Sometimes a change of scenery is all a quarterback needs to find his groove. Look at Ryan Tannehill, who after a mediocre start to his career in Miami, he is flourishing in Tennessee. The same goes for Drew Brees, who was originally a San Diego Charger, and Brett Favre, who started his career in Atlanta. With some teams ready to move on from their quarterbacks, here are three QBs whose contracts aren’t up after 2020, but have a good chance of finding a new home next year via trade:
At this point, it’s hard to know if Sam Darnold really is the problem in New York. He’s playing under arguably the worst coach in the NFL, has had a bottom-five offensive line the past two years, and zero weapons on offense. Although it is his 3rd year in the league, he is a year younger than the Bengals’ 1st overall pick, Joe Burrow.
Darnold still has so much potential and a very high ceiling but he won’t find it with the Jets. He has flashed his potential many times over his 3 years, but his decision making is still that of a rookie, often forcing throws, holding onto the ball too long, or trying to do too much. These excuses can be made for a 1st or 2nd-year player, but at some point, he needs to be held accountable. With the Jets on pace to get the 1st overall pick, draft experts suspect the Jets to take a quarterback with their first pick and start a rebuild.
Darnold is by no means a backup caliber QB. With the right system and weapons, Darnold has pro bowl potential especially considering his age. With likely a new coaching staff next year, it might be in the Jets and Darnold’s best interest to move on from this chapter.
This one is still up in the air. Eagles fans love Carson Wentz (for some reason I can’t comprehend), likely due to his success in his 2nd year before his injury. But since then, Wentz has steadily declined since his lone Pro Bowl appearance in 2017, finally bottoming out in 2020 where he currently is posting a career-low passer rating and career-high interceptions through only 12 stars. Wentz is playing second fiddle to Jalen Hurts, the rookie out of Oklahoma, after his disappointing play throughout the year.
Unlike Darnold, Wentz has shown how good he can be, making him a much safer trade target. Some attributions to Wentz’s fall off this year could be the loss of three All-pro linemen in Lane Johnson, Jason Peters, and Brandon Brooks as well as the loss of All-pro Zach Ertz for most of the year, who has consistently been his favorite target. The problem with trading Wentz is his contract, which pays him roughly 30 million annually through 2025, making his asking price high and trade value low especially considering his poor play. The future of Wentz really depends on the final three weeks of the season.
Jalen Hurts did phenomenal in his first start, leading the Eagles to a victory over the Saints. If Hurts continues his success, there’s a good chance he remains the starter in 2021. But with the Eagles in a division race, the next three weeks will prove how Hurts can handle the pressure. Wentz’s future is unknown at the moment, but a new team could be the change the 27 year old needs in his career.
Coming into 2020, fans (myself included) had high expectations for the Falcons, especially with the addition of Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst to an already explosive offense. The Falcons started the year 0-5 and fired Head Coach Dan Quinn. Matt Ryan has posted a decent season with three games still yet to play, but with most of the Falcons’ talent aging, a rebuild might be what is for the best, especially while players like Julio Jones’ trade value is still high.
Matt Ryan was a former MVP and has a skillset that ages like fine wine as a pocket passer. Ryan will make about 30 million on his contract through 2023. Considering Ryan’s skill level, the asking price is not too steep. This scenario only happens if the Falcons commit to a rebuild rather than try to win short term. With their playoff hopes dead this year, a change might be needed if the Falcon’s ever want to redeem their embarrassing Super Bowl loss in 2017. Ryan could be the piece a team needs to push themselves to the next level with his veteran leadership on and off the field.
With Darnold, Wentz, and Ryan, all trade candidates, there have to be suitors. Teams like the Colts, Patriots, Bears, and Jaguars all stand out given weapons and team needs. Expect to see at least one of these guys in a new uniform next year.