The most important position in the NFL is quarterback, and there is no arguing there. Regardless of how good your skill players are, how dominant your defense is and how smart your coaching staff is, you will not see much success without a franchise quarterback. That's a quarterback who can put up numbers, perform in clutch time and be a leader to not just the offense but the entire team. You want your team's quarterback to be an X-factor. And this offseason, quite a few teams are going to have a new person under center. The NFL QB Carousel drama has already started, with Tom Brady announcing he is retiring for good ... this time ... we think. So what does that mean for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- and the Las Vegas Raiders, who were reportedly all in on trading for him?
Well, we looked at everything, and here is what we think will play out this offseason as the Quarterback Carousel begins to turn.
On The Move
Derek Carr: Las Vegas Raiders -> Tennessee Titans
Derek Carr's emotional farewell post made it certain that the Las Vegas Raiders and the four-time Pro Bowler would be going their separate ways. Carr will have to be traded, and a handful of teams are going to be calling for the veteran quarterback including the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts. However, the Tennessee Titans are in need of an upgrade at quarterback, and Carr would fit in perfectly on that team.
Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay Packers -> New York Jets
Speculation around whether Aaron Rodgers will retire is still ongoing; but it seems as if his time in Green Bay is done, as the team is leaning toward moving on from him. Rodgers has connections on several teams that could be interested; but with the New York Jets signing his former offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, to the same position, it seems that they will be all in to get the future Hall of Famer.
Jimmy Garoppolo: San Francisco 49ers -> Las Vegas Raiders
Many thought Jimmy Garoppolo would have left the San Francisco 49ers before the 2022 season; nevertheless, the 49ers did not trade him. With free agency pending, Garoppolo is among those veteran quarterbacks who will have five to six teams calling for him to take over their offense. And with Brady's recent retirement announcement, the Las Vegas Raiders could be scrambling to find Carr's replacement.
Ryan Tannehill: Tennessee Titans -> Atlanta Falcons
Ryan Tannehill has not been a terrible quarterback, but he has always been a game manager and is out of his prime. The Tennessee Titans could hold on to him; but if things go their way with either Carr or Rodgers, they will move on from Tannehill. The Atlanta Falcons have burned bridges with Marcus Mariota, and there are still a lot of questions surrounding Desmond Ridder. So bringing in a veteran quarterback to bridge the present and future would work excellently for the Falcons.
Carson Wentz: Washington Commanders -> Carolina Panthers
It appears that Carson Wentz will be on his fourth team in four years when the 2023 NFL season begins, and there is not a more perfect fit than going to the Carolina Panthers. They just hired Frank Reich, his former head coach in Indianapolis and offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, to be their head coach. Wentz threw for over 3,500 yards and had 27 touchdowns in his one season in Indy and had an MVP-like season in 2017 in Philly before tearing his ACL.
Sam Darnold: Carolina Panthers -> Indianapolis Colts
Sam Darnold has not made the most out of his opportunity in Carolina, and it is more than likely the Panthers will move on from the former first-round pick (by the Jets) this offseason. Darnold could serve as a bridge quarterback as he potentially leans into a backup role for the rest of his career, and one of the perfect destinations for that would be with the Indianapolis Colts.
Staying Put (For Now)
Lamar Jackson: Baltimore Ravens (Franchise Tag)
Lamar Jackson's time could be coming to an end in Baltimore, but the length of that time is unknown. Does he want out? Will the Ravens let him walk? Well, while several teams such as the Titans and Falcons would love to bring Jackson in, it is more than likely that he will get franchise tagged this offseason in hopes they can agree to a long-term deal.
Baker Mayfield: Los Angeles Rams
Baker Mayfield got screwed over by the Cleveland Browns, and his time in Carolina with the Panthers was just a pit stop. Mayfield showed signs that he still has the moxie and talent to be QB1 for an NFL team. But the Los Angeles Rams have Matthew Stafford, and they are not ready to move on. It would be a great decision for Mayfield to work alongside Stafford and coach Sean McVay until it is his time to shine.
Daniel Jones: New York Giants (Extension)
Daniel Jones had a career year in a contract year, and head coach Brian Daboll had a lot to do with that. The New York Giants made the playoffs and won a game in the playoffs, and they do not have their usual luxury of picking in the top five or top 10 of the draft (and that's not a dig, by the way). Jones will more than likely return to New York on a long-term deal.
Geno Smith: Seattle Seahawks (Re-signs)
Geno Smith had such a good season that it resurrected his career. And it looks as if he has found his long-term home, as he will stay in Seattle and see if he can get the Seahawks back to the playoffs in year two.
Teams to Keep an Eye On
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With Brady retiring, expect the Buccaneers to sign a veteran quarterback this offseason.
Houston Texans: The Texans will draft a quarterback but could bring in a veteran to be a mentor in the quarterback room.
Green Bay Packers: If the Packers and Rodgers part ways, Green Bay will most likely look to Jordan Love to take over -- but do not be surprised if they bring in someone for competition.
Indianapolis Colts: Unless they land Carr or Rodgers, the Colts will draft a quarterback.
MORE: A Decade After Peyton Left Indy, the Colts are Still Looking for His Replacement
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