NFL Quarterback Landscape: Team-by-Team

A Look At Each NFL Team's QB Situation, Brett Favre of Course Included

5/13/09 in NFL   |   Raider_Dave   |   47 respect

With Brett Favre once again being the storyline of the offseason, as well as evident flirtations between himself and the Minnesota Vikings, it brings up an interesting topic.  The thought is that if he were to go to Minnesota, he would instantly upgrade their weakest and most important position by giving them a solid veteran with a proven track record. 

With franchise QB's at a premium, let us take a look around the league to see just how many of them are out there, and which teams will trot out onto the field every Sunday in spite of who goes under Center.



AFC West

Denver Broncos: The Jay Cutler soap opera has left them with a hole at the position with the Pro-Bowl QB crying and whining his way to Chicago.  But Josh McDaniels at least seems to be high on Kyle Orton on the surface, which should help Orton’s confidence a bit.  However, neither Orton nor backup Chris Simms will scare any opponents this season.

Kansas City Chiefs:  A blockbuster trade for a guy who has started 15 games in the last 8 years seems like a risky move, but Scott Pioli knows what he is doing and Cassell is a natural leader with a good background.  The trade of Tony Gonzalez will hurt Kansas City’s passing game, but at least they have a solid game manager in Cassell, but if he goes down, the Chiefs are in BIG trouble.

Oakland Raiders: Entering his second season as a full-time starter, JaMarcus Russell needs to validate Al Davis’ decision to make him the #1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.  He showed some promise in Tom Cable’s run-heavy offense at the end of last season, but consistency and decision-making are the biggest question marks with his skill set.  Journeyman veteran Jeff Garcia has shown to be a great mentor so far in Oakland, and his ability to push Russell should show the league what Oakland really has at the QB position.

San Diego Chargers:  Phillip Rivers has grown into the Quarterback position in San Diego with little obstacles, and he is clearly the cream of the crop in terms of AFC West QB’s.  With key offensive pieces Gates and Tomlinson fading a bit, it will be up to Rivers to lead this offense for many years to come.  He will be tested more now than ever, but he looks to be up to the task.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: With Kurt Warner enjoying yet another career resurgence in a different uniform, the Cardinals are in a “win now” situation coming off the heels of a very surprising Super Bowl appearance.  With Warner likely to retire within the next year or two, can Matt Leinart buckle down and show he can lead this team into the future?  It hasn’t looked overly promising now, but Leinart will have some very nice offensive weapons at his disposal if and when he is able to take the reins.

San Francisco 49ers: Neither QB in the “open competition” has been enthusiastically endorsed by the organization, which is a bad sign for them.  Shaun Hill will likely be the starter come Week 1, but if he struggles, then Alex Smith will likely receive his final shot both with the organization, and with the league.  Damon Huard is just there to hold a clipboard and teach the other guys what he can, but the QB position is a big question mark going forward for this organization.

Seattle Seahawks: Surprisingly confident in their QB position on draft day, it is of note that Seattle didn’t take Sanchez as widely believed.  Coming off numerous nagging back injuries, Hasselbeck might not have too much left in him, and Seneca Wallace is not a long-term answer.  New coach Jim Mora has his work cut out for him, and may be hoping for one of Bradford/Tebow/McCoy to be available come next year’s draft.

St. Louis Rams: With a new coaching regime and the plummeting stock of Marc Bulger, it’s a wonder the team didn’t attempt to do more to improve the position.  With concussions and injuries an issue for Bulger in recent years, newly-signed backup Kyle Boller may get to do a lot more playing and a lot less clipboard holding, which isn’t a very promising sign.  Being in the same position as Seattle at the position, it will be interesting to see how new coach Steve Spagnuolo addresses the position after this season.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills:  The Bills made arguably the most surprising move of the offseason, by snatching up diva castoff WR Terrell Owens, and giving QB Trent Edwards an interesting new target.  However, if things go sour up in Buffalo, expect some more fireworks from Owens, and his not-so-subtle calls for backup Ryan Fitzpatrick to start up.  Should be an interesting year in Buffalo, but Edwards is a smart kid with plenty of offensive firepower to work with. 

