The NFL’s five most intriguing quarterback conversations
- Updated: May 29, 2012
I won’t necessarily call them “controversies.” It’s too early. They’re more like “conversations.” The quarterback position in the NFL is one of the most coveted in all of professional sports. It’s said the signal callers get too much of the credit when teams are riding high, and too much of the blame when things head south. So, it’s no wonder that who’s under center is a hotbed for discussion even now. And there’s plenty to talk about.
Sure, I’m just jazzed to see what Peyton can do in a Broncos uniform. It will be exciting to see Luck and RGIII take to the field as the new hopes of their respective franchises. But, aside from those areas of intrigue, the real interesting conversations are happening where the designation as #1 on the depth chart is still sincerely unclear (and, no, that doesn’t include New York, you conspiracy theorists). Here’s where the discussion gets juiciest.
The Dolphins will have the Hard Knocks crew following them around come August. It makes perfect sense for an owner whose fan base is eroding and generally disillusioned. They were clamoring for Peyton Manning in Dolphin Country. Instead, they got Ryan Tannehill. No doubt the HBO cameras will find their way to the rookie first round pick, not to mention that wife of his who’s become somewhat of an Internet fave already. The question is whether the Texas A&M product was even worthy of such a lofty selection, yet alone any sort of franchise quarterback label and/or expectations. Matt Moore and David Garrard might not be the sexiest names in the business, but they’ll be sure to make this QB storyline an interesting one to watch develop. Moore played well for a solid stretch during the back-end of 2011 and Garrard most certainly has a chip after being castoff by the Jags following what’s been an above average career. Let the battle commence.
It sucks, because I like Colt McCoy. I just feel like he’s not long for this world. And by “this world,” I mean Cleveland. You don’t draft a 28-year old quarterback in the first round of the draft, if you’ve got confidence in the second-rounder you selected two years earlier. Sorry, I’ve heard the arguments. They’re not logical. I do think Colt will put up a fight. But, make no mistake, it will be an ongoing scrap in Brownietown this summer.
Did we mention that logic sometimes goes out the window when it comes to quarterback conversations? Well, logic should dictate that when you sign a free agent QB to a five-year deal worth potentially $63.5 million and $21 million guaranteed…let’s just say you’re hoping not to be answering questions about your starter that very next summer. Sh*t happens. Kevin Kolb stunk in Arizona and was hurt last season. John Skelton’s numbers were nothing to write home about either. The big difference was on the only numbers that often matter. The Fordham product drafted in the fifth round in 2010 led the Cards to a 5-2 mark during his time at the helm. That’s good enough to make for a serious conversation heading into camp in 2012. Whuddathunkit?
Speaking of $60M-plus free agents. How ’bout Matt-g-damn-Cassell. Cassell parlayed his brief stint with success in New England into big dollars. An All-Pro season came in Kansas City, but he’s coming off an injury and has failed to capture the hearts and minds of the Arrowhead faithful in recent action. The Chiefs averaged 13.2 PPG in 2011, good for 31st in the league. I’m not ready to say Ricky Stanzi and Brady Quinn are going to make things interesting. But I’m not saying they’re not either. It sure feels like now or never time for Cassel.
Things are perhaps the most compelling in the Pacific Northwest. We were never sold on Tarvaris Jackson as an NFL starter of any repute. Nor are we ready to anoint Matt Flynn a bonafide anything. Pete Carroll gives the whole plot a tasty top layer, as he’s nothing if not impetuous, having already thrown rookie Russell Wilson’s name right smack in the middle of the mix. Your guess is as good as mine – or probably anyone’s – as to who will start the season under center for the Seahawks.