I’m done counting out Bortles, Foles and Keenum. I’ve spent this year’s playoffs hoping to get the best competition possible against the Patriots only to see Cam Newton and Alex Smith drop out in the Wild Card and Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees fall in the Divisional. Many now would predict that Tom Brady has an easy route to his 6th ring, ending predictably with another New England win and more of the same off season coverage we have become so accustom too.
I’m going to argue that it is not over, despite the remaining quarterback being historically 3 of the most unsexy prospects we have seen in the Championship round since Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow, what this could be is the new blueprint for roster building in the NFL.
Year after year we see teams in the playoffs with quarterbacks on their first contract such as Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Joe Flacco, then the team needs to pay them big money and finds it incredibly hard to build a competitive team with the money that is left over.
This may explain what the Cleveland Browns are trying to do, what was the point in wasting the first few years of a Carson Wentz or DeShawn Watson, if they are unable to put a good roster around them. There are exceptions, of course there are, teams like the Patriots, Saints, Steelers and Packers are incredibly well run teams who know exactly what it takes to build a roster under a salary cap.
Would I be an advocate for the Seahawks trading Wilson and drafting Rosen? No way, or the Lions swapping Matthew Stafford for Sam Darnold? Absolutely not. In trying to create a competitive roster the Browns have proven one thing for sure – that it is dammed hard to find a good quarterback.
This all goes to show that the Jags, Eagles and Vikings have been incredibly lucky, the Jags by sticking with their guy who had all but been written off with bad mechanics before the season, and the Eagles and Viking with their journeyman back-ups now facing off in the ‘Jeff Fisher Bowl’ so described because they were both reserves on his Rams teams. How ironic then that their shirt numbers are 7 and 9!
The difference for the Rams without Keenum or Foles has undoubtedly been switching Jeff Fisher for Sean McVey, and their defensive coach, Keenum, Foles and Bortles are on very well coached teams, and the successful teams I mentioned with highly paid quarterbacks are all very well coached. Other highly paid quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr are this off season going through coaching changes. Coaching does not fall under the salary cap, which goes to show if you make the right choices at the top, then anything is possible.