Saturday, January 22

Wilson to the Browns? Rodgers in Denver? A look at the quarterback’s merry-go-round | NFL

LLast year, the player empowerment movement that has spread across all sports finally made its way to the group. The NFL quarterbacks began to show their power. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, and Deshaun Watson suggested (or demanded) trades; all four were stars at the peak of their powers.

It will be very similar this summer. Kirk Cousins ​​and Matt Ryan will join Rodgers, Wilson and Watson in the business discussions, and the ripple effect of any move will be felt throughout the league.

Some decisions have already been reported. The Giants intend to mount the Joe Judge-Daniel Jones partnership over the waterfall. The Dolphins have been the most active team in the search for Watson. If that plan comes to nothing, they will continue to build around Tua Tagovailoa. The Hawks should stick with Ryan, instead of launching into a rebuilding of your own.

That leaves seven (obviously) teams in need of quarterbacks heading into the offseason: the Broncos, Browns, Saints, Panthers, Steelers, Lions and Saints.

So let’s play pin the trade on the quarterback – a quick note that these are fun trades that we think should happen instead of the ones we think. will be occur.

Aaron Rodgers to the Denver Broncos

Who knows what Aaron Rodgers will do? He could stay with the Packers. It could walk away from the game entirely. Most likely, he’ll get a trade outside of Green Bay.

Let’s take a step back to understand exactly how crazy that is. Rodgers is on track to win back-to-back MVPs. He’s playing the best football of his career, balancing his tap dancing style with Matt LaFleur’s carefully choreographed system. And yet there is a possibility that he will not play the sport next season. And there’s an even greater chance that if he does play, it won’t be in Green Bay. And this is because the Packers front office selected Jordan Love in 2020 without consulting their Hall of Famer and refused to allow more information on the roster (this despite the Packers front office put together an excellent roster and coaching staff around Rodgers). It has a smell of Yoko sitting on the amp about it.

The Broncos have the kind of supporting cast that could convince Rodgers to ditch the Packers, particularly if Green Bay falls short in the playoffs again. Plus, the Broncos will likely have a head coach vacancy, allowing Rodgers to pick his own man in Colorado.

Denver also has the assets to further enhance its roster. They have five picks in the first three rounds and have a lot of cap room. Could Denver make a double deal to pull Davante Adams, the game’s best receiver, away from Green Bay as well? It is plausible.

Russell Wilson to the Cleveland Browns

The Russell Wilson-Pete Carroll dynamic has reached a breaking point. One of them will be leaving this offseason. Maybe both. One scenario remains where the Seahawks choose Wilson over Carroll, only for the quarterback to say he wants out anyway.

If Wilson opts to push for a trade, there is no better fit than the Browns. Cleveland can mimic the style of offense that made Wilson successful early in his career, while releasing the handbrake just enough to allow Russ to, yes, cook.

Add to that, the Browns are loaded. Injuries and Covid issues have sapped the roster throughout this season, but there is star-level talent at every position throughout the roster and they have as much depth as any team in the league, all under expensive contract. to the next season.

Russell Wilson 2.0 – he of his last 25 departures – has become a type of player similar to Baker Mayfield: he is risk averse and lacks the dynamism of his early years. But he’s also ruthlessly efficient, someone who can execute the same style of run-focused offense, but can do it at a higher level and with more advantages outside the structure. When it comes to winning, Wilson to the Browns makes the most sense for both sides.

The Rams’ deal to send two first-round draft picks, one third-round pick and Jared Goff to the Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford will likely send the benchmark for any future quarterback deals with potential MVP candidates. . The Browns could look to win back some value by moving Baker Mayfield elsewhere, or including him in the deal with Seattle to cut some draft picks off the overall price. And speaking of Mayfield …

Baker Mayfield to the New Orleans Saints

Baker Mayfield's Browns missed the playoffs this season after a disappointing campaign
Baker Mayfield’s Browns missed the playoffs this season after a disappointing season. Photograph: Benny Sieu / USA Today Sports

There is a world in which the Browns and Mayfield find a compromise. We have yet to see a young quarterback play a fifth year on his rookie ladder contract since the NFL moved to its new contract system.

Mayfield could be the first. The injuries spanned Mayfield’s probationary year, and there’s little to no chance Cleveland will choose to give him a long-term extension. However, if the Browns get an upgrade, Mayfield will be out.

In that scenario, it will be fascinating to see what your market is like. Its impressive 2020 season is fresh enough in memory that someone They will be convinced to negotiate for Mayfield, perhaps with an affordable long-term contract tied to the deal.

The saints make sense. Sean Payton has squeezed all the juice out of the Saints’ loaded talent roster this season. One of the league’s best rosters has been crippled by brutal quarterback play. Mayfield may not be the long-term answer, but he would represent an improvement over Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston at this stage in their careers.

Kirk Cousins ​​to the Carolina Panthers

Cousins ​​will take into account (look away) $ 45 million on Vikings books next season. Forty five! With just one year left on his free agent contract, there is little leeway for the Vikings to manipulate the cap, unless, of course, they commit to the kind of long-term contract that would make Minnesota two-thirds of the way. faint. .

This year represented the final journey of the Mike Zimmer-Kirk Cousins ​​axis. With the duo failing to make the playoffs, the Vikings are looking toward a full reset. If Minnesota can trade Cousins ​​early in the offseason, they’ll cut their flashy salary cap hit to $ 10 million.

Enter the Panthers. Carolina’s owner, David Tepper, is infamously impatient. Carolina made changes to every available great quarterback last season. They made a move for Stafford before the Rams screwed up their offer. They asked about Wilson before he decided to return to Seattle. They were the favorites in a deal with Watson before the sexual assault allegations took him off the market.

Not to be discouraged, Carolina made a deal for Sam Darnold. UPS.

That was a failure. Now, they are back on the merry-go-round, ready and willing to spend whatever draft capital it takes to land a high-level opener. Rodgers and Wilson will top the list. Beyond those two, Cousins ​​seems like the best option. Cousins ​​playing off a one-year contract to show if it can be something more than Kirk Cousins ​​would make sense for all parties.

Teddy Bridgewater to the Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s been an old year at Bridgewater. Little to get excited about; little to panic about. His lack of playmaking ability means he can never be the type of quarterback who elevates a good roster to an excellent one.

Still: Teams will be lining up for the Bridgewater brand of ball that won’t fire me, most likely one that will also dip into the draft for a young quarterback prospect.

The Steelers were a perfect fit. Pittsburgh will be looking for a long-term replacement for Ben Roethlisberger in the draft. But they also have the defense to win now, as long as they can find a quarterback who can get some of the team’s boring offense.

The Steelers will go big. Mike Tomlin’s charm, established infrastructure and world-class defense may be enough to get Rodgers or Wilson trying to make their way to Pittsburgh. But the AFC North is a bloodbath, and the Steelers offensive pieces, as they are currently built, before free agency and the draft, don’t exactly inspire a fire in the loins of football.

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