The 2018 NFL offseason was quite the thriller, especially when it came to starting quarterbacks swapping uniforms. We just don't see it happen very much in this day and age, but the likes of Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, A.J. McCarron and Tyrod Taylor found new homes last offseason.
Well, the 2019 free agent and trade markets will be loaded with big-time quarterback transactions as well. In case you were unclear, Joe Flacco's time with the Baltimore Ravens is running up. Ditto for Eli Manning as a New York Giant, Blake Bortles as a Jacksonville Jaguar and Jameis Winston as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
Fans know which quarterbacks are bound to leave their teams this offseason, but it only adds to more questions: Where will these free agents land when their team cuts or trades them? Which teams will even be moving on from a certain signal-caller to begin with? And most importantly, who will replace these guys as the starting quarterback?
We know that Lamar Jackson will take over the starting role from Flacco in Baltimore. But who should the Giants target when they move on from Manning? If the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos decide for a change, which signal-callers could they push for?
The 2019 draft class isn't strong for quarterbacks, unless your name is Justin Herbert or Drew Lock. So most major QB changes will have to come via free agency or trades.
Here, we take a look at the seven teams that need a new quarterback, who they should target, and which seven quarterbacks are more than safe with their respective teams.
21 Need A New Quarterback: Cincinnati Bengals
It's time for the Bengals to blow it up and restart from the beginning. Plain and simple.
Time to fire Marvin Lewis, the man who has coached Cincinnati since 2003, without a single playoff win on his resume. It's time to trade wide receiver A.J. Green, who will price himself out of town in 2020 free agency.
It's time to move on from 30-year-old quarterback Andy Dalton, who's regressed significantly in each of the last three seasons and has shown that he can't lead this team to the promises land.
The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The Bengals seem to think that Dalton will change their fortunes one day, but he hasn't.
20 Possible New Quarterback: Jameis Winston
The Bengals won't have a high enough draft pick to land one of the premier quarterbacks of this draft class. And since owner Mike Brown refuses to spend big in free agency, it's easier to believe that the Bengals would look to acquire their next quarterback via trade.
Well, it may be worth taking a chance on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, who has regressed once again after promising rookie and sophomore seasons. He keeps getting benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, only to get the job back, before losing it again. Rinse. Repeat.
Winston is a better all-around quarterback than Dalton, and perhaps he'd shine in an offense with Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon and A.J. Green. It's a low-risk move for the Bengals, who need to upgrade at the QB position while they have the chance.
19 Safe: Cam Newton
Surprise, surprise. The Carolina Panthers are in contention once again, thanks to the efforts of 2015 MVP Cam Newton.
The first overall pick from seven years ago is once again putting any doubters to bed, carrying the Panthers as he nears another Pro Bowl season. Super Cam is having one of the finer seasons of his career, and barring any collapses, will get Carolina to the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Newton has stayed healthy and continues to do significant damage with his arm and his legs. Carolina doesn't need to worry about the quarterback position any time soon, not with the way he continues to anchor the team.
18 Need A New Quarterback: New York Giants
Rather than draft his successor this year, the New York Giants took a risk and decided to give it one more run with Eli Manning. They drafted generational running back Saquon Barkley, hired Pat Shurmur as the head coach and signed offensive lineman Nate Solder in hopes of boosting their offensive line.
But it's been another year of the same-old, same-old in East Rutherford. The Giants are simply fighting NOT to be the worst team in the NFL this year, and they're bound to miss out on the playoffs once again.
17 Possible New Quarterback: Justin Herbert
The good news for the Giants is that most of this year's bottom feeders already have young quarterbacks they want to build around. The front office could always trade up if they have to. Either way, it's imperative that the Giants get their hands on Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.
Drew Lock will likely be the first signal-caller taken (more on him later), but Herbert would be a terrific add to the rebuilding Bengals. He's got the size (6-foot-6, 225 pounds), and all-around athleticism to be a huge star in the NFL.
The Giants should do whatever it takes to pick up Herbert. He'd instantly be an upgrade over Manning, and would mesh nicely with Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley.
16 Safe: Russell Wilson
There have been rumors in recent weeks that the Seattle Seahawks might not keep Russell Wilson around for long. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports recently reported that the Seahawks haven't talked contract with Wilson, and GMs believe he could fetch them three first-round picks in a trade.
But here are the Seahawks, sitting right in the playoff race in what was supposed to be a year of rebuilding. Wilson is enjoying an MVP-like season and keeping Seattle right in games - just see how he nearly led them to victory over the Los Angeles Rams and LA Chargers this season.
Seattle will have to go ahead and give Wilson the contract extension he's deserving of. They're not going to find a better signal-caller any time soon. There is literally zero excuse to not pay him this offseason.
