NFL 2021 Offseason QB Carousel Predictions & Super Bowl 55 Takeaways
By Brandon Caputo & Miklos McMaster
@Caputz13 & @Miklos_McMaster
Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports
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Super Bowl 55 Takeaways
By Miklos McMaster
Photo Credit: @TBTimes_Bulls
Super Bowl Spreads
Super Bowl Over/Under's
A "loaded" Brady after the Super Bowl celebration where he can't even stand on his own still looked better than the hosts
1-3 combined Super Bowl picks from last week, claiming his 7th ring in a 31-9 overwhelmingly under 56.0 projected point total.
Nonetheless, 43-year old TB12 made us all look silly with his play on the field before ending up like a 20-year old college kid who had way too much to drink after his 1st school party.
As Brandon stated before, the playoffs started with "the fix was in" for Brady to run the table as a Wildcard team to get to the Super Bowl in Tampa (being the 1st team to play in a home Super bowl), but even he did not believe that anyone could stop this Kansas City team after taking down the highflying Buffalo Bills, who were viewed by many as their biggest threat.
Even he couldn't predict the final outcome of what we got for Super Bowl 55, as it was a clinic put on by the Bucs & their defensive gameplan for the KC offense worked flawlessly, with a little help from the "stripes/zebra's" calling 11 penalties for 120 yards against the Chiefs in the Bucs favour of course....
1. Defense Wins Championships
It may be a cliche, but it was proven again in Super Bowl 55: "defense does win championships."
Even in this era of over-the-top offenses ruling the league. The Buccaneers took full advantage of the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs being undermanned on the offensive line and dominated them.
We all knew Tom Brady was going to get the MVP award but if it was possible to give it to a group, the Tampa Bay defense deserved the Super Bowl MVP. They not only made it next to impossible for the Chiefs to move the ball, they were the first unit in Patrick Mahomes’ NFL career to prevent him and the rest of the Kansas City offense from scoring a single touchdown in the entire game. That fact alone is bordering on the unbelievable.
Photo Credit: skysports.com
The Bucs defense kept Mahomes on the move throughout the game with the result that he was the most pressured/hurried quarterback in the history of the Super Bowl. They forced errors, they caused turnovers, and at the end of the day they thoroughly beat the defending champs. Full credit is due to Defensive Co-ordinator Todd Bowles and what he is done with this terrific unit. The scary thing is most of them will be returning next season. They've got a taste of glory and there's no doubt about it that they will want more. As a Canadian,
I would be remiss if I didn't point out how interesting it was that despite the Chiefs starting a backup right and left tackle (which was a major factor in how little time Patrick Mahomes had), no one has said that Tampa Bay winning deserves an asterisk. Yet the Toronto Raptors were constantly put down for their championship win because the Golden State Warriors had a couple of their stars out with injuries? Just thought that was an interesting point.
Team Stats provided from TheScore.com
I have said it before and I will continue saying it, you have to play better than the referees ref.
There were definitely moments in this Super Bowl where there were questionable calls, but that has been the case all season long. However, in the biggest game of the season these calls get more attention. While they may be momentum shifters, at the end of the day you still have to put the ball in the end zone and be able to stop the opponent from putting the ball in the end zone. The Buccaneers frequently stopped the Chiefs and held them to field goals instead of touchdowns. Whereas, on the other end the Chiefs were unable to do the same.
Photo Credit: profootballnetwork.com
People are going say all they want about Tom Brady getting the calls, but that has nothing to do with the way the Bucs absolutely shut down Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Reffing also has nothing to do with the dropped passes from the Kansas City receivers, tight ends, and running backs. Patrick Mahomes made some borderline superhuman throws under duress that would have been highlights of the century if the people he was throwing it to were capable of catching passes that hit them right in the hands. Reffing may have a little bit to do with, but is no excuse for, the number of times that Chiefs players lost their composure resulting in penalties. These are not rookie players or players new to the Super Bowl for that matter. They've actually been here before but definitely didn't act like it.