Miami Dolphins:  Chad Pennington had a storybook resurgence in 2008-2009, but only has a year left on his current contract and doesn’t appear to fit-in with the Dolphins’ plans after this season.  Expect Chad Henne to be worked into the lineup as the season progresses, but if he doesn’t show promise, the Dolphins will be in the market for a franchise-type QB a year from now.

New England Patriots: Not even a question until last season, but when healthy, Tom Brady is arguably the best QB on the league’s best team.  The Patriots must feel very confident in his recovery from major knee surgery to ship Matt Cassell to Kansas City, and with the offensive weapons Brady has to work with, it should be a fairly easy transition back into the game.  With seldom-used backups Kevin O’Connell and Matt Gutierrez the only other options on the roster, the Patriots seem to be their usual confident selves.  And with a (hopefully) healthy Tom Brady under center, they have every right to be.

New York Jets: A high/risk high reward move to help make the team and the fans forget about the failed Brett Favre experiment from a year ago, the Jets made a big splash by trading up in the draft to take Mark Sanchez.  He has had some very solid mini-camp practices and has a good head on his shoulders, but how will he take the pressure of the New York media and the fans while being thrown into the fire right away?  Kellen Clemens thinks he’s the man, but with GM Mike Tannenbaum’s job on the line, Sanchez will have his work cut out for him.

 

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: The casual fan would think that with T.O. gone, Tony Romo will finally be able to play stress and worry-free.  But losing the team’s biggest playmaker is going to hurt the team, there’s no doubt about that.  Everyone knows TE Jason Whitten can make plays, but can Roy Williams step in and be a legitimate #1 WR for these Cowboys?  With the most pressure in the league on his shoulders, another subpar season and no playoffs in Dallas can be Romo’s swan song wearing the Star.  Otherwise, the team will have to rely on journeyman veteran Jon Kitna to pick this team up, and that’s rarely a good sign.

New York Giants:  Eli Manning has really only put together one half of a truly productive NFL regular season, and won a Super Bowl.  His biggest weapon shot himself off of the team and maybe out of the league, so Eli will really have his newly found leadership skills put to the test with a flock of young new Wide Receivers.  And that O-line better make sure he stays upright, because backup David Carr surely won’t.

Philadelphia Eagles:  The drama has lived in Philly as long as Donovan has been their QB.  A connection?  Most definitely.  With everything on the line for the best QB to not have a Super Bowl ring, McNabb and Andy Reid have one last shot at it all this season, otherwise it will be time to take the training wheels off of Kevin Kolb.

Washington Redskins:  With Jason Campbell being brought up just as often as Jay Cutler has this offseason, it will be a wonder if Campbell can and will want to produce in Washington after the team failed to “upgrade” the position.  One slip-up and it could be Todd Collins time.  Or Colt Brennan Time.  Or Chase Daniel time.  See where the problem is?

Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

5/13/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

kwheels wrote:
tha funniest situation has got to be san fran...why have they not tried any other options than those two?

Well, they did draft Nate Davis... and Shaun Hill has played well when he's had a chance.

5/13/09   |   soldierguy38

Chief_aka_James wrote:
I really liked this blog, but would have probably loved it without the picture and headline including that #4 guy..

As far as my favorite team goes, to say that if Cassel goes down, they are in "BIG" trouble -- I understand he didn't do that great against Oakland in the two games you probably watched him, but Tyler Thigpen proved to be a pretty damn good starting QB in the NFL last season...I don't see that much of a drop in QB play between Cassel and Thigpen.

I would have to agree, This is also my favorite team and Tyler Thigpen can carry them if need be. His stats from last year are very similar to cassel but he has a lot less sacks and more rushing yards. Should be an interesting year in Kansas City, some wildcat maybe? Dolphins of '08? who know, just have to wait until september and see. GO CHIEFS!!!

5/13/09   |   snbslugger

PHILLYFAN35 wrote:
Does anybody realize that Graham Harrell the QB form Texas Tech is still out there I believe he deserves a shot on a team like Minnesota, San Fransisco, or Indy. For all the pundits who may want to argue I don't believe in a system QB your either a QB or not.

