With the NFL offseason on the verge of erupting with activity, we’ve got a packed issue of NFLTR Review to get you ready for the action. In this issue:
- Preview of Tuesday’s franchise tag deadline
- How can the Bucs keep their Super Bowl team together?
- Updated cap casualties, trade rumors, QB drama & more!
Franchise Tag Deadline Preview
While the window for teams to franchise tag players opened last week, no one has made the plunge yet. Deadlines drive action, though, and with the deadline to tag players coming up on March 9, expect a fair amount of tags to be processed in the coming days as some teams try to negotiate up until the last minute.
A quick refresher on tags. Teams can use one tag, either the franchise tag or the transition tag. The transition tag is for a lower amount but only gives the tagging team the right of first refusal if the player is signed to an offer sheet. The non-exclusive franchise tag requires another team to give up two first-round picks to sign a player, while the exclusive tag is what it sounds and is typically reserved only for quarterbacks.
This year we anticipate there being at least 10 franchise tags. But every year there are always one or two surprises. Because the values for some positions are lower, it could make for some interesting decisions
Not going anywhere
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
No way, no how are the Cowboys letting their franchise quarterback out of the building for nothing. This will be the second straight offseason Prescott is getting the tag, meaning his salary will be 20 percent higher than in 2020 and come in at $37 million. That’s a steep figure and one Dallas would love to lower as a part of a long-term deal.
It would be somewhat surprising to see the two sides agree to an extension before next Tuesday’s deadline given that they’ve been negotiating on and off for two years. But July 15 represents a much stronger deadline. After that date, teams can no longer negotiate with a player on the tag until after the regular season, at which point Prescott would be looking at a third tag and the ability to hit free agency if he wanted. The Cowboys obviously want to avoid this, so expect things to get much more serious later this offseason.
Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin
Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians made sure to tell Godwin at the Super Bowl celebration that he wasn’t going anywhere. While signing Godwin to a long-term deal might have been tricky, the franchise tag allows Tampa Bay to keep him for what is a very reasonable number at around $16 million. It also buys more time for the two sides to work on a long-term deal, which by all indications the Buccaneers want to do to keep Godwin as a key part of their offense for a long time.
Bears WR Allen Robinson
Due to a slight quirk with the 20 percent rule, Robinson’s tag number is slightly higher than the other receivers at $18 million. It’s still a bargain compared to what he could command in free agency. The Bears have had some time to negotiate a new deal with Robinson but he and his agent have been vocal that Chicago has not been close with what they’ve put on the table. It doesn’t seem like Bears GM Ryan Pace is willing to let Robinson leave for nothing, though.
For that reason, it would be surprising to see Robinson not get the tag. After that, the situation is expected to drag deep into the offseason. If the Bears don’t up the ante and get Robinson extended by the July deadline, he could choose to play out the 2021 season and be almost assured of reaching free agency in 2022. If the Bears foresee they’re not going to be able to sign him, a trade becomes an option. It would behoove them to trade Robinson with enough time before the deadline for a new team to sign him to an extension, as once we get closer to the season that $18 million cap hit for 2021 becomes unwieldy with the shrinking cap. Either way, the tag is the first step, so stay tuned.
Lions WR Kenny Golladay
Like Robinson, Golladay had some extension talks going into last season that didn’t end up resulting in a long-term deal. Golladay struggled with injuries in 2020 and he’s older at the age of 27. But he still appears to be a big part of Detroit’s plans even if he’ll be pushing 30 when they’re ready to compete in two years. Like Godwin, $16 million is very reasonable for a player of Golladay’s caliber and probably the floor for a long-term deal. There’s also an outside chance of a tag-and-trade, though it’s not as big a thing to watch as it is between the Bears and Robinson.
Giants DL Leonard Williams
For many of these situations, the tag is the preferable option for the team to buy more time to negotiate a better deal from their perspective. For others, the tag just pushes more leverage back to the player. The Giants are in that boat with Williams since this would be his second straight year on the tag. Depending on the result of his grievance with the team over being classified a defensive tackle instead of a defensive end, a second tag could be anywhere from $19 to $21 million for Williams.
Keeping Williams won’t be cheap after he finally answered all the doubters with an 11.5 sack season. But New York needs to get Williams locked up on a long-term deal sooner rather than later because even if $20 million a year is what it’s going to cost, dedicating that much of their 2021 cap space to one player would nuke any flexibility they have to address a plethora of other needs. The tag buys time but the Giants shouldn’t dilly dally.
