The NFL’s quarterback carousel

It’s amazing. There is no position more important than quarterback in the NFL. Yet, the play at the position has gotten so mediocre that player’s like Sam Bradford are commanding mega-deals, while unknown talents with small sample sizes like Brock Osweiler are doing the same.

Take a look at the quarterbacks that are dominating the top stories since Brock Osweiler’s signing. Mark Sanchez. Colin Kaepernick. Ryan Fitzpatrick. Robert Griffin III. Johnny Manziel. Scott Tolzien.

And fans across the nation are actually up in arms about actually snagging one of these guys.

The two big moves this week surrounded the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts.

John Elway — who has certainly earned the nation’s trust as a viable GM — went and traded for The Sanchize. I don’t think this is a terrible move, to be perfectly honest with you. Sanchez at his worst is better than Peyton Manning was last year, and the Broncos honestly had nothing on their roster. Sanchez is a great safety net should Elway not be able to get anyone else, either through the draft or via trade.

The Colts brought in veteran journey man Scott Tolzien. Matt Hasselbeck retired and let’s face it, Andrew Luck‘s injury is a weird one. Will he be a full go this season? Will he be a full go ever again?

While Tolzien may simply be a depth signing in the eyes of many, let’s not sell short what the Colts went through last year. Should Luck miss time, Tolzien is there man. No, they didn’t want to stick with Josh Freeman. No, they didn’t want to re-up with Charlie Whitehurst. Yes, it is Tolzien that they have put their faith in, and in case you were wondering who Tolzien is, he’s the guy who threw one touchdown and five interceptions in the one three game stretch he was ever called upon to play in his five-year career.

My point is, instead of spinning the wheels on Brian Hoyer or a more secure backup like the Eagles did with Chase Daniels, the Colts went with Tolizen, knowing full well he could be playing more than they want. Why? Well, why not? You know what you are getting from the rest of the heap.

Now, teams like the Jets, the Broncos, the Browns and the 49ers are all in the quarterback hunt. Kaepernick has suddenly become the hottest trade commodity on the open market.

Do we not remember that the only reason he was being dangled as trade bait a few months ago was because the 49ers wanted him off their roster? Now, he is the NFL’s hottest quarterback-in-waiting that three teams are in active pursuit of?

Some Jets fans I have spoken to are up in arms about Fitz-magic. I’m split on how to deal with his situation. As I said to a Jets insider I know, Eric Hanchar, the problem isn’t that Fitzpatrick wants to get paid, the problem is is that he is looking for that last deal. Fitzpatrick has seen both Bradford and Osweiler get paid the past few weeks, and now he wants his, and he wants it for a good length. In his defense, it must get tiresome going from locker room to locker room every year.

Most Jets people feel that they should move on from Fitzpatrick — and I won’t argue this — because at this point, he is who he is and who he is is not a franchise quarterback. This is true. If Fitzpatrick wanted a one-year, $15-million deal, I think the Jets would be foolish not to lock him up and look to move forward from there. But a long term deal?

But here’s the thing… who’s a better option? Geno Smith? Kaepernick? Manziel? RGIII?

The sad state of affairs is that Fitzpatrick is amongst the upper half of quarterbacks in today’s NFL. How different is Fitzpatrick’s game from Matthew Stafford‘s? Jay Cutler‘s? Brian Bortles? Those three are franchise quarterbacks and they all do the same thing, throw a lot of touchdowns and a lot of interceptions. If Stafford and Bortles didn’t throw for a ton of yards in garbage time on a weekly basis, the similarities between Fitzpatrick and them would be even frighteningly more similar.

Two things win championships in the NFL. Defense and quarterbacks. You need at least one to win a Super Bowl and most teams prove you need both (sans the Broncos current trophy).

(By the way, can I go off on a tangent? I don’t understand this concept of trading for running backs. As I said, two things win championships, quarterbacks and defenses. Think about it, when was the last time a running back was the MVP of a Super Bowl? It was 1998 and it was Terrell Davis who was running behind a Hall of Fame quarterback himself. That’s why I don’t understand the DeMarco Murray trade. The days of being a running back league are gone, but I digress.)

Is someone like Fitzpatrick the guy that is going to win your team a Super Bowl? I don’t know, but he’s just as likely as any of the options the Jets have outside of him. We all know they certainly can’t draft a quarterback to save their lives.

Although they did draft Mark Sanchez and after all, he is the starting quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champs.


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