Harrell is in rookie camp with the Browns right now, but has not signed.  The 49ers drafted Nate Davis from Ball State in the 5th round, who is similar in size, but more mobile and he has a stronger arm than Harrell.  I agree he deserves a shot somewhere, but it won't be in SF.

5/13/09   |   Raider_Dave   |   47 respect

PHILLYFAN35 wrote:

I know Sorgi is just that clipboard holder Peyton ain't going to be around forever but I do agree he should be somewhere. Minnesota could use someone who verywell could start those qb's they have right now why not go there and show them.

Minnesota has about as many QB's as Tampa Bay.  While they don't really have a bona fide #1, they don't need Harrell either  Harrell needs to try to latch on with a team who runs an offense that will accurately show off his skills.  He has the prototypical size and accuracy of an NFL QB, and San Francisco, San Diego, and maybe even Green Bay run the offenses and could have an opening for a guy like Harrell.  Who knows though, seems like his agent would be able to do the leg work and figure that stuff out for him.

5/13/09   |   PHILLYFAN35   |   3 respect

Raider_Dave wrote:
Jim Sorgi is the clipboard holder in Indy, and will be for the next 7-8 years.  While I think Harrell very much deserves a shot to catch on somewhere, he has yet to prove he is deserving early in mini-camps.

I know Sorgi is just that clipboard holder Peyton ain't going to be around forever but I do agree he should be somewhere. Minnesota could use someone who verywell could start those qb's they have right now why not go there and show them.

5/13/09   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

PHILLYFAN35 wrote:
Does anybody realize that Graham Harrell the QB form Texas Tech is still out there I believe he deserves a shot on a team like Minnesota, San Fransisco, or Indy. For all the pundits who may want to argue I don't believe in a system QB your either a QB or not.

What exactly would be the point of adding a 5th QB to already young/unproven guys in Sage, T-Jax, John David Booty, and the 4th guy I can't even think of right now because of arguing Boston sports with someone.. 

5/13/09   |   Raider_Dave   |   47 respect

PHILLYFAN35 wrote:
Does anybody realize that Graham Harrell the QB form Texas Tech is still out there I believe he deserves a shot on a team like Minnesota, San Fransisco, or Indy. For all the pundits who may want to argue I don't believe in a system QB your either a QB or not.

Jim Sorgi is the clipboard holder in Indy, and will be for the next 7-8 years.  While I think Harrell very much deserves a shot to catch on somewhere, he has yet to prove he is deserving early in mini-camps.

5/13/09   |   PHILLYFAN35   |   3 respect

Does anybody realize that Graham Harrell the QB form Texas Tech is still out there I believe he deserves a shot on a team like Minnesota, San Fransisco, or Indy. For all the pundits who may want to argue I don't believe in a system QB your either a QB or not.

5/13/09   |   Raider_Dave   |   47 respect

Chief_aka_James wrote:
Well isn't that special.. 

5/13/09   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

BearcatFan wrote:
Ha, the Bengals beat KC last year with Pigpen at the helm.  It was pretty awesome. The only game I went to last year.

Well isn't that special.. 

5/13/09   |   BearcatFan   |   6 respect

Chief_aka_James wrote:
I really liked this blog, but would have probably loved it without the picture and headline including that #4 guy..

As far as my favorite team goes, to say that if Cassel goes down, they are in "BIG" trouble -- I understand he didn't do that great against Oakland in the two games you probably watched him, but Tyler Thigpen proved to be a pretty damn good starting QB in the NFL last season...I don't see that much of a drop in QB play between Cassel and Thigpen.

Ha, the Bengals beat KC last year with Pigpen at the helm.  It was pretty awesome. The only game I went to last year.

5/13/09   |   Raider_Dave   |   47 respect

snbslugger wrote:
Good stuff Dave.  I still think the Niners should have brought back Garcia.  Shaun Hill will be better than you think.  Smith won't touch the ball this regular season unless Hill goes down with an injury or the Niners are up by 40 in the final 2 minutes.

I hope Nate Davis does well in the NFL.  He can run and has a huge arm.

