It's not an ideal time to be an NFL team in need of a quarterback - and there are plenty of them. The upcoming draft class lacks a sure thing and is really short on depth. Last year's group was stronger, and top pick Jared Goff still accomplished almost nothing. That means that teams looking to upgrade at the QB position are likely going to be forced to overpay - both in terms of contract and potentially in trade as well - to get one of the guys that are available. This last Super Bowl, and the whole playoffs leading up to them, was just the latest proof of how important QB play is in this league.
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For bettors, then, paying attention to the upcoming QB dances as they go from flirtation to marriage will be very important. Here's a look at the biggest players on the QB front - and the teams in most need. The first thing you'll notice is that there aren't enough decent options to go around.
The best options
Tony Romo: This is a no-brainer. You always have to be scared of Romo and his health. He has had plenty of time to heal, though, and if he can keep himself on the field he still has plenty to give. Any team would be lucky to have him, and they can hopefully get a couple of years out him.
Jimmy Garoppolo: The next Matt Cassel. He has looked good in his limited role with New England, and teams will be lining up to throw money his way. If I was Garoppolo I wouldn't be looking to go anywhere - Tom Brady looks immortal, but he is almost 40, and there is no situation he can land in that would be better than being the next starter with the Patriots. The money will be big, though, so he'll probably take it.
Jay Cutler: Cutler has been a bit of a disaster the last couple of years in Chicago, and they seem about ready to be done with him. There is still a little rubber left on the tires, though, and he hasn't always been in the best situation with the Bears. When his head is into the game, he is certainly capable. The Jets seem like the most logical spot for him.
Colin Kaepernick: People may scoff, but Kaep's numbers weren't horrible this year - 16 touchdowns and just four picks on a truly awful San Francisco team. He needs a fresh start badly, but he's only 29 so he has plenty left to give. I wouldn't be upset if he landed on my team - if I had a team.
The biggest needs
Jets: There has been far too much QB drama surrounding this team for too long. The Ryan Fitzpatrick drama was ridiculous, and Geno Smith has been a debacle. They just need some stability. Cutler has worked with some of the coaching staff before and would be comfortable. He's not a long-term solution, but if they looked at him as a two-year fix to get the rest of their house in order and figure out what the longer term looks like then he is ideal.
Niners: Kaepernick is likely about to opt out, and new coach Kyle Shanahan isn't going to want to face the same QB limitations that doomed Chip Kelly. Guys could be excited for the opportunity to play under Shanahan - aside from the last half of the last game he worked wonders with Matt Ryan. The issue, though, is that the cupboards are very empty in San Francisco, so a QB has to have a long-term view and hope the team let's him have the time he needs to develop a winner.
Bears: With Cutler likely gone, Chicago needs a new solution. Their primary target seems to be Jimmy Garoppolo - an Illinois native who would be popular at home. He is a huge risk, though - they would likely have to pay handsomely just to get him and then empty the bank in a new contract. You can ask Houston how it tastes to pay up for a barely-proven player. Still, it's hard to see a better option for them, and they certainly can't keep doing what they are doing. The QB play in their division is strong, so they can't afford to be left behind.
Texans: A year after getting their QB of the future, the Texans are most likely going to be in the market for their QB of the future. You would have to be blindly optimistic - or constantly drunk - to think that Brock Osweiler can be the answer for this team. There is plenty to work with here - they were a playoff team - but Bill O'Brien hasn't exactly had the midas touch with quarterbacks as a head coach. If I was Houston I would push hard for Romo to make some noise while the current window remains open.
Browns: They have already cut Josh McCown. They will likely get rid of Robert Griffin III. They need a QB. And everything else on the field as well. The only reason any QB would want to go here is if they had no other options. If given a choice, a guy would be better off playing arena football than taking charge of this team.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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