There were questions about a roughing penalty that Chris Jones received early in the game, but if there's one thing that everybody knows watching sports it's that the person who retaliates is the one who gets the flag. Second, I think credit is due to the Buccaneers offensive line who clearly watched the film of the Bills vs Chiefs game and saw how the Bills offensive line was getting under Chris Jones's skin. Jones should have been ejected from that game after throwing a punch at a Bills offensive lineman that was missed by the referees in that game. There's also no excuse for the number of penalties that Tyrann Mathieu took. He is supposed to be a leader and an example for this defense and he was frequently losing his cool and costing his team yardage and downs. It was surreal to watch the way several of the Chiefs players imploded on the biggest stage.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
There's something to be said about the Chiefs getting used to dominating in every game that they play in and not being prepared whenever they fell behind or were put in a very challenging situation. This is all the more surprising considering their Super Bowl run was built on overcoming adversity and coming from behind in unlikely wins. Oh, how a year makes a difference. Now all of this is making the headlines because it was in the biggest game of the NFL season but make no mistake the Chiefs will be back here again, maybe even next year. They really only had one loss this season and their team is not going to change much in the coming years.
Patrick Mahomes is still unbelievable and he is not going anywhere. As long as he is on this team, they will be a threat to make the Super Bowl every year much as any team with Tom Brady. Heck, maybe we'll even get to see a rematch next year?
QB Carousel Predictions
By Brandon Caputo & Miklos McMaster
Photo Credit: clutchpoints.com
There are two types of carousels when it comes to football: coaching and quarterback. Now we've talked on the podcast a bit about what was happening with the new coaching hires, but as we have entered the offseason it is time to talk about the quarterback carousel.
Now one major move has already occurred with the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams swapping quarterbacks Matt Stafford for
Jared Goff and several picks in the first blockbuster trade of the 2021 season, but there are several quarterbacks whose futures are either in question or in doubt.
Let's take a quick look over the group and our thoughts on what will happen with them over the offseason:
1. Sam Darnold - New York Jets
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Miklos: Houston Texans
I really feel for Darnold. He's been put in a no win situation with coaching changes and dysfunctional front office and as a result I think he's been thoroughly broken. He is definitely a talented young quarterback and I think a change of scenery and maybe a year as a backup would definitely do him some good.
The question is can The Jets move him? It seems likely that he will be on a new team next season but it's all a matter of who is willing to trade for him or make a deal with The Jets.
An interesting option would be trading darnold and several picks, of which The Jets have plenty, to the Houston Texans an exchange for the extremely disgruntled DeShaun Watson. The question here is can these two horribly dysfunctional organizations get this done.
Brandon: Denver Broncos
Considering how much of a disaster the Denver Broncos QB situation has been since John Elway & the few years at the end of Peyton Manning's career, they could use some real stability & reliability within that position.
Although I still believe that they are not giving up on Drew Lock just yet with his potential, I still believe that bringing in some legit competition may be good for him.
That is where I see Sam Darnold coming in to play, as they wouldn't need to use their top end 1st round pick(you would hope) to get a QB who is still young enough with franchise potential & who still has much more to give than what he was limited with in New York with the Jets, which was virtually nothing under Adam Gase.
Sam is a talented QB and given a good situation with a lot of young playmakers around him like the Broncos have with a talented offensive mind like Pat Shurmer as his Offensive Co-ordinator could do wonders for Sam.
I think this could be a match made in heaven for both Sam getting a capable franchise around him & the broncos finally finding the next heir to John Elway's throne as a longtime Broncos franchise QB who they have not been able to find in over 2 decades.
2. Deshaun Watson - Houston Texans
Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Miklos: New York Jets
Speaking of dysfunctional organizations and DeShaun Watson, what in the world is happening in Houston? I'm sure most of you have seen this saga playing out over the last couple of weeks and things just seem to be going from bad to worse. I do not think DeShaun Watson will be playing in a Houston Texans uniform ever again.
The real question is how long until he ends up on a new team . The Houston Texans seem hell bent on forcing him to stay in their organization or not giving him what he wants. They have mismanaged things for so many years and continue to do so even when the person we thought was responsible for the most of it,
Bill O'Brien, has left.
Now given what the Matt Stafford trade netted the Lions the price for DeShaun Watson will likely be astronomical. But as mentioned above The Jets are a team perfectly capable of paying this price. There are also plenty of other teams I'm sure who would find a way to get the transcendent talent that is DeShaun Watson on their team.
Brandon: San Francisco 49ers
When you think of a Quarterback that fits Kyle Shanahan's high octane offensive system, I certainly don't think of Jimmy G being the guy to affectively lead that, although he did take them to a Super Bowl 2 seasons ago.
