I do not recall how or why I began a string of searches on Spotrac.com – and maybe I should have realized this even before starting down that path – but a significant fraction of the NFL playoff teams this year have QBs whose tenure with the team is in question beyond next year. Consider:
- Tom Brady – – under contract for ‘22 with voidable years after that so UFA
- Derek Carr – – under contract for ’22; UFA in ‘23
- Jimmy Garoppolo – – under contract for ‘22, UFA in ‘23; rumored out in SF.
- Kyler Murray – – under contract for ‘22; Cards have 5th year option in ‘23.
- Aaron Rodgers – – under contract for ’22; voided year in ’23 so UFA then
- Ben Roethlisberger – – could have been UFA in ‘22 but retired instead
- Matthew Stafford – – under contract for ’22; UFA in ‘23
There were fourteen teams in the playoffs; seven of those teams had quarterback-uncertainty staring them in the face as they began playoff runs. Some playoff teams in the playoffs had a different form of “quarterback-uncertainty”; for example, is Jalen Hurts the long-term answer for the Eagles at QB?
This sort of thing is interesting to me from different perspectives:
- Normally, I think of successful teams as ones that have stability; half of this year’s playoff teams could face significant “roster turmoil” should their starting quarterback become a UFA after next season.
- From a player – and agent – perspective, there would appear to be a significant “supply” of QB talent that could be available in the next off-season. So, does that cause some of these QBs to seek contract extensions now when the “supply” does not outstrip “demand” very badly?
Adding to the potential “supply” side for QBs in 2023, Kirk Cousins and Baker Mayfield will also be UFAs based on their current contract situations.
Next up … There has been a recurring promo on the NFL’s playoff telecasts this year that is so obviously false that I wonder how the announcers do the live read without stammering. According to the promo, “The 88 best players will square off in the Pro Bowl on February 6th in Las Vegas.” For that to be remotely correct two situations would have to obtain:
- No player on either the Rams or the Bengals is one of the 88 best players in the NFL. Those players will take part in the Super Bowl a week after the Pro Bowl, but none will be in the Pro Bowl.
- Legitimate participants who belong in the Pro Bowl due to their excellent play would have to show up and play as opposed to “opting out” and being replaced by other players of lesser ability and accomplishment.
It should not be difficult to convince anyone who has paid attention over the past season that neither of those two conditions are even close to being fulfilled. However, I guess it is not nearly as “compelling” a promo if one were to speak the truth about the upcoming Pro Bowl telecast:
“Eighty-eight very good players will line up and take the field in Las Vegas on February 6th to play in the Pro Bowl – – a game with as much physicality as flag football but performed by much better athletes than you will ever see in a flag football game.”
Let me present some of the replacements on the Pro Bowl roster that I know of – – and I do not follow this stuff nearly closely enough to pretend that this is a complete list. In each case the replacement is a really good player – – but maybe not quite as good as the guy he is replacing:
- Russell Wilson is replacing Tom Brady
- Kirk Cousins is replacing Aaron Rodgers
- Dionte Johnson is replacing Ja’Marr Chase (Chase will be in the Super Bowl)
- Hunter Renfrow is replacing Keenan Allen
- Josh Sweat is replacing Nick Bosa
- Vita Vea is replacing Aaron Donald (Donald will be in the Super Bowl)
I will not be watching the Pro Bowl next weekend. I think I shall devote that time slot to begin organizing my financial records in preparation for filing my Income Tax Return. As odious a task as that is, it looks like an appealing alternative to me right about now.
Finally, Dwight Perry had this item in his column last week in the Seattle Times:
“Islanders Hall of Famer Clark Gillies, who died at 67 on Jan. 21, when once asked where his native Moose Jaw was located: ‘Six feet from the moose’s ass.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………