In this golden age of quarterbacks, an unprecedented amount of uncertainty has crept into the position.
It’s a point made last night by Charean Williams on PFT PM and fleshed out in further detail on Thursday’s PFT Live. Currently, not many teams have a clear, unconditional, and unequivocal relationship with their starting quarterback that spans the next two years.
That’s the criteria: Team committed to quarterback and quarterback committed to team for 2021 and 2022. At the most, there are eight teams — 25 percent of the league — with such mutuality of commitment.
Here are the ones we’ve identified: Bills and Josh Allen; Ravens and Lamar Jackson; Bengals and Joe Burrow; Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes; Chargers and Justin Herbert; Buccaneers and Tom Brady; Cardinals and Kyler Murray; and Titans and Ryan Tannehill.
I’m a little on the fence about Tannehill. A bad year in 2021 could prompt the team to move on from him. As MDS noted in our internal deliberations about this subject, a year ago a list of this nature would have included the Rams and Jared Goff, and the Eagles and Carson Wentz.
Barely missing the list were the Browns and Baker Mayfield. Regression in 2021 could prompt the team to try to trade Mayfield in 2022, which barring a long-term extension will be the option year of his rookie contract.
The Rams and Matthew Stafford, who surely are tied together for the next two years, also were omitted because: (1) he’s currently still a Lion; and (2) Stafford is an example of a post-2020 quarterback situation that has resulted in a looming divorce.
So at a time when there are more capable quarterbacks to go around than ever before, the league has unprecedented uncertainty at the position. It’s a combination of an increased supply (allowing teams to consider options) and emboldened franchise quarterbacks (causing multiple quarterbacks to privately and/or publicly call their own futures into question).