Broncos S Justin Simmons
Simmons is another candidate to be tagged for the second straight season. But it doesn’t move the needle as much to do that with a safety as it does other positions. After playing last year on the $11.4 million tag, a second tag would bump Simmons’ salary to $13.68 million, which is still outside the top five salaries at the position.
The biggest reason for Denver to go ahead and lock Simmons up now is because he’s been everything a team could ask for in a player, with high-end production on the field, leadership in the locker room and an impact in the community. That deserves to be rewarded, and other players will notice if the Broncos pinch pennies with one of their stars. Simmons will probably be tagged but it’s a failure for Denver if he doesn’t sign a new deal before the deadline.
Panthers RT Taylor Moton
The rebuilding Panthers are searching for core pieces and Moton continued to establish himself as one in the first year under HC Matt Rhule. The tag will be at least $13.5 million and that’s a little bit lower than what a new deal for Moton will need to average per year. The Browns signed RT Jack Conklin last year for $14 million a year, providing a template for Carolina in their negotiations with Moton. All indications are that the tag is just a precursor to a long-term deal.
Washington G Brandon Scherff
There are millions of reasons for Washington to lock Scherff up with an extension before this coming Tuesday. The franchise tag in 2020 made Scherff the NFL’s highest-paid guard at a hair over $15 million. The second tag would make that number jump up to $18 million, which is a huge increase in terms of market-setting NFL contracts.
Talentwise, Scherff is worth it, there are just questions about his ability to stay healthy. Washington can’t get away with anything less than $15 million a year on a long-term deal and it might need to be $16 million or $17 million to get it done. If Washington isn’t willing to pay that, there’s a chance another team will, and that’s a key building block out the door for nothing but a possible compensatory pick. As difficult as it could be, the franchise tag might be worth that to keep Scherff in town.
Jets S Marcus Maye
Since the tag window opened, it’s become increasingly clear that the Jets plan to tag Maye in order to keep him. There’s really not much of a downside; New York has the cap space to absorb the $10 million and change tag easily. It’s well below market for Maye, who would garner top-five safety money as a 27-year-old free agent. And it doesn’t handicap the Jets if they have to tag Maye again in a year for 20 percent more, similar to Denver’s situation with Simmons. In the meantime, it gives them the leverage to potentially get Maye to take a slightly lower deal in exchange for more long-term security. This is one to watch the rest of the offseason before the final signing deadline in July.
Chargers TE Hunter Henry
The Chargers tagged Henry last year and he played out the season as the NFL’s No. 3 tight end in terms of yearly salary at $10.6 million. There was a $3 to $4 million gap between him and the No. 1 and No. 2 players at his position, however, showing how funky the tight end market is right now. A second straight tag would pay out $12.9 million for Henry in 2021 and still leave him No. 3 among tight ends, so that’s not a bad way to go for his camp. However, Henry has never played a full 16-game season in five tries, so he might rather go for the security of a long-term deal.
For the Chargers, the lack of durability and the fact that $12.9 million is arguably a slight overpay could give them pause in tagging Henry again. Tight ends are a young quarterback’s best friend, though, and Los Angeles could decide it’s not worth risking losing a safety valve for QB Justin Herbert as he enters his second season.
Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin
Griffin has been a starter since Day 1 for the Seahawks and their No. 1 corner for the past few seasons. Using the franchise tag would cost Seattle in the neighborhood of $15 million and that’s right in the range of what Griffin could get in free agency from another team as a solid, ascending starting corner. However, outside of a few exceptions the Seahawks tend to let their corners walk and trust in their ability to draft and develop replacements from unheralded places. With limited cap flexibility and other needs, that might be the course they take here.
Packers RB Aaron Jones
Jones represents the latest case study in the ongoing debate about paying running backs big money contracts. He’s the latest member of a star-studded 2017 class of backs to have a chance at a big pay day. The results range from $16 million a year at the top for Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey to the $12-$13 million range for Vikings RB Dalvin Cook and Bengals RB Joe Mixon. Given how productive Jones has been the past two seasons, $12 million is the floor for a new deal.
