If you have not started with 2023 NFL Best Quarterback Room Part One, please do so for a brief explanation of how it originally came into existence and why it reads as it does. As always, I hope you enjoy…
Arizona Cardinals/Kyler Murray:
The Cards have the 3rd overall pick in the 2023 draft, but they only have five picks total. Last year Kyler Murray received a ridiculous contract for his next five years, so it’s obvious that Arizona is going to stick with this mistake long term.
The bit of good news is that Murray is due to make “only” $16M this year before making $51.9M next year. Arizona also has Colt McCoy under contract for one more year, so they don’t need a cheap QB option, which means they will be dealing down in the draft to accumulate more picks (and rightly so, because they can’t afford more early first round big contracts anyway) and dealing away more big contract players like D-Hop for additional draft equity. David Blough is QB3, just as he was last year.
UPDATE (April 30th): The Cardinals did in fact trade down from the 3rd pick in the draft and ended up accumulating nine picks total via various moves. They also drafted a QB from Houston in the 5th round (Clayton Tune), who they may use on the roster in order to trade away Colt McCoy later in the season. Tune is currently listed as QB3, and David Blough has slid down into the QB4 spot.
LA Rams/Mattew Stafford:
Stafford is only one year removed from being a Super Bowl Champ and is a $20M Cap Hit this year before costing the Rams $50M under the Cap in 2024 and 2025. Unless his injury prevents him from getting back to Super Bowl form, Stafford will be in L.A. long-term. If he can’t regain his Super Bowl form, look for the Rams to unload that contract to a QB-desperate team after this season. Of the three other QBs on the roster (Baker Mayfield, John Wolford, and Bryce Perkins – all are free agents), only Mayfield has a shot of staying, and that’s only if HE wants to.
If Baker thinks he could be a starting QB on another team (maybe the Raiders, 49ers, or the Jets?), then he might go. I believe that Mayfield will be appreciative of the opportunity with the Rams though, sign a decent backup QB contract and hope to start if Stafford can’t go. That being done, the Rams don’t look for a QB in the draft.
UPDATE (April 5th): Stafford is now the only QB on the Rams. Mayfield signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay in hopes of being their starter, and as of now, he probably will be. The Rams also released John Wolford, who was with the team for the last three years (FA), and released Bryce Perkins, who was only in the league for a year (FA). As for the Rams…you have a QB to draft! Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing Flacco on the Rams; kind of Warner-esk…?
UPDATE II (April 30th): The Rams have another Georgia Bulldog at QB behind Stafford, by drafting two-time National Champion, Stetson Bennett in the 4th round. They also waited until after the draft to sign undrafted rookie QB, Dresser Winn from UT Martin. Look for the Rams to add a veteran somewhere down the line here. You just can’t go into a season with a QB who didn’t finish last season due to injury and two rookies…
UPDATE III (May 4th): When I expected the Rams to sign a “veteran” quarterback, I was thinking of someone who has played more than eight games in the last three years, which is what they got with Mark…I mean, Brett…Rypien. The former Bronco has a 2:1 INT to TD ratio and 61.5% completion percentage in his career. Maybe they should have signed Mark instead.
Seattle Seahawks/Geno Smith:
The Comeback Player of the Year, Geno Smith, was recently re-signed to a three-year contract. This was a smart move by the Seahawks because they literally didn’t have a QB on the roster, and Geno comes at a fair price. The Seahawks also have a batch of nine picks in this year’s draft that includes two first rounders and two second rounders. They are going to DRAFT A NEW QB at some point in the middle rounds (3rd – 4th), because all they have is Geno, and let’s face it; he’s 32 years old, and has been in the league for 10 years with one solid season.
They will probably also pick up some crappy journeyman QB just to have another veteran on the roster (Teddy Bridgewater or Cooper Rush?).
UPDATE (April 14th): The Seahawks decided to re-sign their OTHER QB from last year, Drew Lock. It’s only a one-year deal for $4M, so you know they are still looking QB in the early to middle rounds.
UPDATE II (April 30th): The Seahawks did NOT draft a QB this year and went a little off script with their first few picks. Their biggest need was DL but didn’t draft a defensive lineman until their 6th and 7th picks in the 4th and 5th rounds. They were able to snag arguably the best CB and WR in the 1st round though. If they don’t do something soon, they will be left with nothing to choose from except for QBs that other teams don’t want.
UPDATE III (May 15th): You know, most teams grabbed an undrafted rookie QB within two days of the draft ending. Not the Seahawks though; they waited two weeks to sign East Carolina’s Holton Ahlers. Maybe it just took Seattle a while to find Ahlers, being on the other side of the country and all.
San Francisco 49ers/Trey Lance or Brock Purdy?:
Yes, Trey Lance or Brock Purdy; Not Jimmy Garoppolo. Trey is set to make $9.3M this year and then $10.8M next year. Jimmy will find a home in…another charming city…to be revealed later.
The 49ers need to know what they have in Trey, so it’s full steam ahead, even though he is coming off an injury. What about Brock Purdy? Well, Brock is locked in for the next three years, and that is a hella-nice cheap insurance policy after how he played before he got injured. No doubt that San Fran will grab a cheaper semi-veteran QB with some starting experience for a “what if” type scenario (Jacoby Brisset, Andy Dalton, or Baker Mayfield), but they will not be drafting a QB either.
UPDATE (April 5th): Jimmy G is gone; signing with the Raiders. Also gone are Brissett, Dalton, and Mayfield. Hey, you snooze, you lose, 49ers. So, San Fran signed five-year veteran…Sam Darnold? Lol I guess he’ll do.
UPDATE II (April 30th): There were a lot of rumors about the 49ers making a move for Lamar Jackson, but instead they made a move on…nobody as a QB. They didn’t draft one, and they have three on their roster, so I’m guessing they are content with two QBs coming off injury (one who may not even play this year; Purdy), and Sam Darnold, who has a Career Rating of 78.2.
UPDATE III (May 5th): The 49ers now have the best QB4 in the NFL by signing 30-year-old Brandon Allen.
Brandon spent the last three years with the Bengals backing up Burrow. He played in 15 games throwing 7 TDs and 4 INTs. Now do we have an actual starter in the San Fran Quarterback Room?
Best Quarterback Room?
If we’re just talking about the 2023 Season, AND we’re not looking at any other QBs besides the starters, Stafford is easily the hands-down best QB, and he has the resume to show it. HOWEVER, this is about the QB ROOM, not just the starter. In this case, I’m going with the 49ers. The fact that they have three POTENTIAL starting-caliber QBs, and I wouldn’t trust the QB2 on any of the other three NFC West teams (maybe McCoy…but still not really) makes this an easy call. If Brock Purdy can come back and be as effective as he was at the end of the 2022 season before getting hurt, he will be considered the best QB in the NFC West. The fact that he’s only 23-years-old means that we could have the next generational Tom Brady on our hands. I guess that would make Trey Lance the next Drew Bledsoe, and Jimmy G…well, Jimmy G. Stay tuned for more QB Room breakdowns, and thanks for the “read”.