Dan Favale | Tue 19/12/2017 - 06:45 EST

NFL Teams That Will Be on the Prowl for New Quarterbacks This Offseason

NFL Teams That Will Be on the Prowl for New Quarterbacks This Offseason
As some NFL teams are preparing for the start of the 2017 postseason, others have long since faded out of the picture. This one's for those squads—the ones that must embrace change at the game's most important position over the offseason: quarterback. We're doing this exercise to help you peer into the future of teams that aren't good now and won't be viable betting options anytime soon.

Think certain NFL teams searching for new quarterbacks won’t impact you? Think again. This is a venture that can take years, even if a squad finds a new body to stick behind center. And as a result, teams in this echelon shouldn’t be viewed as viable betting options for the rest of the 2017 NFL or through any part of the 2018-19 season.

To help you get an idea of where these teams are at, we’ll give you look at their expected records versus their actual records, in addition to their initial Super Bowl odds entering 2017, courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Sportsbook.

Other squads might end being in the hunt for a new QB, but these profile as the top five as of now. Whether it’s via free agency, trades or the draft, they need to head in a new direction under center. We present them in order of increasing urgency.

7. New York Giants

new york giants

Current Starting QB: Eli Manning

Super Bowls Odds Entering 2017: +2500

Expected W-L: 11-5

Actual W-L (pace of Week 16): 3-13

Eli Manning turns 37 in January. The New York Giants have to move on at some point. That point even seem to come in Week 14, when then-head coach Ben McAdoo benched him in favor of Geno Smith.

Said move cost McAdoo, and general manager Jerry Reese, his job. And for good reason. You don’t let Manning, a two-time Super Bowl champion, bow out like that. He hasn’t been good this season, but he has no offensive line in front of him, no healthy receivers he can throw to and no freedom to test out the long ball. 

Not surprisingly, he looked much better in Week 15 when he handed back the starting reins. Give him a new offensive coordinator long term, and he might sing. 

This isn’t to say the Giants shouldn’t plan for the future. They should. But if their receiver corps gets healthy and they add some depth to the offensive line, they can be a contender for another year or two. That gives them the ability to take a flyer on a quarterback in the draft and bring him along slowly—kind of like they did with Manning himself forever ago, only even more slowly than that.

6. Miami Dolphins

dolphins

Current Starting QB: Jay Cutler

Super Bowls Odds Entering 2017: +4000

Expected W-L: 8-8

Actual W-L (Pace): 7-9

Jay Cutler has piloted the Miami Dolphins to the heart of mediocrity just as everyone expected. He also isn’t supposed to be back next season. He signed a one-year, $10 million deal, at a time when it didn’t seem like he wanted to play football anymore.

Assuming Ryan Tannenhill is healthy next year, the Dolphins won’t be in any rush to invest in a young or experienced upgrade. Tannehill is only 29, and despite criticism about his work ethic during practices, he has the potential to be a top-15 quarterback in a league starved for stars at the beginning.

That doesn’t say too much, but with the Dolphins slated to draft in the middle of the first round, they shouldn’t be in too much of a rush to find his replacement. Look for them to take a low-end free-agency flyer or perhaps pick up a high-upside flamethrower in later draft rounds.

5. Arizona Cardinals

cardinals

Current Starting QB: Blaine Gabbert

Super Bowls Odds Entering 2017: +2500

Expected W-L: 8-8

Actual W-L (Pace): 7-9

People aren’t buying into the hype that Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians will retire at season’s end. And if he’s not going anywhere, they really might as well roll with the soon-to-be 39-year-old Carson Palmer through next season, then revisit their options during the 2019 offseason.

Palmer’s timeline just fits this team. They’re ready to win now on the offensive side of the ball. Larry Fitzgerald Jr. is ageless, a healthy David Johnson will run roughshod over the league next year, and the offensive line is good enough to provide protection for a less-mobile passer like Palmer.

At the same time, the Cardinals should be opportunistic. They aren’t going to own a great draft pick, but if someone like, say, Tyrod Taylor becomes available for nothing, they should consider cheapo investments. Otherwise, so long as his broken left arm—his non-throwing limb—heals up properly, this core probably deserves one more go-round while keeping a single eye on the next era.

