There is absolutely nothing that sends the NFL into a frenzy more than when a draft class is upcoming with a standout quarterback. It is pure unadulterated chaos. Denver have pulled the trigger on Joe Flacco – presumably restructuring his current deal, in exchange for little more than a nominal price, just so Baltimore can clear his contract off their wage bill.
Let me preface this by saying that Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl. Now let me finish by saying that it means absolutely nothing. He beat Colin Kaepernick in that Super Bowl, and by league recognition, that apparently means nothing. Flacco has been replaced in Baltimore by a quarterback who cannot throw the ball. He’s made a career out of overthrows that get called for pass interference, with him finishing the drives with simple completions and winning games by leaning on the defence.
Is John Elway the worst general manager in the NFL right now? Maybe.
All of this, of course, is just a reaction to the fact that the most-touted quarterback prospect in the NFL is about five-foot-ten. And while teams are moving away from metrics, the average offensive lineman in the NFL is about six inches taller than him. For context – Baker Mayfield looks tiny under centre, and he’s three inches taller than Oklahoma product Kyler Murray.
He turned down a baseball offer from the Oakland As to pursue a career in football, and honestly – anyone that size will face significantly more challenges than someone with superior football dimensions.
So, who else is likely to bite the bullet and overreact?
Jacksonville look prime suspects and they’re probably going to trade Philadelphia for Nick Foles, assuming that Foles is franchised tagged by the organisation in the first place.
If I’m in Philly though, I’m trading Carson Wentz for more draft capital and allowing the man who brought Super Bowl success and playoff overachievement to my football team stay. Two knee injuries in back-to-back seasons is concerning and many will jump at the idea of taking the younger quarterback.
It won’t happen, but they could land a second-round pick for Foles regardless of Wentz staying put. We’re very much on the cusp of madness, with teams understanding the NFL is about ‘windows’ and if you’re in a window to win, you have to roll the dice.
Some teams are simply a quarterback short of landing a Super Bowl, so perennial backups will be overpaid in the false hope of them delivering a championship. It never works out like that, but a ten-year roster build can make people do funny things.
Another name to watch is Ryan Tannehill, who is set to leave Miami after a tenure that went on far, far too long.
While Marcus Mariota is still a run-of-the-mill signal caller and serviceable, Tannehill has more experience, is a scheme-fit and a breath of fresh air in a Tennessee Titans dressing room that has enough talent to get back in the playoffs, and who are in a division that doesn’t feature New England.
None of these quarterback moves are justified nor fairly priced, but when the best quarterbacks are a season away from your grasp, marketing departments panic.
Someone, somewhere, thinks Flacco jerseys will sell well in Denver.
The NFL never ceases to amaze me.