NFL quarterback recap: Grading the best QB moves this offseason
Josh Werle, Sports Editor
As exhilarating as sports games can be, sometimes the action that happens off the field can be just as entertaining. Sports fans know that even when a season is over and the championship has been won, the days of getting up and yelling at the television are far from over. The major sports leagues are known for their memorable offseason moments, primarily because this is when the bulk of the decisions get made for the forthcoming season. Trades and signings take place on a daily basis, sometimes making the teams hard to recognize when they start their next season.
The National Football League (NFL) is one of the largest and most popular sports conglomerates on the planet. The Dallas Cowboys still reign supreme as the highest evaluated sports franchise on the planet, highlighting just how popular the league is. There will always be a debate about which position is the most vital on the football field, and every player makes their own impact in one way or another. But it’s hard to argue that a good quarterback is not just important, but absolutely vital to success in the NFL.
This offseason featured numerous quarterback signings, trades and moves that are sure to shake up the NFL world. Here are the grades for some of the most notable quarterback moves this offseason.
Tom Brady re-signs with the Buccaneers
Surprise, surprise. The king is back. After a rather brief 40-day retirement, NFL superstar and seven-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady announced to the world that he would return to the football field.
This season will mark his 23rd pro season, and his third year with the Buccaneers. Many will refer to Brady as the greatest football player of all time, and it’s certainly hard to argue considering the success he has had.
Even in his 22nd professional season, Brady still put up the most passing yards of any quarterback during the 2021 regular season, managing to rack up 5,316 yards. After winning the Super Bowl in 2021, expectations were high. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers and Brady fell short when they lost to the eventual Super Bowl winners, the Los Angeles Rams.
Losing to the champs is nothing to be ashamed of, and all indicators point to Brady having another phenomenal season. The star quarterback accounts for less than six per cent of the teams salary cap, so this grade is a no-brainer. A+
Russel Wilson gets traded to the Broncos
The Denver Broncos relied on the work of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during the 2021-22 season, who put up just north of 3,000 passing yards. If they wish to swim with the sharks in their division like the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders, it was evident that the Broncos needed to upgrade. That upgrade comes in the form of star quarterback Russell Wilson.
Wilson has been a longtime member of the Carolina Panthers, having won the 2014 Super Bowl with the team. Wilson has been long seen as a dual-threat quarterback — one which can both run and throw the ball well — and is sure to make an immediate impact on the Broncos team.
On Sept. 1, Wilson signed a five-year deal with the team which will see him secure an average of $49 million dollars a season. Once again, the Broncos are in one of the most competitive divisions in the league, leaving zero room for error if they wish to make the postseason. That being said, although the team may have a few rough patches to iron out, adding one of the best quarterbacks of the 2010’s to your squad can hardly be considered a bad move. A-
The Packers extend Aaron Rodgers
The reigning NFL MVP is back with the Packers, making it his 18th season with the team. Rodgers has won back-to-back Associated Press MVP awards, and will look to three-peat this season.
Extending a player that has been with your team for 17 years is seemingly a no-brainer, even if doing so came with a price tag of $50 million dollars per season. It is very clear that Rodgers is still a cut above the rest of his quarterback colleagues, and should continue to thrive this year.
Although he will be without his go-to wide receiver Davante Adams, who has scored 69 touchdowns in 108 games with Rodgers throwing to him, the quarterback still has a stellar team to work with. A
Deshaun Watson signs with the Browns
Trading for Deshaun Watson this season was a massive risk for the Cleveland Browns, but the team needed a hail mary. After the duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield didn’t work out for the Browns, taking the risk on Watson wasn’t the worst move they could make. Don’t get me wrong, Deshaun Watson is a phenomenal football quarterback and one of the best in the league. The problem is that he may not be as good of a person as he is an athlete.
After receiving allegations of sexual misconduct from over two dozen women, the NFL has fined Watson $5 million dollars and suspended him for 11 games, making him ineligible to play for the Browns until Oct. 10, 2022. Watson led the league in passing yards during the 2020 season, recording 4,823 throughout the regular season for the Houston Texans.
With the allegations and legal issues, the Texans wanted out, putting Watson on the trading block. Although the Browns are incurring a potentially serious public relations nightmare, they are also receiving one of the top quarterbacks of the past few years.
Whether he continues to play to the level he was at remains to be seen, but this move is high-risk, high-reward for the Browns. This season will show whether it ends up being a risk or reward. B