The NFL has been hit hard this season with some extreme injuries to some of its biggest names. Just in the preseason alone, the Cowboys lost their star quarterback Tony Romo to another broken bone in his back, which will cost him a little over half the season with an 8-10 week recovery time.
Shortly after, in the Vikings’ last practice of the preseason, Teddy Bridgewater suffered a gruesome non-contact injury that ended in a dislocated knee and a torn ACL that ended his entire season.
These injuries, along with a lack of depth and star power in the NFL at the quarterback position, have created issues for a lot of teams in the league. Of course there are the usual suspects of Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and the declining Drew Brees and Carson Palmer, but other teams aren’t so lucky.
Some have young stars, like the Buccaneers with Jameis Winston, Titans with Marcus Mariota, Raiders with Derek Carr and Jaguars with Blake Bortles, but they aren’t playoff contenders quite yet. Then, there are the unlucky teams that are just stuck with what they’ve got.
In my opinion, the worst quarterback situations in the league belong to the Vikings, Broncos, Eagles, Rams and 49ers. Dallas could’ve made this list with a lack of any depth, but have some serious potential with Dak Prescott to succeed in the NFC East if utilized correctly. The other five teams are in some serious trouble.
The Rams at least have some options at the position to work with between Case Keenum and Jared Goff, although both haven’t flashed with anything impressive on the field.
The Vikings (sort of) solved their problems by trading their 2017 first round pick and a 2018 fourth round pick for Sam Bradford, which will at least give them a fighting chance in the NFC North. However, they gave up a hefty sum for a quarterback that won’t fit their system perfectly, and will only be a one-year fill-in. At this point, they are set at QB, but won’t be surprising anyone this season.
The Broncos are in a tough spot, as none of the three quarterbacks they tried out in the preseason were particularly impressive. Mark Sanchez, who was originally tabbed as their new starter before Paxton Lynch was drafted, was just cut. Lynch didn’t show the promise that should be coming from a first round pick, and the team has resorted to Trevor Siemian to lead their roster.
The Eagles made things difficult on themselves by trading their starter, Bradford, for draft picks. They may be hoping to pick someone up in free agency/waivers, but for now, they have rookie Carson Wentz as their starter, and Chase Daniel as his backup. They may see something in Wentz, but Daniel arguably could be the starter in Philly, and they lack depth.
The 49ers are stuck with an odd grouping of Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and the controversial Colin Kaepernick. Gabbert seems to have the starting gig, and Kaepernick has slid right into the backup spot. However, none of them are truly starting material.
Possible Solutions To These Situations:
Murray was a surprising/unsurprising cut depending on how you viewed the situation in Kansas City. He is regarded around the league as the top free agent QB, but may slip to some lucky team that is low on the waiver wire considering the Vikings’ recent moves and depending on how confident Dallas is in Prescott. The Broncos could be a notable team to try and pick up Murray, who was a four-year starter at Georgia and was considered a steal as a fifth round pick in the 2014 draft.
The Jets have been saying for weeks now that they are willing to keep four quarterbacks on their roster, but I’m calling their bluff. It seems they are telling everyone that in hopes that a team struggling with the quarterback position will come running to them asking for one of their three backups. An option to explore, depending on his current shoulder injury’s recovery time, is Bryce Petty. It seems the team has determine Geno Smith will be Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup, and the Jets seem patient on the Christian Hackenberg project. Petty is the odd man out, and could be dealt to a team like Dallas or Minnesota looking for depth.
St. Louis and Cleveland both didn’t see a lot out of Austin Davis in the last few seasons, and the veteran has found himself on the long list of free agent QBs. He’s not a permanent fix by any means, but Davis could provide some useful experience and fight for a spot on a team like the Eagles, who will need some veteran experience to help out their rookie project Carson Wentz.
Brissett is in a tough spot in New England, and it will be interesting to see how things go for the Patriots in the first four weeks of the season without Tom Brady under center. The team has tabbed Jimmy Garoppollo as their starter for the first four games, but Brissett has shown some promise in the preseason, going 9-for-9 with 85 yards and a touchdown in a game against Carolina a few weeks ago. Depending on how Garoppollo plays the first four weeks, and if he stays healthy, Brissett could slide into the starting spot if Garoppolo struggles or gets hurt. If not, the Patriots haven’t kept three quarterbacks on the roster in a long time, and he could be a solid backup/potential starter for a team like St. Louis or Philadelphia.