Best and Worst NFL Landing Spots for Potential QBs Changing Teams in 2023 | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Best and Worst NFL Landing Spots for Potential QBs Changing Teams in 2023 | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Best and Worst NFL Landing Spots for Potential QBs Changing Teams in 2023

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    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    The NFL may be about to experience an offseason unlike anything it has ever seen. It’s a quarterback-driven league, and the amount of change that may occur behind center over the next few months could leave everyone’s heads spinning.

    The greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, is set to test free agency for a second time. Two other former MVPS—Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson—are potential trade bait. Long-time starters with the Las Vegas Raiders (Derek Carr) and San Francisco 49ers (Jimmy Garoppolo) are definitely moving on from their previous setups. Two young, up-and-comers in Daniel Jones and Trey Lance need to find out where they belong. Finally, the potential NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Geno Smith, revived his career in Seattle with a massive payday coming his way. But where?

    Even among the high-profile names just mentioned, each individual situation will have a profound effect on where each of these individuals land and how effective they can be upon arrival.

    Some shouldn’t leave their current setups. Others require a fresh start. Either way, good and bad options will be available to all of them.

    Make no mistake, teams are searching for lifelines. Some are in position to draft Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud or Kentucky’s Will Levis. The veteran route will be better for other franchises.

    “The quarterback position was the No. 1 concern,” New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters Thursday. “We’re committed to finding a veteran.”

    Who best fits the Jets and vice versa? That’s the question each quarterback must ask himself with each available opening. Let’s find out where these top names should land.

Tom Brady

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    TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 16: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 16, 2023 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Best Landing Spot: Carolina Panthers

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are due for an overhaul. The organization maximized its three-year window with Tom Brady by capturing a pair of division titles and the franchise’s second-ever Super Bowl victory.

    A new landing spot is in Brady’s best interests since his old squad is littered with pending free agents other than him. Whereas, he can go to another spot in the NFC South and be better set up for success for the next year or two.

    David Tepper has been searching for a legitimate starting quarterback since he became the Carolina Panthers owner. The organization continues to fail in that regard. But Brady brings the entire franchise instant credibility, even though he’s a short-term solution.

    The Panthers have the framework to be successful just by signing Brady. The offense already features a top-10 ground game. Its offensive line is young and talented. DJ Moore is a true No. 1 wide receiver. And Carolina’s defense is an up-and-coming unit. Throw another top-10 draft talent and the Frank Reich hire into the mix, and the Panthers roster becomes mighty enticing.

    Worst Landing Spot: Las Vegas Raiders

    Las Vegas may be the logical spot for Brady based on his long-term relationship with head coach/offensive play-caller Josh McDaniels, but it’s not the best setup for the soon-to-be 46-year-old quarterback to excel.

    Specifically, issues along the offensive line are not conducive to success when an aging pocket passer is starting to decline. Everyone saw how poorly the Buccaneers’ offense fared this season with their front five in upheaval. Las Vegas needs an overhaul, particularly to its right side.

    Further roster changes could be forthcoming as well.

    “McDaniels is big on ‘culture fits’ and will want his own guys,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported. “Teams will be keeping an eye on tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow in that process.”

Aaron Rodgers

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    GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 08: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates against the Detroit Lions in the second half at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Best Landing Spot: New York Jets

    Nathaniel Hackett’s recent hire by Gang Green to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator has nothing to do with the organization’s desire to land a high-caliber veteran quarterback, as head coach Robert Saleh stated.

    Nope. Nothing.

    But it just so happens that Hackett has a previous working relationship with Aaron Rodgers. Hackett spent three seasons as the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator before he became a one-and-done head coach with the Denver Broncos.

    In all seriousness, this match runs deeper than familiarity. The Jets already have a playoff-caliber defense. The group finished top five in total defense this season. Offensively, New York features a pair of talented runners in Breece Hall and Michael Carter, as well as the potential Offensive Rookie of the Year in wide receiver Garrett Wilson.

    As long as the Jets get their offensive line settled, the Big Apple might actually be a soft landing for the four-time MVP.

    Worst Landing Spot: Green Bay Packers

    All good things must end, and the relationship between the Packers organization and Rodgers sits at a crossroads. The two sides could try one more run. Why, though? Rogers’ play clearly diminished last season. The franchise already invested a first-round pick in his replacement, Jordan Love, with the need to see him on the field before his rookie contract expires.

    Furthermore, Green Bay isn’t any closer today to a Super Bowl appearance than they were when Rodgers won back-to-back MVP trophies. With the post-June 1 trade, the Packers can see what it has in Love, add future draft assets and save $15.8 million toward this year’s salary-cap figure, per Over The Cap.

Lamar Jackson

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    BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Best Landing Spot: Baltimore Ravens

    Lamar Jackson should already be under a long-term contract with the Baltimore Ravens, but the organization scoffed at the guaranteed money the quarterback wanted after the Cleveland Browns signed Deshaun Watson to a fully guaranteed $230 million deal.

