The NFL QB offseason circus

There has seemingly been a lot of talk about quarterbacks this offseason, hasn’t there? Over the past few weeks, I haven’t been innocent of ignoring the quarterback circus myself. First I looked at what many are deeming the worst move of the offseason — I’m looking at you Pro Football Focus — and the Houston Texans signing of Brock Osweiler. Then I took a look at the RGIII signing in Cleveland, and the ensuing QB Carousel that somehow made Mark Sanchez the starting quarterback of the defending World Champions. Last week, I dissected the fact that we are now in a day where we don’t know who the best QB in the land is, so I asked the all important question: Who is the NFL’s best quarterback?

This week a few other quarterbacks are popping up in the headlines, so I may as well continue with the offseason trend, right?

Nick Foles is skipping OTAs because he’s unhappy the Los Angeles Rams drafted a quarterback. How does a player of Nick Foles caliber have the audacity to hold out of anything? This guy is demanding a trade so he can go be a back up quarterback somewhere else?

I have never heard of anything so absurd. Foles was your typical Chase Headley-esque player in baseball. His entire career is based on one breakout season that in hindsight seems like the exception as opposed to the rule. This is a guy who was replaced at the quarterback position last season by Case Keenum. For those of you that don’t remember, Case Keenum was traded by the Houston Texans to the Rams. For those of you that don’t remember, the Houston Texans used 72 starting quarterbacks last season, and they deemed Keenum not worthy to be one of them (side note: I actually like Keenum, so I apologize for the seemingly low blow, but it was just too easy).

Even if the Rams hadn’t drafted a quarterback, which would have been pure lunacy, Foles still wasn’t going to be the starter. Sure, Jeff Fisher would have probably said there was a competition between Foles and Keenum, but let’s face reality. The only stat that Foles hasn’t seen a decrease in the past three seasons is interceptions. Foles is a nice quarterback, but even if his wish is granted, and he gets traded elsewhere, he’ll likely be holding a clipboard. Is it simply less humbling to do it behind a veteran than it is behind a rookie?

The Ryan Fitzpatrick situation in New York is getting out of hand. It’s a simple as it gets. The Jets are in desperate need of a quarterback, unless you are in the camp that Geno Smith is the answer (side note: I laughed out loud typing that). Ryan Fitzpatrick is in desperate need of a team. Neither want to budge on the contract dispute.

The Jets offered Fitz-magic a three-year, $24-million deal. The contract was front-loaded as he would get $12-million this year and $6-million in each of the next two. Fitzpatrick said no, Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall are skipping OTAs in protest of their field general not having a contract, and the New York Jets — as usual — are a mess.

I get it on Fitzpatrick’s behalf, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. It’s the whole “going rate” argument and if Osweiler and Sam Bradford are getting paid, why shouldn’t he. He also probably looks at the $6-mill over the next two years and figures he can make more than that as a backup.

I get it on the Jets behalf as well. They have salary cap issues, with the fourth least amount of money to spend in the NFL. They have a team of solid pieces that don’t need a superstar at quarterback to win, but someone who is smart with the ball, like Fitzpatrick has shown to be most of the times.

Fitzpatrick is a smart guy, I mean most guys that goes to Harvard are. He knows full well that the Jets have a small window open to make a run. Tom Brady will likely miss four games, Marshall and Decker are no spring chickens, and the defense isn’t exactly on the young side either. Geno Smith is a complete wildcard if he can compete at the NFL level and Christian Hackenberg is a project, not close to being ready. He knows the Jets need him longer than a year, and the Jets likely know that as well.

Fitzpatrick has never started a playoff game in his career. At the age of 33, he had the best season of his career, topping his breakout 2014 age-32 campaign. He’s also a starting quarterback of opportunity. Should Fitzpatrick not sign with the Jets, there are only a handful of teams that would even have room to start him. Would they be willing to sign Fitzpatrick for more years or money than what the Jets have offered? Wouldn’t they have done it by now if they were going to? Do any of them give him as good a shot at finally making the playoffs as this Jets team does?

It seems like a silly stand off to me. Obviously Fitzpatrick’s teammates want him as the quarterback. Obviously the Jets want Fitzpatrick or there wouldn’t have been an offer. Obviously Fitzpatrick wants to be on the Jets. He’s been a nomad for most of his career, he probably just wants to sign a deal to end his career somewhere he can call home.

Stay tuned. The quarterback circus is sure to continue next week, at least if Johnny Manziel has anything to say about it it will.

 

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