derek Carr
Frustration is starting to heat up between Derek Carr and Jon Gruden, as it was shown during a Week 11 game against the Cardinals. Carr isn’t to blame with all of this mess, but he has to be better. But the Raiders simply have too much invested in Carr being their franchise QB of the future. How's it going to look on the so-called QB guru Gruden if he gives up on his first QB after a single season? Carr will get at least one more year to try and make it work with Gruden.
7 Philadelphia Eagles - Carson Wentz
Despite the Eagles’ struggles, Carson Wentz will remain the starting quarterback. The magic from Philly has not carried over into the 2018 season. However, the Eagles have made it clear that Carson Wentz is their present and future. With Wentz healthy, it looks like the Eagles will be looking to trade Nick Foles. There are clearly some teams in need of a quarterback, and there isn’t a lot of talent in the draft that can start from day one. Question is, where will he go?
6 Pittsburgh Steelers - Nick Foles
The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely trade a third-round pick for Nick Foles. Ben Roethlisberger has his best chance this year to win to another Super Bowl before he retires. Roethlisberger has hinted at retirement for several years and it could very well happen this offseason, regardless of how the Steelers do in the playoffs.
If Big Ben retires, then the Steelers will look to bring in an experienced quarterback as they draft a quarterback (or keep grooming Mason Rudolph) in the meantime.
5 San Francisco 49ers - Jimmy Garoppolo
Before the beginning of this season, the 49ers were considered a potential playoff team. With the injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, those expectations were wiped out quickly. Don’t think because Nick Mullens had some good games that Garoppolo’s future in San Fran is at risk. Jimmy G is the starter, but the 49ers will need to figure this offensive identity out for when their quarterback is back. Too many injuries hurt them early in the season, and they really couldn’t figure themselves out in the games Garoppolo was healthy.
4 Seattle Seahawks - Russell Wilson
2018 may be the most impressive season of Russell Wilson’s career. Despite losing over five star players, this Seahawks team has the potential to make it into the playoffs as a Wild Card seed. Wilson is having one of the best seasons of his career, as he’s really protected the football. Wilson got off to a slow start, but has really picked it up in the second half of the season. It helps that the Seahawks have the best run offense in the league, which has enabled Wilson to be the best version of himself.
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Drew Lock
The Buccaneers are not in a very good position as far as the quarterback position goes. Ryan Fitzpatrick looks phenomenal one week, and then bad the next. The same goes with Jameis Winston, who was the Buccaneers' first-round pick in 2015. Winston’s turnovers have been a hinderance, which may push him out of Tampa.
The Buccaneers will move on, especially considering how pricey it will be to keep Winston in 2019. Drew Lock is a young quarterback who is smart with the football, and could really thrive with many weapons on the receiver corps.
2 Tennessee Titans - Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota may be one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in the NFL. One week he looks like a Pro Bowler, the next he’s struggling. Not to mention, Mariota hasn't been able to stay healthy for a full season. Despite the struggles, he will be back in 2019. Mariota has a lot of potential; he just needs his receivers to be more effective. The Titans don't really have many better options anyway, and Mariota has another year left on his affordable rookie deal. There's no reason not to give Mariota another year to figure it all out.
1 Washington Redskins - Alex Smith
Alex Smith sustained quite possibly the most serious injury of the 2018 season. Unless Colt McCoy leads this Redskins team past the Cowboys into the playoffs and comes away a playoff win, Smith will be the starter in 2019. Despite Washington losing a ton of bodies on offense, he still managed to win ball games. If Smith manages to come back with a healthy roster next season, this team could be a good one for several years, especially in a very winnable NFC East.