Where it gets interesting is that it would only cost the Packers $8 million or so to franchise Jones and keep negotiating. They were reportedly willing to go up to $12 million a year on an extension this past season, but a deal didn’t get over the finish line because of the guarantee structure. The Packers still have a fair amount of work to do to get under the cap so the tag would be a burden for as long as they have to carry it. There’s the possibility of a holdout if things get ugly and they’ve already prepped for a potential life after Jones by drafting AJ Dillon in the second round last year. But it’s so cheap that it can’t be ruled out.
Titans TE Jonnu Smith
Titans GM Jon Robinson made it sound the other day like Tennessee couldn’t afford to keep either Smith or WR Corey Davis. Like the Packers, the Titans have some serious cap issues. Over The Cap currently shows them as having $1.6 million in space. But the tag for tight ends is so low, under $10 million, that it’s not out of the question that Tennessee surprises folks and uses it.
Both Lawson and Jackson are key starters for the Bengals at positions they put a high value on. Cincinnati would love to retain both but that probably is impractical. Only one of either Lawson or Jackson could get the tag. However, the tag would be a bit of a stretch from the contracts both are expected to sign. Lawson has just 20 sacks in four seasons which would make the $15.8 million tag somewhat of an overpay. The same is true for Jackson. Still, it’s the only sure way Cincinnati can guarantee not losing either player on the open market.
Eligible but probably not.
Texans WR Will Fuller
Houston would love to keep Fuller. If they knew for sure it would bring QB Deshaun Watson back into the fold, the Texans probably would do it in a heartbeat. But outside of that, it’s hard to justify $16 million for one year of a receiver who’s never played 16 games in a season when the Texans have as many other holes as they do. Reports indicate the Texans don’t plan to tag Fuller and there’s no reason to doubt that.
Patriots G Joe Thuney
Thuney was a surprise tag last offseason but it would be doubly shocking to see him tagged for a second straight year. The price tag would go up to just shy of $18 million which would be a big jump over the current top of the market for guards. New England was already invested heavily at guard between Thuney and Shaq Mason, so while they’d love to keep Thuney the player, they might not be willing to pay what it’ll take. Thuney is positioned to do very, very well for himself in free agency.
Saints S Marcus Williams
At just 25 years old, Williams is someone the Saints would love to keep for a long time. But this is where their salary constraints might finally bite them in the rear. They’re still more than $60 million over the cap and they’d have to clear enough room to absorb a $10 million tag up front for Williams, they couldn’t shift it around like they could on a long-term deal to have a minimal cap hit the first year. Never say never with the Saints. But it doesn’t look like a tag for Williams is realistically in the cards.
Rams S John Johnson
Like a lot of teams, the Rams are in a slight pickle with their salary cap. As of Thursday night, they were $35 million over the cap. Los Angeles can make up a lot of ground with restructures, though, to get to a point where they can make a few additions to bolster what’s supposed to be a Super Bowl contending roster. It’s not clear if that will include tagging Johnson. He’s been a key role player for the defense the past few seasons and deserves more than the $10 million tag on a multi-year deal. That would be a hefty chunk of cap for the Rams to tie up, though.
Bills LB Matt Milano
The Bills run defense struggled mightily when Milano was injured last season, proving how important he has been to the unit. Bills GM Brandon Beane has strongly hinted they’re bracing to lose Milano on the open market. A tag would be in the $14.5 million range which is steep for the Bills and likely ensures he won’t be tagged.
A tag for Judon would be the second straight and be nearly $20 million. That’s a non-starter in this economy. Ngakoue was tagged last year but due to the pay cut he took to facilitate his trade out of Jacksonville, a second tag would be a much more reasonable $15 million. That’s still probably too much for the Ravens to take on. Had things been normal this year, it could have been another story.
This Week In Football
- The week’s top story was former Texans DE J.J. Watt stunning the football world and picking the Cardinals as his next destination over potential other contenders like the Titans, Colts, Browns and possibly the Packers and Bills. Having the chance to contend for a Super Bowl was supposedly Watt’s top priority, and while the Cardinals don’t have a bad team, they’re not an obvious contender. They were obviously the highest bidder with a two-year deal with a base value of $28 million, and that appeared to matter just as much to Watt.
