The Five NFL Teams Most Desperate To Find Quarterback Of The Future

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Welcome to The Five. No, no, not that version of The Five. This is the five teams you don’t want to watch if you’re a fan of great quarterbacking. This is the five teams most desperate to find an answer about the future of the position.

Indianapolis moved to the top of the list when it made the pragmatic, money-based decision to move on from veteran Matt Ryan and start Sam Ehlinger. Again, that was motivated by clauses in Ryan’s contract that would potentially cost the Colts millions, not by 2021 sixth-round pick Ehlinger looking like the second-coming of Tom Brady.

Several NFL teams will be in the market for a quarterback in the draft. QBs expected to go high include Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Kentucky’s Will Levis. (Getty Images)

While some teams could join this list  — Tampa Bay if Brady retires or New England if things continue to go south – and one might even leave the list (don’t count on that), these are the teams most likely to be in the sweepstakes for a quarterback in the offseason. Here’s the breakdown:

Indianapolis Colts

The challenge to replace Andrew Luck is beginning to the look like the NFL’s version of the Seven Years War. Ehlinger will become the sixth quarterback to start a game for the Colts since Andrew Luck retired on the eve of the 2019 season. Ehlinger joins Ryan, Jacoby Brissett, Brian Hoyer, Phillip Rivers and Carson Wentz. Given that the Colts have actually been decent for most of those three full seasons prior to this one, it’s easy to imagine what could have been if Luck hadn’t walked away because of the constant pain he felt for almost two years. You have to wonder if the Colts will chase another veteran solution (Jimmy Garoppolo, anyone?) or go after a prospect in the draft.  


Atlanta Falcons

Nothing quite says “stopgap” like Marcus Mariota. Sure, there are some people out there who think there is a late-career blossoming still out there for him. The problem is that every time you think that blossom is about to reveal itself, Mariota throws a ugly interception, gets sacked or throws the wrong pass at the wrong time. More importantly, the survival of coach Arthur Smith and GM Terry Fontenot is tied to finding that next great passer and they aren’t hitching their careers to Mariota.

Washington Commanders

The challenge of trying to fix the Commanders is so vast that quarterback isn’t even close to the top priority. That said, it’s hard to imagine owner Dan Snyder getting ousted anytime soon, so we’ll just stick to the football side of the equation. Taylor Heinicke is a cool story and there’s this tendency to think that Carson Wentz is still thisclose to resurrecting his career. Both are fool’s gold. Look for Snyder, an impatient man with thin skin who is under intense pressure, to desperately look for another savior. This is your No. 1 team to watch for a trade up for a splashy move at quarterback.

Carolina Panthers

It’s appropriate that Baker Mayfield is playing in North Carolina, because he’s the real-life embodiment of Nuke LaLoosh. One day he’s really going to make it in the bigs. But it’s only going to happen after he gets his figurative brains bashed in by opponents to the point that he actually listens to someone else. Sadly, there’s no Crash Davis on the Panthers and owner Dave Tepper is going to be looking to make a splash this offseason. Baker, yer outta there.


New Orleans Saints

The Saints continue our run through the NFC South with a telling moment from the telecast of their game last Sunday. The broadcast team was debating the merits of who should start going forward, Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston? The answer is neither and don’t mistake that as an endorsement of Taysom Hill. Dalton is so hopelessly boring that no wants to watch and Winston (five interceptions, three fumbles and 11 sacks in less than three games) is toast as a starter. This is so bad that Saints fans aren’t even looking for the next Drew Brees at this point. They’d take the second-coming of Bobby Hebert.

Written by Jason Cole

Jason Cole has covered or written about pro football since 1992. He is one of 49 selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and has served as a selector since 2013. Cole has worked for publications such as Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, The Miami Herald, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and started his career with the Peninsula Times-Tribune in Palo Alto. Cole’s five-year investigation of Reggie Bush and the University of Southern California resulted in Bush becoming the only player to ever relinquish his Heisman Trophy and USC losing its 2004 national championship.

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