With NFL free agency winding down and the 2016 NFL Draft now in the rearview mirror, teams should be set at the quarterback position, right? Well, not so fast. Unfortunately, a team or two from the list of those who we expect to see fail in 2016 are also the ones who currently still desperately need a quarterback.
There’s a whole lot of uncertainty at this point in the NFL, and it’s never a good thing for a team to have uncertainty at the quarterback position at this point in time. With that said, let’s jump into it by looking at four teams who still need to figure out their gameplan at the quarterback position in 2016.
1. Denver Broncos
Listen, it’s really nice that everyone is touting Mark Sanchez as being ready to make some impressive turnaround. If it’s not that, it’s hearing that rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch will be ready sooner than later (how many times have we heard that before about a rookie?). In all honesty, the Broncos have a stellar defense, plenty of offensive playmakers, but they do not have their sure-fire answer at quarterback. Yes, Lynch may turn out the be the answer down the road, but to throw him into the fire in 2016 would be a pretty bad idea. At this exact moment, the Broncos aren’t set at the key position, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be within the next year or two potentially. This one falls under the “still needs a QB until proven otherwise.”
2. San Francisco 49ers
We have absolutely no idea whether or not Colin Kaepernick can turn things around, but when it looks more and more like Blaine Gabbert is going to be starting for the 49ers in 2016, it’s obviously not the best spot. Gabbert did show signs of improvement last season, but he’s just not a long-term answer at the position for San Francisco. Unfortunately, the team also did very little in the offseason to address the position (drafted Jeff Driskel), which means that they still fall squarely under the category of “needing a new quarterback.” Time to play the wait-and-see game about the future in San Francisco, but if Kaepernick is able to rebound, he could prove quite a few doubters wrong.
3. New York Jets
We were completely sold on the fact that the Jets were going to bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick and wouldn’t land on this list. Now, the offseason is speeding up, and it’s starting to get slightly more alarming as time goes on. If it doesn’t wind up being Fitzpatrick, then we’ll be looking at either Geno Smith or Christian Hackenberg starting for the team in 2016.
While Hackenberg is a bit of an unknown, one thing that we do know is that he needs more than one offseason to be prepared to play in the NFL. As for Smith, well, a lot of people are completely uninterested in talking about him as a starter at the NFL level again. Can he prove those people wrong, or will Smith get a chance and flame out again? For now, the Jets badly need to address their quarterback position, because we don’t believe either of those guys are ready.
4. Cleveland Browns
Cody Kessler being drafted by the Browns doesn’t just remove them from this list. Neither does signing Robert Griffin III as a free agent this offseason. The Browns have a lot to prove, and their quarterbacks have even more to prove. Maybe RGIII can turn things around and be the quarterback we saw dominate during his rookie season with the Washington Redskins, but it doesn’t seem that way.
His upside is there, but will he be able to turn a corner with the Browns, who are obviously in need of some consistency from their receivers as well? Essentially, the QB situation in Cleveland is one big mess right now, and until we see some type of success from one of these players (or Josh McCown) during the 2016 NFL season, they’ll remain squarely on this list.