4. Buffalo Bills

bills

Current Starting QB: Tyrod Taylor

Super Bowls Odds Entering 2017: +8000

Expected W-L: 6-10

Actual W-L (Pace): 9-7

Tyrod Taylor basically saved what was left of the Buffalo Bills‘ season after they tested out Nathan Peterman for a heartbeat. Though management shouldn’t be sold on the 28-year-old Taylor long term, they don’t have much of a choice after this close to the season.

Flirting with a .500 record and a potential, albeit wildly unlikely playoff berth makes it difficult for them to implement a meaningful change behind center. They can suss out options later in the draft and then throw them into the fray if Taylor wilts next year.

Another option would be to monitor Kirk Cousins’ situation in Washington. If he isn’t brought back on a long-term or yet another one-year deal, they’re among the few teams who can justify trying to expedite their timeline by going after his services. 

3. Denver Broncos

broncos

Current Starting QB: Paxton Lynch or Brock Osweiler

Super Bowls Odds Entering 2017: +2000

Expected W-L: 8-8

Actual W-L (pace): 6-10

Perhaps the Denver Broncos shouldn’t be this high. They have three quarterbacks on the roster who, when healthy, could all start on any given week.

But that’s part of the problem. They don’t know if the future belongs to Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch. Most don’t believe it belongs to Brock Osweiler, but if gets the start in Week 16 due to Siemian’s injury, it could signal something of a longer-haul commitment.

The Broncos are tracking toward a top-10 pick, so they could look to roll the dice on another youngster. More likely, though, they’ll try leaning into their defense, like they did during their 2015 Super Bowl run, while sticking with a plug-and-play option at quarterback.

That doesn’t mean they won’t angle for a new passing leader, but it does mean they’ll surf the clearance-rack veteran ranks—Josh McCown, Andy Dalton, etc. if they do.

2. Cincinnati Bengals

bengals

Current Starting QB: Andy Dalton

Super Bowls Odds Entering 2017: +5000

Expected W-L: 9-7

Actual W-L (Pace): 6-10

Speaking of Andy Dalton, it’s probably time for him and the Cincinnati Bengals to move on. The team has flirted with riding A.J. McCarron in the past, but he’s clearly not the answer. The draft might not hold any answers either. Cincinnati will need to lose out to put themselves in QB territory.

Something needs to be done, though. The Bengals have some nice depth in the backfield, and wideout A.J. Green is ready to win now. They need to deliver a quarterback capable of guiding more than the bottom-four offense they are now.

Look for the Bengals to kick around every possible scenario this offseason—trades, draft picks, free agents, moving up in the draft, etc. Head coach Marvin Lewis isn’t coming back, so this marks the perfect time for a wholesale shift.

1. New York Jets

jets

Current Starting QB: Bryce Petty

Super Bowls Odds Entering 2017: +10000

Expected W-L: 0-16

Actual W-L (pace): 6-10

Obviously.

The New York Jets have been looking for a new franchise quarterback since roughly the dawn of time. And yet, they keep whiffing.

Bad drafting hasn’t helped them, but they’ve also been derailed by superficial success. That fake 10-6 season with Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2015 really screwed them over, convincing them to go all-in on last year. 

The Jets cannot fall into that same trap now. People pegged them as the worst team in football, and they’ve been far from it. Five or six wins isn’t anything to write about, but it’s five or six more than many statistical models gave them over the offseason. 

Failing to secure a top-five pick makes things difficult. Do they try to trade up for UCLA’s Josh Rosen or USC’s Sam Darnold? Do they take a shot on Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield or Louisville’s Lamar Jackson? Do they spin the QB wheel in later rounds? Do they give Bryce Petty more time? Do they just run out Josh McCown for another season, assuming he gets healthy?

Everything should be in play, aside from bringing back McCown. He’s fine as a veteran backup, but the Jets need to inject some younger blood under center—someone they can run with full-time, if only to see whether they have something, anything, to work with moving forward.

*All statistics come courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference and are accurate leading into games being played in Week 16.

Category : Sports Betting News

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