After a quiet weekend in NFL news, three teams were active in the quarterback market, making moves that likely led them to their Week 1 starters for the 2022 season. First, the Indianapolis Colts traded a third-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for quarterback Matt Ryan, who was due a bonus at 4 PM Eastern today. The Falcons and New Orleans Saints responded by signing Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, respectively, to two-year deals.
That takes two additional teams out of the quarterback market, at least until draft day, which means only the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers are wandering the Earth for a signal-caller. If you believe Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, the team actually likes quarterback Drew Lock more than most, even though he lost the Denver Broncos’ starting job to Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater just signed a free-agent deal with the Miami Dolphins this offseason that should make him the backup to Tua Tagovailoa. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers were active in the Deshaun Watson race until Watson told the team that their lack of commitment to his salary guarantees ruled them out of the hunt.
On paper, the San Francisco 49ers still have Jimmy Garoppolo on the trade market and the Cleveland Browns will obviously need to move on from Baker Mayfield after they landed Watson. If Seattle and Carolina end up nabbing the final two “starting caliber” quarterbacks on the market, that doesn’t many places for the Green Bay Packers' developmental backup quarterback Jordan Love to land.
Many have been interested in a potential Love trade since it was announced that back-to-back Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers was going to return to the Green Bay Packers. It’s warranted, too, as Rodgers’ new contract now outlasts the remaining two years on Love’s rookie deal.
Some want to recoup some draft capital from the 2020 first-round selection, but unless a team like the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers or Philadelphia Eagles are interested in adding competition with a young veteran in hand, it’s tough to find a home for the Utah State product. This, again, is all before the upcoming draft, where there are four potential first-round picks and five quarterbacks ranked 46th overall or better on the consensus draft board.
It also doesn’t help that Ryan was moved for just a single third-round pick, the 82nd overall, which does nothing positive for the quarterback trade market.
At the moment, it looks like Love will return to the team for at least one more season, with Kurt Benkert and Danny Etling, quarterbacks who signed futures deals with the team, battling in the summer for one practice squad spot.