Thank you sir.  I really didn't understand why the Niners didn't take a look at Garcia either.  He spent some very good days in the red and gold, and despite T.O. seemed like he had an amicable relationship withe the organization.  I think with Garcia at the helm, the Niners would definitely win the weak NFC West division. 

Shaun Hill is no slouch, but it's just difficult to rely on a QB who has complained and reportedly suffered from having a "dead arm."  I like Hill's gutsy style of play though, and the team seems to rally around him a bit.  Too bad for Alex Smith that he had to play under a different O-Coordinator every season, because he really showed promise under Norv Turner.  Really makes you wonder if guys like David Carr, Joey Harrington, and Alex Smith would prosper if put into better, more consistent situations.

5/13/09   |   Raider_Dave   |   47 respect

Chief_aka_James wrote:
I really liked this blog, but would have probably loved it without the picture and headline including that #4 guy..

As far as my favorite team goes, to say that if Cassel goes down, they are in "BIG" trouble -- I understand he didn't do that great against Oakland in the two games you probably watched him, but Tyler Thigpen proved to be a pretty damn good starting QB in the NFL last season...I don't see that much of a drop in QB play between Cassel and Thigpen.

Thigpen can do some different things, but isn't really a prototypical NFL QB.  He seems to be more fit for a Wildcat style of offense.  While I wouldn't mind seeing him out there in various packages, it's Cassell's team now.  But Thigpen was a nice little find by the Chiefs a year ago, and he is a very versatile player.  But without Tony Gonzalez to throw to last season, it would likely be a much different story.

5/13/09   |   snbslugger

(Edited by snbslugger)

Good stuff Dave.  I still think the Niners should have brought back Garcia.  Shaun Hill will be better than you think.  Smith won't touch the ball this regular season unless Hill goes down with an injury or the Niners are up by 40 in the final 2 minutes.

I hope Nate Davis does well in the NFL.  He can run and has a huge arm.

5/13/09   |   dahizzle   |   6 respect

A world where no one talks about Brett Favre playing again.  That is the world that I would want to live in someday.

5/13/09   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

partner999 wrote:
We did this a couple of weeks ago!

no advertising please :)

5/13/09   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

I'm fine with the Steelers' QB situation, and they're one team that certainly doesn't have any questions surrounding their quarterbacks.  Roethlisberger's only problem, as you mentioned, is having an offensive line that can block for him, but he is very mobile for a QB his size and very hard to bring down.  Batch, when healthy (which is the key term), is a very solid QB, he's just injury prone.  Dennis Dixon could turn out to be a steal.  The Steelers took a chance on him and it would be interesting to see how well he can do.

5/13/09   |   partner999

(Edited by kramer)

We did this a couple of weeks ago!

5/13/09   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

Great write up Dave! One correction though: Can we really trust Joey Harrington to hold on to the clipboard, or will he fumble that as well?

5/13/09   |   kwheels

Chief_aka_James wrote:
I really liked this blog, but would have probably loved it without the picture and headline including that #4 guy..

As far as my favorite team goes, to say that if Cassel goes down, they are in "BIG" trouble -- I understand he didn't do that great against Oakland in the two games you probably watched him, but Tyler Thigpen proved to be a pretty damn good starting QB in the NFL last season...I don't see that much of a drop in QB play between Cassel and Thigpen.

i thought that too,but with me bein a cheifs fan i decided to lay back on that one

5/13/09   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

I really liked this blog, but would have probably loved it without the picture and headline including that #4 guy..

As far as my favorite team goes, to say that if Cassel goes down, they are in "BIG" trouble -- I understand he didn't do that great against Oakland in the two games you probably watched him, but Tyler Thigpen proved to be a pretty damn good starting QB in the NFL last season...I don't see that much of a drop in QB play between Cassel and Thigpen.

5/13/09   |   kwheels

that reminds me why havent tha niners thought about favre....oh,wutever who cares..im done talkin about favre

5/13/09   |   dahizzle   |   6 respect

You gotta love it.  Another NFL column and the words Brett Favre is etched into it.

5/13/09   |   kwheels

tha funniest situation has got to be san fran...why have they not tried any other options than those two?