- For Arizona, plenty of people will point to Watt’s age, injury history and decreased production in 2020 as warning signs that the Cardinals paid more for reputation than what Watt can actually produce for them. That said, Watt’s double-team rate was one of the highest in football and he’s joining a defense that already has a dominant edge rusher in OLB Chandler Jones. There are indications Watt still has a lot left in the tank and the Cardinals could stand to benefit in a massive way.
- We inched another week closer to free agency and cuts continued to trickle out. The salary cap has yet to be finalized as the league appears to be waiting for the TV deals to be locked in. Those two events are what’s going to open up a flood of activity. For now, the cuts included
- Texans cut RB Duke Johnson, C Nick Martin, among others.
- Vikings let TE Kyle Rudolph go
- Raiders cut G Gabe Jackson
- Giants cut both WR Golden Tate, LB David Mayo
- Saints parted ways with TEs Jared Cook and Josh Hill, plus P Thomas Morstead
- Lions releasing CB Desmond Trufant
- Washington hasn’t made it official yet, but they plan to cut QB Alex Smith
- There’s also a wave of players teams are shopping in a last-ditch bid to get some kind of compensation before letting them walk. The Dolphins will release LB Kyle Van Noy just one year into a four-year, $51 million deal he signed last offseason if they can’t find a trade partner. The Giants and Jaguars have high-priced veteran guards Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Norwell on the block. In New Orleans, the Saints are trying to move starting DT Malcom Brown for a pick. The Raiders have had a lot of trade talks surrounding RT Trent Brown, though they might ultimately elect to keep him.
- There was of course more quarterback drama with the biggest update this week being this nugget: the Seahawks are now listening to trade calls for QB Russell Wilson. There’s a major difference between listening to offers and shopping a player but listening to offers is not shutting them down like the approach the Texans are taking with their disgruntled quarterback right now. Listening to offers means the Seahawks are open to hearing an offer that is too good for them to pass up, which means a trade could be far closer than anyone would have expected just a couple of weeks ago.
- The Jets are taking a similar approach with their quarterback, albeit one who has far less stature. This past October ahead of the trade deadline, Jets GM Joe Douglas, who preached about taking calls for anyone when it was about Jamal Adams, referred to QB Sam Darnold as someone that fell into the untouchable category as a franchise quarterback. This past week, Douglas said that Darnold is someone he will listen to trade offers for, as he left unsaid the fact that they’re already evaluating whether a quality replacement for Darnold is in this draft class. The Jets may ultimately decide to keep Darnold, but it’s worth pointing out they have to keep up appearances at least of being unsure in order to preserve whatever trade value Darnold still has.
- After a lot more drama than was expected, the Steelers resolved QB Ben Roethlisberger’s contract issue, signing him to a new deal that includes a salary to signing bonus conversion and four void years to spread out the hit. Roethlisberger also agreed to a $5 million pay cut, which could be why this took so long, and the net effect is his formerly league-high cap figure will be reduced by more than $15 million.
- There were some conflicting reports about this, but at least one indicated that the Ravens and QB Lamar Jackson have begun extension talks. We don’t have much more on this as these kinds of deals tend to develop in the summer, but one report mentioned the two sides are currently far apart, which isn’t necessarily cause for alarm given how early it is and the fact there’s a conflicting report.
- The Panthers have made it abundantly clear they’re ready to move on from QB Teddy Bridgewater this offseason. They may actually have a taker, as the 49ers are reportedly one of the teams that has inquired with Carolina regarding Bridgewater. On its face, it seems curious. Bridgewater’s contract is a lot larger than San Francisco can take on right now and he’s not a clear upgrade over starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo. If they’re looking at him as a backup and insurance policy, though, then that makes a little more sense, again, not considering the contract. From the Panthers’ perspective, they apparently weren’t ready to trade Bridgewater either until they secured a replacement they feel confident in. So the door isn’t completely shut on Bridgewater starting again in 2021, for now.
- Wrapping things up with a couple of small transactions. Texans RB David Johnson took a pay cut that reduced his cap hit but actually guaranteed him more money in 2021 than he had been scheduled to earn otherwise. It appears Houston isn’t quite ready to give up on the other “key” piece of the Hopkins deal. After being cut by the Raiders, WR Tyrell Williams landed with his former head coach Anthony Lynn, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Lions. Williams becomes just the third receiver under contract in Detroit and should be no worse than their No. 2 in 2021 if he can stay healthy.
