It’s been a crazy offseason, particularly at the quarterback position. Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson are at new addresses, and there are some decent undercard items as well, with Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz in line to start for playoff-caliber teams.
The Falcons (Marcus Mariota), Seahawks (Drew Lock) and Steelers (Mitchell Trubisky) might also have new veteran starters, and Baker Mayfield is still in play (he won’t be staying with the Browns for long).
With Watson, it’s not surprising that he was traded, but the contract was a shocker. The Browns not only gave up three first-round picks (reasonable for a 26-year-old franchise quarterback) but gave him a fully guaranteed contract worth $230 million over the next five years. Watson has 22 civil cases pending against him with various sexual misconduct charges, making it look likely he’ll miss about half of the upcoming season (and I’m not saying he’ll play at all in 2022). That looks like a wildly reckless move by the Browns.
Movement wise, this might be the busiest quarterback offseason ever.
In each of the last two seasons, a transplant quarterback has put up top-10 numbers and taken his team to the Super Bowl – Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford. But only two other transplant quarterbacks in the previous 10 seasons finished with top-10 numbers.
If Watson somehow avoids a suspension (which isn’t going to happen), it will seem pretty certain that a couple of these re-located quarterbacks will finish with top-10 numbers. Maybe even three. And there will be a good chance that four will finish with top-20 numbers, which is the most we’ve seen. That happened two years ago, but three of those guys were pretty modest, barely making the top 20 (Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater and Philip Rivers).
Since the move to eight divisions in 2002, 32 quarterbacks have finished with top-20 numbers in their first season with a new team. They’re listed below. For the guys making the top 10, they’re tagged with black dots. Twice (in 2006 and 2009) there have been two in the top 10 in the same season.
Of these quarterbacks, four started in conference championship games (Brady and Stafford, of course, and Drew Brees and Brett Favre in the 2006 and 2009 seasons).
|TRANSPLANTED QUARTERBACKS WITH TOP-20 NUMBERS|
|2002||• Drew Bledsoe, Buff.||16||4,359||24||15||67||2||332.7||5|
|2003||Jake Delhomme, Car.||15||3,219||19||16||39||1||246.9||15|
|2003||Jake Plummer, Den.||11||2,182||15||7||205||3||207.6||20|
|2004||Kerry Collins, Oak.||13||3,495||21||20||36||0||262.4||15|
|2004||Vinny Testaverde, Dall.||15||3,532||17||20||38||1||256.4||16|
|2005||• Drew Bledsoe, Dall.||16||3,639||23||17||50||2||293.0||5|
|2005||Gus Frerotte, Mia.||15||2,996||18||13||61||0||227.9||17|
|2006||• Drew Brees, N.O.||16||4,418||26||11||32||0||332.1||2|
|2006||• Jon Kitna, Det.||16||4,208||21||22||156||2||322.0||3|
|2006||Steve McNair, Balt.||16||3,050||16||12||119||1||234.4||19|
|2007||Jeff Garcia, T.B.||13||2,440||13||4||116||1||191.6||19|
|2008||Brett Favre, NYJ||16||3,472||22||22||43||1||274.1||11|
|2008||Chad Pennington, Mia.||16||3,653||19||7||62||1||270.9||13|
|2009||• Brett Favre, Min.||16||4,202||33||7||7||0||343.6||7|
|2009||• Jay Cutler, Chi.||16||3,666||27||26||173||1||318.6||10|
|2009||Kyle Orton, Den.||15||3,802||21||12||71||0||281.2||16|
|2011||Matt Hasselbeck, Ten.||16||3,571||18||14||52||0||255.8||18|
|2012||• Peyton Manning, Den.||16||4,659||37||11||6||0||383.6||6|
|2013||Carson Palmer, Ariz.||16||4,274||24||22||3||0||310.0||15|
|2013||Alex Smith, K.C.||15||3,313||23||7||431||1||307.4||16|
|2015||Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ||16||3,905||31||15||270||2||358.3||12|
|2015||Tyrod Taylor, Buff.||14||3,035||20||6||568||4||316.0||18|
|2017||Case Keenum, Min.||14||3,547||22||7||160||1||289.4||15|
|2018||• Kirk Cousins, Min.||16||4,298||30||10||123||1||360.1||8|
|2018||Case Keenum, Den.||16||3,890||18||15||93||2||287.8||19|
|2019||Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mia.||13||3,529||20||13||243||4||306.8||18|
|2020||• Tom Brady, T.B.||16||4,633||40||12||6||3||410.3||7|
|2020||Cam Newton, N.E.||15||2,657||8||10||592||13||309.6||17|
|2020||Teddy Bridgewater, Car.||15||3,733||15||11||279||5||306.6||19|
|2020||Philip Rivers, Ind.||16||4,169||24||11||-8||0||305.7||20|
|2021||• Matthew Stafford, LAR||17||4,886||41||17||43||0||416.6||5|
|2021||Carson Wentz, Ind.||17||3,563||27||7||215||1||317.7||14|
|2022||Russell Wilson, Den.||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|2022||Deshaun Watson, Cle.||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|2022||Matt Ryan, Ind.||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|2022||Baker Mayfield, TBD||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|2022||Carson Wentz, Was.||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|2022||Drew Lock, Sea.||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|2022||Mitchell Trubisky, Pitt.||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|2022||Marcus Mariota, Atl.||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|