Last Updated on 11 Mar 2022 6:36 am (UK Time)
1. Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston has had a difficult career as a quarterback in the NFL so far. As the number 1 pick in the 2015 draft, there was a lot of pressure on him to succeed, but he could never amount to his potential. He struggled with the Bucs and infamously threw 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the 2019 season.
Winston was having a good, efficient first season as a starter in New Orleans replacing Drew Brees until he suffered a torn ACL in Week 8, ending his 2021 at only seven games. In seven games in 2021, Winston had a 5-2 record, a 59.0 percent completion rate, 167.1 passing yards per game, 7.3 passing yards per attempt, 14 passing TDs, three INTs, and a career-high 102.8 passer rating.
I think Winston has a lot to offer and proved last season that he can protect the ball and play the running game in addition to his natural arm strength. I believe that the Saints are going to try and resign Winston with their GM Mickey Loomis going as far as telling the media “Jameis is an option for us, and we hope we’re an option for Jameis,”.
2. Marcus Mariota
Mariota was taken only one pick after Winston in the 2015 NFL draft, and similar to his counterpart has not lived up to his expectation. He was taken by the Tennessee titans but failed to ever really make an impact with the team and eventually left in 2019. He then signed a two-year contract with the Raiders but has only played understudy to Derek Carr.
He is certainly a solid dual-threat quarterback with a strong arm and rapid speed. In fact, his 8.9 yards per rush on designed runs since 2020 ranks first among quarterbacks with at least 10 such runs. He also boasts a higher career passer rating as a starter (89.7) than every notable 2022 free agent QB, with the exception of Teddy Bridgewater (91.4).
I think Mariota still has some time to prove that he isn’t a total bust and if he can land in the right system, he might just get his chance. I think his two main options would be either the Buccaneers or the Seahawks who both lost their quarterback this offseason. Obviously, Tom Brady retired, and the Seahawks traded away Russel Wilson. There is a chance that the Bucs might give Kyle Trask a go at the starting job, but it is highly unlikely that the Seahawks will entrust their franchise to Lock.
3. Mitchell Trubisky
We’re only three quarterbacks in and there already seems to be a consistent theme, a lot of these QBs are high draft picks. Trubisky was taken with the second overall pick in the 2017 draft and never really looked like the franchise QB Bears fans had been hoping for.
However, although he never lived up to the hype, Trubisky is still a solid quarterback. has a 25-13 record as a starter since 2018; his .658 win percentage is sixth-best among quarterbacks in that time span, behind only Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Lamar Jackson, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers which isn’t bad company.
Trubisky spent last season as Josh Allen’s understudy in Buffalo and seems to have really matured and learned from his time with the Bills. “Going to Buffalo really opened my eyes,” Trubisky reporters last month. If any team gives him a chance I don’t think they will be disappointed. I could see the New York Giants making a play for Trubisky to try and offer some competition with Daniel Jones, or potentially with the Panthers to replace Cam Newton.
4. Teddy Bridgewater
The former Rookie of the Year could be looking for his 6th NFL team. Bridgewater has had a pretty solid career since being selected by the Vikings in 2014 but has struggled to solidify his position at any team. He has played on the Vikings, Jets, Saints, Panthers, and Broncos but hopefully, he can find a new home at his next team.
Bridgewater has had a few solid seasons as a starter and is one of the most accurate QBs in the league with a 66.9% completion rating. He had zero INTs in the Broncos’ seven victories and threw seven picks in the seven losses last season.
I’m not 100% certain that Bridgewater is the guy to take a team’s offense to the next level, so I think most teams will probably look at him as a very solid backup option. I could potentially see him returning to Denver as a backup for Wilson or potentially other teams like the Browns or Raiders as a backup for their starters.
5. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick is one of the best examples when we talk about an NFL journeyman. The 39-year-old has already played for 9 NFL teams including the Rams, Bengals, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Commanders.
He didn’t get a chance to do much with Washington’s offense because of a hip injury that wiped out his 2021 season. But he’s lasted 17 seasons because he is a quick fit in any system as a seasoned backup or a starter if needed.
With Fitzpatrick turning 40 this year it is obvious that his career is winding down and this could be his last team. I think there is almost no chance of him being signed as a starter apart from potentially the Colts following their Wentz trade. Instead, I think teams will be looking at him as a solid backup and a mentor to a young QB. For this reason, I could see Fitzpatrick going to a place like the Chargers, Jets, or Jaguars to try and instil some wisdom into their young quarterbacks.