Much like last year’s exhaustive search for a kicker, this offseason’s obsessive monitoring of the QB market will be the treat? threat? punishment? weaving itself through the winter and spring before ultimately taking us into this summer’s training camp.
So I guess there’s no harm in getting that conversation started early. And no better time than the present, so let’s get going.
Jacob Eason Enters the NFL Draft
One of the top draft-eligible quarterback prospects has made a decision to take his talents to the next level:
Thank you Husky nation! pic.twitter.com/apDKvh8d5s
— Jacob Eason (@skinnyqb10) December 26, 2019
Washington’s Jacob Eason shared news that he would be forgoing his remaining college eligibility to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
Eason is instantly one of the most intriguing prospects in this class of quarterbacks, after completing 64 percent of his passes and throwing for 3,132 yards (with 23 touchdowns and just eight interceptions) last season. In addition to putting up some respectable stats, Eason has a unique prospect pedigree that will surely interest pro scouts and talent evaluators. Eason was a five-star recruit by Scout, Rivals, and 247Sports, checked in as the top-ranked quarterback of his recruiting class, and ranked as a top-10 prospect overall after earning All-American honors and Gatorade’s Player of the Year as a senior. He even started as a true freshman at Georgia, but an injury in the 2017 season-opener opened the door for Jake Fromm to start as a freshman and ultimately take over the job full-time.
After leaving Georgia, Eason showed he still has the tools (most notably, a plus throwing arm) and size that NFL front offices covet. Bleacher Report NFL Draft insider Matt Miller expects Eason to be a top-50 pick. The Bears currently own the 49th and 50th picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’ …
Andy Dalton Weighs in On His Future
When the Cincinnati Bengals come up in conversation, the first player who comes to mind is Andy Dalton. That is because Dalton has been the constant throughout the years, especially when the face of the franchise could have been crippling injuries or dirty hits from players who cycle in and out of the jersey. But with that being said, this Sunday could be the last time Dalton puts on a Bengals uniform.
And while it is on his mind, Dalton is staying above the noise by showing faith in a higher power that will lead him to whatever his future holds.
Andy Dalton on what could be his final game with #Bengals: "I think anybody would say the unknown can be hard, but I know God has a plan for me and my family, so we're trusting and believing in that. I know everything is going to work out exactly how it's supposed to."
— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) December 24, 2019
Could that future be in Chicago? Bleacher Report NFL writer Chris Roling takes a shot in the dark and predicts Dalton will be traded to the Bears this offseason. Citing a need at the position, Roling believes the Bears and Bengals are fit for a trade. This sort of deal might be plausible for both teams, but forecasting a trade without indicating how the Bears would do so while getting comfortably under the cap or what the Bengals would receive (let alone ask for) in a return feels empty. But because Dalton proved in the past to be a capable passer when put in a good situation and that acquiring him wouldn’t come with a long-term commitment, we will continue to monitor rumors surrounding the veteran quarterback as the offseason develops.
Jameis Winston Wants What?
JC Cornell, the CEO/Founder of The Draft Network, dropped a nugget of information on Christmas Eve that caught me by surprise:
#GoBucs scoop on Jameis:
I have heard Jameis is looking for over $30M a year in an extension. Would be extremely unhappy with a franchise tag. There are other markets that would value Jameis much more than Tampa Bay. Chicago comes to mind.
— JC Cornell (@CornellNFL) December 24, 2019
Which element of the embedded tweet made you fall off your chair when reading? Was it that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is heard to have want an extension that would be worth more than $30 million per season? What about the tidbit about being unhappy with the Franchise tag? For me, it was that Chicago is among the markets that would value Winston more than Tampa Bay. Seriously, that doesn’t vibe with me at all.
I could find a million reasons why Winston isn’t a fit in Chicago. And while his off-the-field transgressions are certainly reason enough, the football reasons are aplenty, too. For all his talent and skills, no one has thrown more interceptions than Winston since he came into the league. Sure, you’re destined to throw a ton of picks when you happen to be a high-volume passer (his 4,908 passing yards and 602 attempts lead the NFL). But the 4.7 percent interception rate and league-leading 28 interceptions is unsightly, even if the 31 touchdown passes represent a career best. Frankly, the last thing the Bears need in 2020 is a quarterback who turns the ball over as often as Winston has in recent years.