2023 QB Carousel: Aaron Rodgers to the Jets?

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2023 QB Carousel: Rodgers to the Big Apple? Predictions for Draft Picks, Mid-Tier QBs, More


With just days standing in between us and the start of free agency, the lead story regarding the game’s premier position is — and will continue to be Aaron Rodgers.

Aaron Rodgers is currently flirting with the New York Jets. The Jets have flown to California to make their pitch, and now we wait on Rodgers’ decision

Lamar Jackson is off the board (sort of) after the Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him on Tuesday. Other teams can negotiate a deal with Jackson, but early indicators point to Jackson staying in Baltimore.

Daniel Jones and Geno Smith are staying put after agreeing on extensions with the Giants and Seahawks. Derek Carr has already signed a new deal with the New Orleans Saints.

So, as we reset our focus on the QB market before the roller coaster takes off on Monday morning, we’re left with the middle-tier quarterbacks and the prospects in the NFL Draft. We’re going to look at potential fits, and because I love you guys, I’ll make predictions that I’m sure I’ll never hear the end of when I’m wrong.

Best of the Rest

Jimmy Garoppolo is probably the biggest name left on the board, with NFL experience. We probably witnessed Garoppolo’s peak in production during his time with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers. Still, he’s the top free agent on the board, and he has been to a Super Bowl and another NFC title game as the 49ers starting QB.

Given the Raiders’ need for a QB, their position in the draft, and head coach Josh McDaniels’ relentless dedication to ‘The Patriots Way,’ I think that Jimmy G is bound for Sin City.

Prediction: Las Vegas Raiders

This is where things really start to teeter on backup QB territory. Jacoby Brissett wasn’t terrible during his time filling in for Deshaun Watson in Cleveland last season. He might have even earned himself some cash.

The Washington Commanders seem content with giving Sam Howell a shot this season, but they’ll need a veteran QB like Brissett as an insurance plan.

Prediction: Washington Commanders

It didn’t work out in Cleveland or Carolina for Baker Mayfield. So was his short stint with the Rams good enough to prove he’s worthy of another look as a starting QB in the NFL? Personally, I wouldn’t pay Baker to be a starter. But there’s more teams who need a quarterback than QBs available.

I would say that the Rams could use Baker as an insurance policy to Matthew Stafford, but I doubt Baker is content with that role just yet. Atlanta is reportedly out on Lamar Jackson, and they won’t be in a spot to draft one of the big four QBs in the first round without a trade-up. So Baker could buy them time or be the perfect QB for a calculated tank for Caleb Williams in next year’s draft.

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons

Teddy Bridgewater‘s days as a starter in the NFL are over, but he’s a plenty capable backup. The Rams could use a starter-ready backup for the reasons I already stated. But so could the Dolphins, and why change what has worked?

Prediction: Miami Dolphins

Like Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota‘s days as an NFL starter are behind him. So you know who could use a backup quarterback with Mariota’s skillset? The Bears. They’ve got money to spend and a need to fill. So this would be an excellent pairing.

Prediction: Chicago Bears

No offense, Gardner Minshew, but we’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Minshew stays in the NFC East and backs up Daniel Jones next season.

Prediction: New York Giants

With Derek Carr heading to New Orleans, Andy Dalton will be looking for a new job once again. Similarly to the Commanders, the Buccaneers seem to be content with pairing Kyle Trask with a low-cost veteran. Dalton could be a fit for Tampa Bay.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Kids

I know, I know. Many of those predictions were “safe.” However, I saved my one bold prediction for this section: I have the Carolina Panthers trading up to No. 1 to take CJ Stroud. Don’t ask me why; it’s just a hunch.

Bryce Young heads to Houston at No. 2, and I have the Colts taking Will Levis at No. 3. After the Cardinals take Will Anderson Jr., I have the Seahawks drafting their successor to Geno Smith, Anthony Richardson.

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.