When I think of someone who could be a perfect fit for this system, I think of all-world talent Deshaun Watson who has requested a trade from the disastrous organization that is currently the Houston Texans.
A playmaker & leader like Watson who made the most out of virtually nothing in Houston this last season, would love to flourish with a scheme like this that allows him to run, allows the running game to take pressure off of him, & also allow him to sling the ball down the field to some track stars on the 49ers receiving core.
The more you think about it, being so young it would be hard to envision the Texans trading him within the division, much less the AFC. San Francisco is neither of those things and could be the type of team to be able to commit the draft picks & money that will be needed to acquire an elite level QB like Watson, just so long as they can find someone to take on Garoppolo's contract, which I will explain how this makes sense when we get to Jimmy G next.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo - San Francisco 49ers
Photo Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Miklos: San Francisco 49ers
This is an interesting one. I really think Garoppolo is going to stay with the 49ers. The Super Bowl hangover that they suffered this season had a lot more to do with injuries across the board than it did with anything that Garoppolo did. Really Jimmy was only one pass away from winning the Super Bowl. If he had completed that bomb at the end of the game we'd be having a completely different discussion about him and the 49ers . I don't think they're quite ready to give up on him yet but anything is possible in today's NFL.
Brandon: New England Patriots
In a reunion you never thought would happen, this might be one of the only scenarios that a "return to your ex" seems like the perfect match for both parties. The once Patriot who was by many reports pushed out of New England by the 6-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady not wanting to be let go by their owner Robert Kraft (who forced GM Bill Bellichick's hand to trade Jimmy G to the 49ers).
Now seems like the perfect time for a reunion as the Patriots are looking for that next guy to play in their
"Patriot Way" system and who better than the guy they thought would be the future of the franchise one day when Brady moved on. Still young enough & still talented enough to get the most out of Bill Belichick's system (which Cam Newton clearly could not this year), if the scenario comes true as I just mentioned about Watson going to San Francisco; a Jimmy G return to the Patriot Blue might not be out of the realm of possibility!
4. Nick Foles & Mitch Trubisky - Chicago Bears
Photo Credit: ftw.usatoday.com
Brandon & Miklos
Nick Foles: Philadelphia Eagles
We're going to include them both in here because both Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky could be on different teams next season. In fact, Foles might be easier to move as he might be a more attractive option to other teams than Mitchell Trubisky who has seriously struggled outside of his one good year in the NFL.
An interesting option that I have seen out there is sending Nick Foles back to the Eagles in exchange for Carson Wentz. Carson Wentz could be potentially rehabilitated by Matt Nagy and Foles could go back to where he had had so much miracle success.
As for Trubisky, we don't know where he's going to end up and don't know who would want him, as it is seriously unlikely that he would be a starter anywhere else. The Bears have definitely run out of patience with their former 2nd overall pick who they traded up to get, while passing up on now NFL franchise QB's Patrick Mahomes & Deshaun Watson in the process...
But the serious question is do the Bears even want Magic Mitch back at all?
5. Carson Wentz - Philadelphia Eagles
Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images
Brandon & Miklos:
Chicago Bears or Indianapolis Colts
Speaking of Carson Wentz, he also seems unlikely to remain with his team. The real problem with Wentz is his staggeringly large contract. That alone is going to make teams question whether they want him regardless of his unbelievable drop-off in production and ability this past season, along with the massive cap penalty the Eagles would have to endure as a result of trading a contract they just recently signed this prior offseason.
We think the two options that are most likely
are Indianapolis or Chicago.
We mentioned the Chicago trade above, but there has been lots of talk as well about Wentz being reunited with former offensive co-ordinator in Philadelphia: Frank Reich and his now Indianapolis Colts. Reich was also the quarterback’s coach in Philadelphia whenever Wentz had his MVP caliber seasons. Maybe being reunited would bring back those glory days, which made Wentz a young breakout star in the league, which now seems so distant from where we now stand with his development & progression.
6. Derek Carr - Las Vegas Raiders
Photo Credit: David Becker/Associated Press
Brandon & Miklos:
Las Vegas Raiders
Ever since Jon Gruden was hired as the head coach of the then Oakland Raiders, questions have been floated about Derek Carr staying the Raiders quarterback. Gruden is notorious for kicking the tires on quarterbacks and never being happy with the one he has, as we heard he was very high on Kyler Murray coming out of college who ended up going #1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals.