    Now, the two sides are in a standoff with the possibility of a trade creeping into the conversation. Baltimore should nix any idea of moving the 26-year-old franchise quarterback, though.

    Greg Roman’s decision to step down as offensive coordinator shouldn’t be viewed as negative for Jackson. Quite the opposite. An expanded playbook, with improved passing concepts, should appease the uniquely talented signal-caller. Jackson even thanked Football Gameplan’s Emory Hunt on Twitter when the latter pointed out that the quarterback played in a pro-style offense at the collegiate level.

    Whoever comes in as the next Ravens offensive coordinator will expand the team’s passing attack and make Jackson even more dangerous. Roman was great at devising a ground game, but his passing attack left much, much to be desired.

    Baltimore’s offense can finally take flight and help Jackson reach his full potential to warrant the type of contract he wants.

    Worst Landing Spot: Atlanta Falcons

    The Falcons made a run for Deshaun Watson last year, which ultimately led to the franchise’s breakup with its all-time leading passer, Matt Ryan.

    Neither Marcus Mariota nor Desmond Ridder showed enough to warrant further consideration as the starter. So, a play for Jackson may be perfect for owner Arthur Blank to sate his desire for another superstar quarterback.

    However, the move might actually be a step back for Jackson by playing in another run-dominated offense with a heavy emphasis on play-action.

    While the Falcons feature a few exciting young pieces at tight end (Kyle Pitts), wide receiver (Drake London) and running back (Tyler Allgeier), the goal isn’t more of the same from what we’ve already seen throughout Jackson’s career. It’s to play in an expanded offense, with more overall talent around Jackson than Atlanta’s roster currently features.

Derek Carr

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24: Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) looks on during the national football league game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 24, 2022 at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Best Landing Spot: New Orleans Saints

    The Saints need stability at quarterback. After 15 seasons with Drew Brees at the helm, the organization treaded water with the likes of Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill and Andy Dalton.

    A trade for Derek Carr can bring back a proven veteran option, who’s still in the prime of his career. A falling out between Carr and how Josh McDaniels wants to run the Raiders organization shouldn’t be viewed as a negative considering the latter’s track record. Whereas, Carr already has four 4,000-yard passing seasons under his belt with 3,500 more this past year.

    The Saints’ quarterbacks combined didn’t post 4,000 yards this year or 3,500 the previous season.

    Carr is very much a rhythm passer, who should fit in nicely with Pete Carmichael’s offensive scheme. Furthermore, the Saints have some special talent around the quarterback position in Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and some intriguing pieces along the offensive line.

    The biggest concern in potentially acquiring the current Raider is New Orleans’ lack draft capital, specifically a first-round pick, to possibly get a deal done. Even so, it’s the right path for the franchise to take.

    Worst Landing Spot: Houston Texans

    Two issues automatically arise with a potential pairing between Carr and the Texans.

    Yes, a previous working relationship between Texans general manager Nick Caserio and his Raiders counterpart, Dave Zeigler, could help expedite a deal. But Carr should nix the possibility since he has control over where he goes based on a no-trade clause in his current deal.

    However, Carr may not want to serve as a mentor, since the Texans should seriously consider a top quarterback prospect with this year’s second overall pick—whether the veteran is on the roster or not.

    Also, the shadow of his brother’s failed run with the organization, after being its first-ever draft pick, doesn’t help matters.

Geno Smith

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    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 14: Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks passes the ball during an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on January 14, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

    Michael Owens/Getty Images

    Best Landing Spot: Seattle Seahawks

    The Seahawks had faith in Geno Smith when no one else did.

    The previous failed second-round draft pick bounced between three different teams before settling in as Russell Wilson’s backup for three seasons. Once the organization finally decided to part ways with Wilson, the coaching staff gave the veteran signal-caller a chance to win the job—which he did and ran with it.

    The 32-year-old quarterback led the NFL with a 69.8 completion percentage and shattered previous career highs with 4,282 passing yards (a Seahawks single-season record) and 30 touchdowns. Smith took advantage of the weapons Seattle features at wide receiver in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and developed into one of the game’s best deep-ball throwers.

    Smith can take his recent turn of good fortune into free agency and try to maximize his value on the open market. The more likely outcome is that Seattle would place the franchise tag on their starter before Smith even gets a chance to talk with other teams. Instead, a new contract will be best for both parties.

    Besides, why would Smith want to go elsewhere when he has a good thing going and those who believed in him can now build around the position with a pair of first-round draft picks, including the fifth overall selection thanks to the aforementioned Wilson deal?

    Worst Landing Spot: Anywhere else

    A great story always has the right setting.

    Smith might be on the verge of becoming the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year. His next step shouldn’t be to go anywhere else. Let him continue to build upon the success he experienced this past season, when he made the Denver Broncos looks like fools because they invested so much in Wilson, while the Seahawks remained in the playoff picture with Smith leading the way.

Jimmy Garoppolo

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    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 27: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers passes the ball against the New Orleans Saints at Levi's Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Best Landing Spot: Las Vegas Raiders

    Whereas Tom Brady would be better served going elsewhere, Jimmy Garoppolo can benefit from the structure and familiarity provided by Josh McDaniels and the Las Vegas Raiders organization.