15 Need A New Quarterback: Denver Broncos
Ever since Peyton Manning retired in 2016, the Denver Broncos have tried out Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly Brock Osweiler and Case Keenum at quarterback. The latter was signed to a two-year deal worth $36 million in the offseason, but he's been no better than the guys Denver let go in the offseason.
The Broncos have a championship-caliber defense and a good set of young talents on offense, including wide receiver Courtland Sutton and running back Phillip Lindsay. The only thing missing is an above-average quarterback, something they don't have.
Team president John Elway did a fine job building Denver into a title contender some years ago, but there are no more excuses. He has to find a true starting quarterback to build around. Now.
14 Possible New Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater
The New Orleans Saints traded for Teddy Bridgewater (whom the New York Jets signed), this offseason. But with Drew Brees playing at an MVP level, it's safe to say that Bridgewater won't get his chance in New Orleans - and he'll look for a starting job this offseason.
Bridgewater missed the entire 2016 season after tearing his ACL, and he only saw bits of action in Week 17 last year. Don't forget that this man led the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC North division three years ago. He's a quality do-it-all quarterback and deserves to start.
Denver doesn't have to release Keenum, but they should sign Bridgewater and give him the starting job. With his mobility and ability to extend plays, Bridgewater
13 Safe: Philip Rivers
The Los Angeles Chargers don't need to worry about finding a successor for Philip Rivers anytime soon, as the soon-to-be 37-year-old is enjoying what might be the finest season of his career.
Rivers is about to take the Chargers to the postseason for just the second time this decade, and they're about to record consecutive winning seasons. The future Hall of Famer is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes and is on pace for over 4,500 yards and almost 40 touchdowns.
So yeah, the Chargers aren't going to be trading Rivers, nor will they be looking at finding a successor. He remains an MVP-caliber quarterback and is going nowhere.
12 Need A New Quarterback: Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill is the best quarterback the Miami Dolphins have had since Dan Marino retired two decades ago, but it's time to move on. He's now 30 years of age and has had his season derailed for a third straight year. Miami can't rely on him to stay healthy, and releasing Tannehill would save them ample cap space this offseaeson.
There's going to be a pretty good trade and/or free agent market for quarterbacks, which gives Miami more reason to move on from Tannehill. It doesn't bode well for Tannehill that backup Brock Osweiler looked just as good filling in for him mid-season.
Tannehill wouldn't be on this list if he stayed healthy, but the injuries are becoming too much for this team to handle. They need to release him and go in another direction. Plain and simple.
11 Possible New Quarterback: Joe Flacco
The Baltimore Ravens are simply moving on from quarterback Joe Flacco after the season, with rookie Lamar Jackson carrying more upside and filling in nicely while the former has been sidelined with a hip injury.
As is the case with Miami and Tannehill, releasing Flacco this offseason will save the Ravens much-needed cap space. Whether it's trade or free agency, the Dolphins should be targeting Flacco no matter what.
Just look at what offensive guru and head coach Adam Gase got out of Matt Moore, Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler. Flacco would fit nicely under Gase's offensive system, and the playmakers are there for the former Super Bowl MVP to succeed.
Flacco turns 34 years of age in January, but he's got some good football left in him. If the Dolphins can get him at a good price, it's absolutely worth exploring.
10 Safe: Ben Roethlisberger
The Pittsburgh Steelers showed signs of being ready to move on from the Ben Roethlisberger era when they drafted Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third round.
However, Roethlisberger continues to play at an elite level and (shocker) has the Steelers vying for its seventh Super Bowl championship in franchise history. The 36-year-old hasn't shown any indications that he's slowing down, and the Pittsburgh organization will continue to build around him over the long run.
Roethlisberger is the key to Pittsburgh's success, and though he's talked about retirement in the past, the two-time Super Bowl champion seems content on continuing his Hall of Fame career.
9 Need A New Quarterback: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It seems as though the Buccaneers are ready to move on from Jameis Winston, who has been replaced multiple times by career journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, has gotten in trouble off the field and eve clashed with head coach Dirk Koetter. The Winston era got off to a promising start, but he's clearly not the answer.
The Buccaneers have more than enough talent on both sides of the ball to compete, but they won't go anywhere until there's a change a QB. They obviously won't rely on a 36-year-old Fitzpatrick to carry the load next season, and all signs point to them moving on from Winston this year.
News flash: When you keep rotating between two quarterbacks, it usually means neither of them are starting-caliber.
8 Possible New Quarterback: Nick Foles
The Philadelphia Eagles held onto Nick Foles just in case Carson Wentz got injured again, but the Super Bowl 52 champion and MVP will hit free agency and look for a starting job this spring.
Foles revived his career by replacing an injured Wentz late last season and guiding Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl championship. But everybody knows that this is Wentz's team, and Foles will thus have a graceful exit from the club that gave him another chance.
