This year’s quarterback (QB) free agency market is set to be the most exciting one to date. With numerous veteran QBs set to hit the market, the landscape of the NFL is set to change dramatically.
With Brady’s age being 42, he will be 43 for the whole of the next NFL season. Teams bidding for Brady have to be aware that they are buying into a two-year plan.
There are three major players for Brady in this year’s free agency market: the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and the team that he has spent his whole career at, the New England Patriots.
The Raiders’ interest in Brady has no real proof to it, as they are still involved with their QB Derek Carr. But a famous line that has been attached to Raiders coach Jon Gruden is that his favourite QB is his next. The Carr and Gruden relationship has seemed rocky from the get-go, and with the Raiders set to move into their new city and stadium, what better way to gain interest than sign the greatest player of all time, Tom Brady.
The LA Chargers are in a similar situation to the Raiders as they are one season away from moving into their new 110,000-seat stadium in LA and have been struggling with filling out their 20,000-seat stadium in recent years. The Chargers just announced that they were parting ways with Chargers legend Philip Rivers, meaning they are in the hunt for a new QB, one that could be Tom Brady. However, the Chargers are pencilled in by many media figures to be drafting QB Justin Herbert with their sixth pick in the NFL draft.
Out of the three teams in contention for Brady, the Patriots are the team that is positioned best to win now. The Patriots will be the team to sign Brady.
Predicted landing spot: New England Patriots
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Drew Brees/Taysom Hill
The reason Brees and Hill are put together here is that this I predict they will be a QB duo that shares the snaps for the New Orleans Saints.
Hill and Brees are both FA for the Saints, but I can only see a scenario where both return to the Saints and share the starting QB role in a way that only an offensive guru like Sean Payton could mastermind. With Brees’ arm talents quickly winding down, and Hill’s athletic abilities hitting their prime, right now is the time to pull the trigger on Hill.
Brees still has things to offer to the Saints franchise, but the best thing for the Saints and what will provide the Saints with the best opportunity to win is having both men share the starting QB position.
Predicted landing spot: New Orleans Saints
Dak Prescott has been a much talked-about QB ever since he walked onto the field as the new Dallas Cowboys starting QB. That is what comes with any man who starts for the Cowboys, America’s team and more importantly, Jerry Jones’ team.
Jones usually gets what he wants when it comes to signing players, but the Prescott situation has lasted longer than many people believed it would have. The Cowboys are a team that on paper is positioned to win the Super Bowl and with Prescott leading the team, could very well make it to that point.
But Prescott and Jones have to find a middle ground, as Prescott believes he deserves the upper echelons of QB contracts and Jones clearly does not, as if he did, this contract would have already been signed. Expect the Cowboys to franchise-tag Prescott to a one-year prove-it deal where he’ll be positioned to lead the team to success, but also to a possible big-figure contract.
Predicted landing spot: Dallas Cowboys
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)
Jameis Winston has been an enigma at the QB position ever since being picked number one by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015. Winston clearly has shown that he has the pure arm talent to be a franchise QB, and possibly one of the top five arms in the NFL, but has shown time and time again that he clearly lacks the composure needed to be a franchise NFL QB.
Winston’s historic season – including 5000 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions – shows both his biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses. His time in Tampa seems to be over as head coach Bruce Arians is clearly after a more reliable, composed QB.
Tampa is one of the teams with a card to play in this QB free agency pool, and with Winston’s extreme talent, it won’t be long until Winston finds an eventual suitor. That suitor is the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts have a team that can contend if they are led by the QB with the right tools, but are also in the same position where they can take a risk on a QB like Winston. Offering him a one or two-year contract means that if he succeeds and they succeed, then they have found their QB of the future, but if he fails then can easily opt-out of his contract and start again with a different QB.
Predicted landing spot: Indianapolis Colts
Teddy Bridgewater at one time looked like he was going to become the franchise QB of the Minnesota Vikings, then disaster struck when he tore his ACL. Since then it has been a long road for Bridgewater to get back to this situation.
Bridgewater has spent his last couple of seasons backing up Drew Brees at the New Orleans Saints. But the reason why Bridgewater has been able to gain interest in this free agency period is the fact that when he filled in for the injured Brees in five starts this season, the Saints went undefeated and some would say they even looked their best being led by Bridgewater.
Bridgewater has clearly overcome his ACL injury and is now back to showing the talent he once showed at the Vikings. A team that would be in a position to sign Bridgwater to a long-term contract is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have all the necessary weapons on offence, including the best two-man duo of receivers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. With Bridgewater showing what former Tampa QB Winston lacked – composure – expect Bridgewater to sign with the Bucs.
Predicted landing spot: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rivers, like Brady and Brees, is clearly at the end of his career. But unlike both those men, he will definitely be on the look-out for a new franchise to play for, something he has never had to experience in his career. Rivers has faced a steady decline in the past years in terms of his play, not completely reflected in his stats but more when watching him play. Rivers clearly does not have the arm talent he once had.
With the Chargers already backed out from Rivers, and many more of the teams in the QB market looking for more long-term, younger and more athletic QBs, Rivers should be looking to go to a team that will offer him a shot at competing for the starting QB position. The team that suits this description is the Chicago Bears.
The Bears have an all-world defence and an offence that has the right weapons in place, but keep on running into the hurdle that is their starting QB, Mitch Trubisky. If the Bears were to sign Rivers to a cheap one-year deal and have him and Trubisky battle it out for the starting QB spot, the Bears would win from whatever the situation is.
If Rivers won the spot, they would be going into the season with what is their best QB, and Trubisky would be able to learn from the experience and hopefully learn some things from Rivers. If Trubisky was to win the spot, then the Bears would be able to start Trubisky and have him learn from Rivers. He would have proved his metal by beating out Rivers for the spot, and Rivers would serve the Bears as a solid back-up if Trubisky was to fail or get injured.
Predicted landing spot: Chicago Bears