In the last week, it has become evident that both the Jets and Browns could likely be missing their QB1 heading into week 1. It’s not 100% clear how long either team will be without their guy, but both teams naturally want to start off the season with a clean slate and winning record. Jimmy Garoppolo’s name has started to trend once again but is that actually a realistic opportunity?
For the Jets, I would be hard-pressed to believe that Jimmy G. is actually being deeply considered. In the last year of his contract, Garoppolo still carries a $27M cap hit that the Jets probably wouldn’t want if Zach Wilson is only missing the limited time that the team expects. On the other hand, the Browns have a ton of cap space, but already have roughly $25M already invested in QBs (both on and off their roster). I don’t see either team trading for Garoppolo unless the 49ers are willing to pay a chunk of his 2022 salary. If he is cut, then I certainly could see a deal in the works. However, if he is totally out of the picture, then who could the teams target instead?
Gardner Minshew | Philadelphia Eagles ($2,540,000 Cap Hit)
Minshew may have an 8-14 career record, but he was apart of a dumpster fire Jaguars team and has still managed to throw for 41 TDs compared to just 12 interceptions. He has shown sparks throughout his career that suggest that he is a very solid backup that can step in and win games. Minshew was dealt last August to the Eagles for a 6th round pick, which suggests his market value wouldn’t be too high for either team, especially considering that he will be an UFA next offseason.
Andy Dalton | New Orleans Saints ($3,000,000 Cap Hit)
The Red Riffle carries just a 1 year, $3,000,000 cap hit, which is extremely low for a player with 9+ years of starting experience. Dalton hasn’t had a winning season as a starter since 2015, but he’s 7-8 over the last two seasons with the Cowboys and Bears. There’s no guarantee that the Saints are looking to move their high end backup, but he could be a solid upgrade for either team.
Teddy Bridgewater | Miami Dolphins ($6,500,000 Cap Hit)
The Dolphins gave Bridgewater a solid deal to strengthen the QB room, which suggests that the team may not be sold on Tua’s longevity. I don’t think the team would be willing to move him with their lack of depth and all-in mentality, but Bridgewater could be a solid starter with the right offense around him.
Drew Lock | Seattle Seahawks ($1,451,000 Cap Hit)
Lock was traded to Seattle as a sweetener in the Russell Wilson trade, but now finds himself playing the backup role behind Geno Smith. Lock has had his fair share of maturity issues but at just an expiring $1.45M contract, he would be instant depth at next to no cost. We know he has the tools, but does he have the mentality to make it?
Mason Rudolph | Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,040,000 Cap Hit)
This is not a possibility for the Browns, but the Jets could make a play for Rudolph if Mitch Trubisky is named the starter in Pittsburgh. To be fair, Rudolph probably does not want to join the same team as Myles Garrett. Rudolph has a 5-4-1 record as a starter, with most of his starts coming in 2019 where he threw 13 TDs in 8 starts. Rudolph is also on an expiring contract and has the floor of being a high-end backup.