The Buccaneers should offer Foles a multi-year deal and see what he can do with a good set of weapons in Mike Evans, Peyton Barber and O.J. Howard, among others. Foles would certainly be an upgrade over the tandem Tampa currently has, at the very least.
7 Safe: Andrew Luck
With Andrew Luck back to his normal MVP-caliber self, the Indianapolis Colts can fear no more. This man will not have his career cut short nor hampered by scary shoulder and kidney laceration injuries.
Luck admitted that he was worried about never being a Pro Bowl quarterback again, but he's put aside any doubt by rallying the Colts and getting them right back into the playoff race with only a few games left.
The Colts have a promising future with Luck and head coach Frank Reich, now that there's a top-tier offensive line in place. Now, GM Chris Ballard can focus entirely on building around Luck - rather than worry about needing a new QB.
6 Need A New Quarterback: Oakland Raiders
Well, it's safe to say that $100 million head coach Jon Gruden wasn't expecting this kind of return to football.
The Oakland Raiders are undergoing a massive rebuilding project, having already doubt Pro Bowlers Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. Rumors suggest that quarterback Derek Carr is next to go.
Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic recently reported that Carr's relationship with his teammates has fractured, and there are doubts about him leading this franchise in the long run.
Carr is enduring yet another frustrating season, and if Gruden can trade a generational talent like Mack, he can certainly trade an overpaid and underachieving quarterback who was given a $125 million extension last year.
5 Possible New Quarterback: Drew Lock
The Raiders are in a race with a handful of teams for the first overall pick, but the good news is that Missouri quarterback Drew Lock should be available to coach Gruden no matter what.
Other bottom feeders like the 49ers (Jimmy Garoppolo), Bills (Josh Allen), Cardinals (Josh Rosen), and Jets (Sam Darnold), already have young quarterbacks to work around. It all adds up to the Raiders getting Lock - the undisputed top signal-caller of this draft class - in the first round.
The 22-year-old Lock has drawn comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs' star Patrick Mahomes. He's the perfect quarterback for Gruden to build around, and Lock would help the Raiders get through this painful transitioning stage in a very timely matter.
4 Safe: Aaron Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers found yet another way to waste another prime season from Aaron Rodgers, who's only the best player in the NFL right now. The Packers gave their franchise player a four-year, $134 million extension, which means they're going with A-Rod for the long haul.
The goal now for the Packers is to fire head coach Mike McCarthy and find a better offensive-minded head coach that can work with the two-time league MVP. It would also help if the front office found some new playmakers for Rodgers.
Don't start the "Rodgers is the problem "stuff in Green Bay. He's one good coach hiring and extra playmaker away from leading the Packers back to Super Bowl contention. Mmmkay? Thanks.
3 Need A New Quarterback: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars were a couple of plays away from winning the AFC Championship last year. They entered this season with heavy expectations, with most viewing them as the top threat to the Patriots and Steelers in the AFC.
Though the Jacksonville defense remains as stingy and dominant as last year, the team has fallen apart completely due to the struggles of Blake Bortles. The 26-year-old lost his starting job to Cody Kessler late in the season. Head coach Doug Marrone fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett with only five games to go.
It's time for Jacksonville to accept that giving Bortles a three-year extension was a mistake. Let him go and find a new quarterback. The 2014 first-round pick simply isn't the answer.
2 Possible New Quarterback: Eli Manning
Eli Manning can't be entirely at fault for the New York Giants' struggles this season. The offensive line is perhaps the worst in the NFL, and the Giants have given Manning no time nor opportunities to make the big play. Manning isn't being hampered by injuries or anything like that. In the right system, he can still be an effective quarterback.
That's why it makes all the sense in the world for Manning to reunite with former head coach Tom Coughlin - the president of football operations in Jacksonville. These two won two Super Bowls together in New York, and Coughlin surely knows what Manning needs in order to succeed.
Joining a Jaguars team with a rush-first offense, top-tier offensive line and speedy wide receivers would be perfect for Manning. He can work as a game manager and give this team an above-average quarterback; one capable of leading them to a Super Bowl championship.
1 Safe: Drew Brees
The New Orleans Saints look like the team to beat come January, and there should be no denying that quarterback Drew Brees is the favorite to win the MVP at this point. He turns 40 years of age in January, but Brees has shown absolutely zero signs of slowing down.
New Orleans doesn't need to worry about extending Teddy Bridgewater this offseason, now that they know Brees can play several more years. The league's all-time passing yards leader is enjoying perhaps his finest season as a professional, and the Saints won't be looking to replace him any time soon.
Given his MVP-caliber season in 2018, along with everything he's done for the franchise, it's safe to say that Brees will stay in New Orleans until he decides it's time to retire. Period.