“Why They Left–Where They Went”
A record 133-players have changed teams in the first 5-days of NFL free agency.
Virtually all the big names have moved, for a wide variety of reasons.
A close up look at the scorecard at the most important position QB:
PHILIP RIVERS….A perfect fit to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, in what will be a 1-year experiment. Rivers said the most important things to him were ‘communications, trust, comfort.’ He got all that by deciding to play for head coach Frank Reich and coordinator Nick Sirianni, both former assistants when they were together in San Diego. Rivers inherits what he never had recently with the Chargers, an offensive line anchored by high draft pick OG-Quentin Nelson, incumbent LT-Anthony Costonzo and C-Ryan Kelly. He inherits a heavy duty RB-Marlon Mack, WR-TY Hilton and Devin Funchess and star TE-Jack Doyle. He leaves behind the wreckage of a changing and oft injured Chargers offensive front line, a trimmed down running back group with the Melvin Gordon defection, and a coach in Anthony Lynn, who lost faith in him. We should all become Colts fans this yer.
TOM BRADY…He goes to Tampa to work for a mad scientist. Look at what Bruce Arians did in Pittsburgh, then did with Carson Palmer and Kurt Warner in Arizona. He even turned Jameis Winston into a 5,000-yard passer. He can throw to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman at wide out. OJ Howard and Cam Brate are excellent tight ends and the OL will grow. In the rear view mirror, a collapsing group of skill people in New England, a negligible run game, and the dark moods of coach Bill Belicheck. Brady didn’t go to the Suncoast for just a payday, but maybe more so for the people he will work with.
TEDDY BRIDGWATER….Walks into Carolina and will run a read-option offense designed by new coach Matt Rhule after the Panthers let go of Cam Newton. He does have Christian McCaffrey but this looks like a total offensive rebuild in Charlotte.
MARCUS MARIOTA….He goes to learn under the master coach Jon Gruden, and work behind Derek Carr as a backup. Carrying the Tennessee Titans was too much of a burden. Too many off games, too many injuries, not enough big days in Nashville. Will wait to see if he grows in Las Vegas.
CAM NEWTON…This doesn’t look good, the one superstar season in Carolina, the injuries, the two surgeries, the constant coaching change around him, then the pink slip. Coming back from Lis’franc foot surgery is not a guarantee. Neither are his erratic mechanics, often flawed, and his running days are likely over too. Somebody takes a run at him, but what are they getting?
JAMEIS WINSTON….Has talent, throws for yards and touchdowns, but takes sacks, fumbles and throws picks. Get this career line in Tampa Bay…72-games….121TDs….111-turnovers….169-sacks….and a QB-rating (86). Will see if he goes somewhere with a coach who can fix his flaws. Bruce Arians gave up on him and he is a guru-QB-coach. Might be a star, but might be the next Jeff George.
RYAN TANNEHILL…Tennessee turned disaster into accomplishment, signing the QB to an extension, then franchise tagging Derrick Henry, who might be the first star player not ‘angry’ about being franchise tagged. Now we see if Tannehill continues his growth, or reverting back to what he was in Miami, up and down, good and bad.
JOE FLACCO….Super Bowl star out in the street, released in Denver after a (2-8) season of injury with the Broncos. Someone picks him up as he moves into the twilight of his career.
ANDY DALTON…Stranded in Cincinnati. Played as well as he could as the organization fell apart around him. He is on the trading block and could help someone out somewhere, but not sure where, since the trade rumors to New England have died down.
NICK FOLES….So which is the real NFL-QB, the guy who had a great season with the Eagles, or the guy who has bounced around now to five different teams and has also been hurt. Sure looks like potential lifetime backup, unless he supplants Mitch Trubisky and becomes a star in Chicago. Don’t know if he can recapture the magic.
DREW BREES-TAYSOM HILL….The Saints retain the star, and have their future both on the roster at this point. Brees plays at least one more year, and Hill becomes the QB going forward whenever Brees steps downs.
CASE KEENUM….Heads to Cleveland as backup QB. Becoming a team a year guy, but at least people still respect his work.
COLT MC COY….Send his luggage to the NY Giants to backup the kid first round pick Daniel Jones on the roster. Hey everybody has to have a 2nd and 3rd string QB on the roster.
WAITING FOR A CALL ON SPEED DIAL…Robert Griffin III…Geno Smith…Cardale Jones…Paxton Lynch….Mike Glennon….Brian Hoyer…Josh Rosen…Blake Bortels…DeShone Kizer….All who had glitter once upon a time around them, now just journeyman and unemployed.