The Big Picture: Keeping Tampa Bay’s Band Together
The NFL is designed to push every team to the middle. It’s truly hard to be consistently good, or bad, as the league is designed for parity. The Buccaneers are about to run into that reality this offseason as they face the challenge of keeping as many key contributors from their Super Bowl-winning team as possible in 2021. There’s a long list of players scheduled for free agency, including:
- WR Chris Godwin
- LB Lavonte David
- OLB Shaquil Barrett
- DT Ndamukong Suh
- TE Rob Gronkowski
- WR Antonio Brown
- K Ryan Succop
- RB Leonard Fournette
There are multiple players near the top of their respective positions and other strong contributors. Tampa Bay faces a challenge with only $12 million in cap space on the reduced 2021 cap. But even if they can’t keep every single player on this list, there’s actually a good chance they can make sure they don’t lose anyone who will be extraordinarily difficult to replace.
In terms of creating cap space, there are a lot of levers the Buccaneers can pull. Using Over The Cap’s handy cap calculator, we put ourselves in GM Jason Licht’s shoes and got to work.
Brate is a solid tight end, but he’s No. 3 on the depth chart. It’s really a no-brainer to reallocate that $6.5 million in cap space. Pinion slipped in 2020 and has a $2.8 million base salary. Even factoring in the cost of a replacement, that’s some savings worth pursuing.
Outside of Brady, Evans and Marpet are arguably Tampa Bay’s two best offensive players. Both are also just 28 and relatively low risk in terms of having the deferred signing bonus money bite the team in the rear down the road.
Brady has just a year left on his deal and has expressed interest in play until he’s 45, which would be 2022. So adding a year onto his deal at the same rate as this year should be relatively simple. Converting $20 million of Brady’s 2021 compensation into a signing bonus ends in about a net $13 million increase to Tampa Bay’s cap.
Jensen and Smith came up as cap casualties this offseason because neither had any guaranteed money remaining on their contracts. Licht made it clear both were a part of the team’s future plans. Short-term extensions could be a way to free up cap space in 2021 for the Buccaneers while getting the players some guaranteed money in the same template as the Brady deal. A two-year, $22 million deal for the 30-year-old Jensen with $9 million of his 2021 base converted to a signing bonus would free up $6 million. Smith is only 28 and set to make a $14.25 million base salary in 2021. A three-year, $43.5 million deal that converts $13 million of that to a signing bonus creates another $10 million in space.
Tampa Bay could create even more with a short extension for OLB Jason Pierre-Paul, but since he’s 32 they might hold off. At this point, our mock Buccaneers are sitting with $61 million in cap space which would be fourth in the entire league as we sit today. Now we can get down to spending. Easy moves first: apply the franchise tag to Godwin and tender restricted and exclusive free agents like G Aaron Stinnie, DL Jeremiah Ledbetter, TE Tanner Hudson and DE Pat O’Connor. That leaves about $40 million for their other free agents.
Succop isn’t the Buccaneer’s most important free agent, but his deal should be fairly easy to work out and gives the team peace of mind at a position where it’s a pain not to have a steady option. Four years, $15 million with a $6 million signing bonus puts Succop firmly in the top half of the league at his position and could trim less than $3 million off the cap. Other free agents Tampa Bay can likely keep for at or close to the minimum include QB Blaine Gabbert, LB Kevin Minter, RB T.J. Logan and OL Josh Wells.
Now for the big guns. David is the literal heart of the defense and has been underrated and overpaid for most of his career. That could change this offseason even though he just turned 31. Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner paces the market with a deal worth $18 million per year he signed when he was 29. It’s hard to see either Tampa Bay or another team going that high for David given linebackers don’t necessarily age gracefully. But $15 million is possible. Even if it ends up being too rich, working off that number works out to a three-year, $45 million deal. The structure will be key but a $9 million signing bonus and $10 million base salary in Year 1 works out to a $13 million cap hit in 2021.
Barrett didn’t repeat his 19.5 sack season but he still was productive enough that Tampa Bay might need to go as high as $20 million a year in order to fend off other suitors on the open market. Unlike other teams, the Buccaneers prefer not to put a ton of money into a signing bonus and backload deals. They might not have a choice but to compromise there this offseason, though. On a four-year, $80 million deal, Tampa Bay could give Barrett a $24 million signing bonus and $6 million base salary for a $12 million cap hit in 2021.