Even this season when early on the Raiders looked poised to make a playoff run, the questions were still there.They became even more fierce whenever Derek Carr was out with an injury and Marcus Mariota came in in relief and looked incredible. But personally, we don't think it makes sense for Carr to go anywhere.
He executes Gruden system well and whenever it's working they are on fire. Carr in Gruden’s system is what led the Raiders to almost beating the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs twice this season and also what led to some of the incredible wins that they had early on. Another big issue would be another teams willingness to take on his cap hit, as well as the outrageous asking price that was being floated around by the Raiders, as they were rumoured to require "multiple" 1st round picks if they were to consider trading Carr.
Long story short, that ain't happening if that is the outrageous pricetag...
The real question is what Gruden is going to do with Marcus Mariota?
7. Marcus Mariota - Las Vegas Raiders
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Miklos: Las Vegas Raiders
After coming in to relieve an injured Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota displayed the skills and ability that made him the 2nd overall pick way back in 2015. He looked poised, athletic, and displayed some good arm talent. Now this raises a lot of questions for Mike Mayock and the Las Vegas Raiders. Do they keep Mariota as an talented back up?
Does he "Ryan Tannehill" Derek Carr and take over as the starter? Or do the Raiders decide to move him for some draft capital or some players? I honestly think all of these options are on the table and it will be really interesting to see how the Raiders handle this.
I would love for them to keep him in the quarterback room as a potential backup option. I also think that this could cause a lot of quarterback controversy and could totally understand then shipping him out to avoid this. Time will tell.
Brandon: Washington Football Team
As Miklos explained well as a Raiders fan who watched Marcus succeed when he came in as relief for Carr, he looked like he was finally showing glimpses of what the Tennessee titans had hoped he would become when they drafted him 2nd overall in the NFL Draft, which seems like forever ago.
Still young enough where he could be a long-term solution at QB for a franchise, who better to take a chance on him & help him get back on track than Ron Rivera? As inspirational as Alex Smith's story was coming back to play pro football again, I think everyone knows that he is not a long-term answer in Washington who just had to cut bait with the QB they took in the 1st round just 2 seasons ago in Dwayne Haskins, which they had hoped would take over as their next face of the franchise before off the field & maturity problems ended that relationship this season.
Mariota would truly get an opportunity to redeem himself & show that he could be a starting QB with some solid players around him like Antonio Gibson & Terry McLaurin along with a loaded defensive front to take pressure off of him at times. Mariota has always had potential to be a franchise QB & Washington has been searching for that answer since ancient legend Joe Theismann quite frankly.
This seems like an opportunity for a match that could finally get Mariota a real shot at being a sustainable starting quarterback in the NFL, as well as giving the Football Team the high hopes they had in Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, & Dwayne Haskins who came before him as sustainable "franchise" quarterbacks the last decade.
8. Teddy Bridgewater - Carolina Panthers
Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Brandon & Miklos:
After a horrific knee injury ended his career in Minnesota, Teddy Bridgewater rehabilitated himself with the Saints and earned himself a starting job with the Carolina Panthers. He had an up and down season and it appears that the Panthers are in the market for something better as they were one of the top teams pursuing
Now, it might not be that The Panthers are done with Teddy Bridgewater but they certainly expect more of him.
The question is, has Teddy Bridgewater hit his ceiling? He is still young and still has the talent but people just want to see him make the strides to be the player they thought he would be whenever he was drafted. We think whether he is moved or not depends on whether the Panthers find a better option and could realistically see the Panthers drafting a QB in the NFL Draft & possibly even trading up to get one of the top ones available.
For right now, it appears that he is staying put but that could easily change throughout this offseason if they were to indeed draft one of those QB's in the 2021 Draft.
It's a shame that he keeps getting bounced around like this because we really like Bridgewater and hope he can progress should be the player it looked like he was going to be in Minnesota, before his major injury derailed his career early on.
Teddy stays in Carolina, but he may have a young hungry drafted QB coming for his job and ready to pounce, as soon as the 2021 season.
9. Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons
Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Brandon & Miklos: Atlanta Falcons
"Matty Ice" certainly has had his ups and downs as the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, but still the most accomplished that the franchise has ever had at that position. He is nearing the age where people start questioning a quarterback's ability to continue to play at the elite level that they were at when they were younger.
