Future of Veteran NFL Quarterbacks

After this season, the landscape of the NFL could look a lot different. The NFL as we know it may change forever as many of the beloved names might not be in the NFL after this season. The NFL veterans we have fallen keen to are getting older each year and their game is gradually declining for most. There is plenty of uncertainty in regards to the future of several NFL quarterbacks and we’ll breakdown where they will be after this season concludes.

Eli Manning – New York Giants

The Giants quarterback was replaced by rookie Daniel Jones at the beginning of the season. Daniel Jones has brought new life into the Giants locker room and with the fans. The Giants still lack the receiving threats that Daniel Jones needs to succeed, especially with young running back Saquon Barkley missing significant time with an injury. With Dave Gettleman at the helm of the Giant’s front office and Joe Judge being hired as the new head coach of the organization, it seems as if a new direction for the Giants is underway. Eli Manning’s time with the New York Giants and in the NFL has come to an end. Daniel Jones will help salvage whatever lies ahead for this failing organization. 

Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons

As long as Julio Jones is in a Falcons uniform, Matt Ryan should continue throwing for an exuberant amount of yards each season. Julio  Jones is a fantasy stat machine. Ryan has heavily relied on Jones throughout the entirety of his career and should continue being behind the center next season as their starting quarterback. Matt Ryan is safe as long as Julio is healthy and plays for Atlanta.

Tom Brady – New England Patriots

Tom Brady is at the center of retirement speculation after the Patriots were eliminated in the AFC Wild Card Round by the Tennessee Titans. Tom Brady has come out recently thanking the fans for everything they have done and all the support which has led to the age old question of whether or not this is the end forTom Brady. Tom Brady has defied all odds and should be back in a Patriots uniform next season. Brady can very well play until he is 45 as a quality starting quarterback. Brady does not have the offensive weapons he is used to and is in his first year without fan-favorite Tight End Rob Gronkowski, but has still been able to find new targets such as promising rookie N’Keal Harry and beloved Julian Edelman. Brady will continue to be the New England Patriots starting quarterback for at least another season as he wants to go down as the greatest to ever play the game.

Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints

With a unique trio of Quarterbacks,  the New Orleans Saints certainly don’t have to look very far to find a quality quarterback who can learn the offense quickly if Brees chooses to retire. Brees in his age 40 campaign has continued to dominate as one of the premier passers in yardage with having arguably the best receiver in the NFL in Michael Thomas as his go-to guy. Michael Thomas has helped Drew Brees stay a threat for many defenses struggling to control their high-powered offense. Drew Brees should be set to continue playing as long as New Orleans is still the team to beat in the NFC South. 

Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers

The days of Philip Rivers as an elite quarterback seem long gone by now. Rivers struggled in the 2019 season throwing the second most interceptions of his career with 20. Rivers only managed 3 more touchdowns than interceptions this season. The Chargers finished a mere 5-11 and are looking to weigh their options in the draft this season. The Chargers need to address the quarterback question this offseason and Justin Herbert and Jacob Eason are the most viable options for the Los Angeles Chargers moving forward. Rivers sold his home in San Diego and is moving back to Florida to be closer with his family. It seems as if Rivers time for the Chargers has come to an end as he is a free-agent this off-season. Rivers will be weighing his decision around retiring or playing as a backup for a new team. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Miami Dolphins

The 37 year old journeyman has spent his fair share of time across the league in different offensive regimes. Fitzpatrick started the season as the Dolphins starter, benched for a brief stint to allow for Josh Rosen to develop, then returned as starter sparking life into the Dolphins franchise going through a major rebuild. The tank was on for the Dolphins to begin the season and upon Fitzpatrick’s return he led the Dolphins to huge wins over the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. Fitzpatrick has found his new home in South Beach and even if the Dolphins draft their franchise quarterback in this year’s draft, there are no signs of Fitzpatrick leaving the team. Eerily similar to what the Dolphins did this season of bringing in Josh Rosen as the future and Fitzpatrick as a solid veteran presence, the Dolphins will bring someone new into the draft and let them develop under the guidance of Fitzmagic. Fitzpatrick will continue as the starter until they feel as if their rookie quarterback is ready to lead the franchise. 

Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

After suffering a gruesome season-ending injury early during this season, Roethlisberger was replaced by Mason Rudolph. Rudolph was seen as the future of the Steelers franchise and had a promising start for the Steelers that lasted about 2 weeks until he was benched for poor performance for undrafted rookie Devlin “Duck” Hodges. Hodges came just short of keeping the Steelers in the playoff race and did not blow any one away with his performance. Roethlisberger should return to the Steelers offense next season unless anything surprising comes out of the NFL Draft.

Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers

Under new coach, Matt LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers has managed another 4,000 yard plus season for the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers has revitalized the Packers to a 13-3 record after a subpar 6-9-1 record last season. Rodgers play has regressed over the years but is still performing at a near all-pro level. Rodgers is still among the best quarterbacks in the league and should continue being the quarterback for this developing team in the foreseeable future. 

Joe Flacco – Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos placed Joe Flacco on injury reserve halfway through the season with a herniated disk in his neck. Flacco was replaced with Brandon Allen who was underwhelming before then being replaced by the much anticipated Drew Lock. Drew Lock seems set to remain as the starter next season for the Denver Broncos as they hope to take the franchise in a new direction. Since Peyton Manning’s retirement, the Broncos have failed to have a quality starting quarterback and have struggled in recent years. After years of debating whether Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback or not, nowadays he certainly is not and has lost his touch. Flacco lost his starting position for Lamar Jackson and sought to go elsewhere to be a starter but this might be the end of him being so. Flacco would be better off retiring with his one super bowl ring as a starter rather than sitting on the bench for a franchise in the middle of a long rebuild. 

Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals were horrendous this season and benched Andy Dalton in the middle of the season for Ryan Finley to spark some change in the offense. This was unsuccessful as Finley performed poorly during his brief stint as starter. A big contributor to his performance and Dalton’s underwhelming performance is due to the significant injuries that the Bengals receiving corps has faced this season. For a veteran like Dalton this shouldn’t be as much of an excuse for his poor performance to start the season. Dalton gained his starting job back but his future in the Queen City looks bleak as the Bengals are poised to draft Heisman Winner Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the draft. The Bengals will move on from Dalton and he seems set to join a team needing a veteran presence as a starter. Dalton would make a quality starter for teams needing a filler quarterback for a season at a low-risk as Dalton only has one year left on his remaining contract.

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