That leaves the Buccaneers with about $12 million in space. While the top guys like Godwin, David and Barrett are locked up along with a few other backups, there are still guys like Gronkowski, Suh, Fournette and Brown. If the Buccaneers lose players, it will be out of this group. Gronkowski and Suh played in 2020 at $10 million and $8 million respectively. Obviously it would be tough to bring them back at those numbers. Gronkowski has shown no interest in playing with anyone besides Brady so he should be fine taking a deal for less, perhaps $4 million. That’s what the Raiders signed Jason Witten for last year.
Suh is someone far less inclined to give much of a discount. Tampa Bay can get around that with a two-year deal, giving him $7 million in a signing bonus that pays him the same as on a one-year deal but is spread out over two years for accounting purposes. That leaves Tampa Bay with around $7 million remaining in cap space and two notable free agents remaining in Brown and Fournette.
The latter is probably the easiest to walk away from since Tampa Bay has some depth at running back. They could also swap him out for Patriots RB James White and improve as a unit by adding a legitimate pass-catching back for Brady. Brown is much harder to let go given how positive of an effect Brady had on him. If he’s willing to take another incentive-laden deal with a base value that’s close to the minimum, he could stick around. But there are other young receivers Tampa Bay could turn to as well if he wants too much, and some people were making a case the offense actually operated better with the speedy Scotty Miller as the No. 3 than with Brown.
Either way, the vast bulk of the Buccaneers’ 2020 squad is going to be back, plus a new draft class and perhaps some veterans who can be had for cheap who wouldn’t usually be available as teams across the league slash salary. It might not be smooth sailing the entire time but there shouldn’t be anything stopping the Buccaneers from being real contenders for the Super Bowl again in 2021.
Nickels & Dimes
Quick-hit thoughts and observations from around the NFL…
"Mac Jones, University of Alabama, his floor is No. 8 [to the] Carolina Panthers."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 22, 2021
The hype for Alabama QB Mac Jones has gotten quite a bit of gas recently, with former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum going as far as to say Jones’ floor is No. 8 overall to the Panthers.
Obviously Carolina got an up-close look at Jones during the Senior Bowl. If you examine closely, though, the link to Jones falls apart. The Panthers have grown disillusioned with Bridgewater because they view him as a limited, game manager-type option. How does Jones as a prospect project any different than that?
— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) February 25, 2021
More buzz for Jones…
With the news that Washington is leaning toward being out on Patriots QB Cam Newton, I have a sinking feeling that Newton is one of the guys who’s going to be left out in the musical chairs game at the position this offseason. He’s just as polarizing inside the league as he is outside of it with a negative reputation that’s hard to shake even if it’s not based in anything that holds up to real scrutiny. If New England doesn’t want him back, it’s hard to find a home for him on a team in 2021…
Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman is a potential first or second-round receiver in this draft class. The big question about him is speed, but this time would seemingly refute that concern had it not been at a training facility with a vested interest in churning out elite testing numbers for its clients…
I do think Bateman is legitimately faster than he’s given credit for. Fixing his stance would help him have more burst off the line. This is just a reality of having no centralized Combine this year and relying on workout numbers from pro days and facility combines…
A preview of how I’d bet the next few weeks are going to go: as soon as the league locks in the salary cap, the rest of the cap casualties will flood in. A few of them might land deals before the official start of free agency but there might not be time for many. With the reduced cap, the top 20 or so players are going to get paid about the same as they would in a normal year. That initial feeding frenzy will last a week, maybe two. After that, it’s going to dry up even quicker than it did last year, and a whole lot of quality veteran players are going to have to settle for dirt cheap deals…
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 1, 2021
Of course, if the history of big spenders in free agency is any indication, this could just be saving teams from themselves…
From 2009 to 2016, there were 22 quarterbacks drafted in the first round. As the Athletic’s Lindsay Jones dives into in a detailed look, none are still on their remaining team…
Reminder: From 2000-18, all QBs drafted outside of the first round were six times more likely to never start an NFL game than they were of becoming a Pro Bowler.
The Patriots had no incentive to draft a QB in the first round during that stretch. https://t.co/V3iOE0J4Sz
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 2, 2021
There’s also this. The moral of the story might be that it’s really really hard to find a good quarterback…