    As previously mentioned, McDaniels is searching for “culture fits” in the locker room after the 2022 campaign went awry. Garoppolo certainly understands “The Patriot Way,” even though he’d be joining the Raiders. After all, he spent his first four seasons in New England with McDaniels serving as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

    Granted, the idea of landing Garoppolo might not be as big of a swing for the Raiders as the owner Mark Davis prefers. But he’s a good insurance plan if the team doesn’t lure Brady or trade up for a top quarterback prospect.

    The 31-year-old signal-caller may not be a difference-maker, either, but he knows how to lead a winning squad and work within McDaniels’ scheme. Considering the tone that the head coach now wants to set, those two traits are important after deciding to move on from Derek Carr.

    Worst Landing Spot: Indianapolis Colts

    Other possibilities where Garoppolo could land include the Washington Commanders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers to replace Brady and the New York Jets, if they don’t make a play for Aaron Rodgers. While those aren’t exactly ideal fits, Garoppolo joining the Colts is the worst possible scenario for both parties.

    The Colts need to get off the quarterback merry-go-round after cycling through Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger and Nick Foles. The team is positioned with this year’s fourth overall pick to acquire a top quarterback prospect.

    Garoppolo doesn’t need to go anywhere where he’s simply the next guy in line. He’ll have options to be the starter, without immediate pressure from a young quarterback to take the job. That won’t happen in Indianapolis.

Trey Lance

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    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Best Landing Spot: Tennessee Titans

    While the San Francisco 49ers haven’t officially named Brock Purdy their starting quarterback for 2023, his recent performance points toward him taking over the spot on a permanent basis. As such, Trey Lance is no longer the future of the franchise.

    Lance was set to start this past fall but a season-ending ankle injury led to Garoppolo taking over the offense, and then Purdy filling in for the injured veteran. It’s not yet time to give up on Lance, at least for the rest of the league. He’s only 22 years old.

    Obviously, the Niners could slow-play the situation, as they did with Garoppolo. Lance can serve as the backup and possibly take over if needed. Or, the organization can go full-speed ahead with Purdy and flip Lance for a draft asset or two.

    If the latter occurs, the Tennessee Titans now have plenty of familiarity with his game. New general manager Ran Carthon served as San Francisco’s director of player personnel when the organization chose to trade up and select Lance with the 2021 third overall draft pick.

    Furthermore, Lance can spend a year behind Ryan Tannehill before taking over an offense that generally fits his skill set. Tannehill isn’t under contract beyond the upcoming season, and Lance is a superior prospect compared to Malik Willis.

    Worst Landing Spot: Washington Commanders

    Lance’s game remains largely unproven. He came into the league after starting only one full year with the North Dakota State Bison. In two professional seasons, he’s played in eight games.

    A year ago, the Commanders were looking to “take a big swing at a quarterback,” Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported. Ultimately, the team landed on Carson Wentz, which didn’t work out in anyone’s favor. The same approach could be forthcoming again this offseason.

    Washington doesn’t necessarily need another developmental option when it already has Sam Howell. The organization is looking at the fifth-round rookie as a potential starter for the 2023 campaign, according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones.

    The Commanders may add a veteran, but another young quarterback isn’t necessary.

Daniel Jones

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21:  New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) under center during the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants on January 21, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Best Landing Spot: New York Giants

    Brian Daboll is currently a finalist for NFL Coach of the Year because, in part, of how he handled quarterback Daniel Jones during his first year as the New York Giants head coach. The Giants declined Jones’ fifth-year rookie option nine months ago. Now, he once again looks like the face of the franchise.

    Jones provided a far more efficient and reliable level of play this past season, while also setting career-highs in completion percentage (67.2), passing yards (3,205), average yards per attempt (6.8), quarterback rating (92.5) and QBR (60.8).

    As a pending free agent, the Giants must decide whether to place the franchise tag on Jones or negotiate a long-term contract extension. Either way, his departure remains unlikely.

    “We’d like Daniel to be here,” general manager Joe Schoen admitted, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. “He said it [Sunday], there is a business side to it. But we feel like Daniel played well this season. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to. … We would like to have Daniel Jones back.”

    New York, meanwhile, can continue to build around Jones by improving the talent among the team’s skill positions and one of the league’s worst offensive lines.

    Worst Landing Spot: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Since the likelihood that Jones even gets a chance to join another team is slim, somewhat of a dart throw can be included regarding a terrible fit for him.

    But the idea of Jones joining the Buccaneers in an attempt to replace Tom Brady, among a poorly constructed offense and possibly playing in a vertical passing attack that favors the bold isn’t ideal for a player once considered a turnover machine.

    Again, the likelihood of Jones trading the Big Apple for the Sunshine State is miniscule at this point in time. Still, his possible acquisition might be what helps sink the ship in Tampa Bay as it transitions away from its recent Super Bowl-winning ways.

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