It does appear that the Atlanta Falcons are in a state of transition and might even look at blowing the whole thing up and rebuilding from scratch. It really is a difficult question, as the problem with the Falcons seems to be organizational and cultural rather than with the players who are there.
The way they have broken down at the end of games and blown leads is about the attitude of the coaches and who is leading this team. Could that mean that Matt Ryan gets traded?
Possibly, but we don't see many teams that would want to trade for his huge cap hit at his age. He has already been quoted as welcoming the possibility of mentoring a young QB if the Falcons were to go in that direction this upcoming NFL Draft with the 4th overall pick. Maybe a Justin Fields learning under a former NFL MVP like Matt Ryan for 1 season could the cards as a healthy scenario for all parties?
Well, the questions and doubts may be there it does seem like Ryan will remain the signal caller for the Falcons for the final season of his current contract. It is quite possible that newly hired Head Coach Arthur Smith would like to have a crack at this always potent Falcons offense for 1 more season, as an offensive mind who had so much success with a similarly talented offense with the Tennessee Titans(minus not having a Derrick Henry available with this team of course).
10. Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys
Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon & Miklos: Dallas Cowboys
We both cannot believe that Prescott is on this list, but the Cowboys continued to play chicken with their franchise quarterback and it honestly wouldn't be shocking if he ended up on another team next year. Dak has done everything and more to earn a long term contract as the face of the franchise, yet the Cowboys refuse to compensate him like one. There would be as many teams interested in Dak's services, as there are in DeShaun Watson.
So, the real question is what are the Cowboys going to do? They should have paid him yesterday and every day that goes by that he doesn't have a long term contract the more likely it gets that Dak will be wearing a different uniform in 2021 when he returns from his season ending leg injury that sadly ended his 2020 season too early.
It was essentially a case of people sadly needing to see what the team was like without him, in order to gain the respect for just how valuable he was to this team after how they performed (or lack thereof) in his absence. With Andy Dalton under centre, it clearly showed why Dak needs an extension to remain with "America's Team."
11. Cam Newton - New England Patroits
Photo Credit: providencejournal.com
Miklos: Anywhere but New England
The Cam Newton experiment in New England did not bear the fruit that many people expected. I think this had less to do with Cam Newton and more to do with the dearth of talent on the
New England roster.
The Patriots are still suffering the effects of all the moves they made to get Tom Brady to the Super Bowl in his final years there. It seems unlikely that Cam Newton will return to the Patriots next season and I don't know where the talented but mercurial quarterback will end up.
Cam has a big personality and his “reputation” as disruptive, which I think is totally unfair, will be a huge hurdle to overcome. We have seen it time and time again in the NFL where people who are labeled distractions find it difficult to get a job despite their overwhelming talent. In Cam's case, add his lengthy injury history and this challenge becomes even greater.I don't know where he will end up for the 2021 season but if 2020 was any indication Cam could be in for a long wait before team comes calling.
Brandon: Baltimore Ravens
Now hear me out on this one, it definitely wouldn't be as the starter. Cam Newton has been at his best when in a system that revolves around an elite running game, along with a QB Option that allows him to be more effective with his legs rather than an accurate deep arm down the field(which he has consistently struggled with throughout his career). The Ravens could use a safety net in case their franchise QB Lamar Jackson were to go down for any period of time and would need someone there to fill in the unique shoes & skillet like Jackson in which this offense is built around. I think Cam's days as standalone reliable starter are just behind him at this point in his career, which I'm sure willl be difficult for him to comprehend & accept as a proven QB in this league.
Although not as agile & fast as he was in his prime years in Carolina nor his MVP season, we have seen that Cam can still make plays with his feet and be a physical runner who is nearly impossible at read option plays around the goal-line with his full-back size/stature for the Quarterback position. I believe that the experiment in New England is over, but he has proven that he can still be durable enough to be a solid reliable option for a team who needs depth at the quarterback position, who can step in and play a run heavy style like the Ravens play with Lamar Jackson at the helm.
The more I think about this, the more i can see "Superman" in a Ravens Purple cape becoming a realistic possibility in 2021 as he provides a mentorship & stability for Baltimore, but more specifically Lamar Jackson to receive advice from a similar styled QB who has had success in doing so during his NFL career.