The NFL quarterback carousel is one of the most interesting storylines that the off-season has to offer. Fans are fascinated by quarterback movement and understandably so. Turnover at the most important position changes the landscape of the league.
I look at this phenomena more like dating. Teams flirt with quarterbacks until they believe they have found the right one for them. Sometimes they chose the wrong guy and that can create an unhealthy relationship.
I looked at seven franchises who seem to be in unhealthy quarterback relationships, in efforts to find out went what wrong and where they go moving forward.
A Look at the Dating Game That Is the NFL Quarterback Carousel
Carolina Panthers: “It’s Not You, It’s Me”
There comes a time in a relationship when you need a fresh start. It’s not anything the other person necessarily did. You just aren’t in the right place and can’t continue the relationship because of it. I believe the Panthers are at that place with Cam Newton.
Panthers owner David Tepper clearly wants to shake things up and leave his mark on the franchise. He already fired head coach, Ron Rivera, so a change at quarterback could be next. Especially, with all that is in the air with Newton’s situation.
Chicago Bears: “It’s Not Me, It’s You”
I am sorry Mitchell Trubisky, but it’s not the Bears, it’s you. Before Bears fans crucify me, let me provide some context. Trubisky is not the Bears’ only problem and the infrastructure around him has not been perfect this season.
However, his situation is more than adequate enough to win in. It’s Trubisky who can’t put together a long enough stretch of consistent football to maximize it and that is the problem. The Bears aren’t getting the one thing that they need most out of this relationship, consistency.
Now, this doesn’t mean they have to cut the cord completely with Trubisky next season. They should just be open with flirting with other quarterbacks until Trubisky gives them a reason not to. If he doesn’t, it’s time to move on.
Tennessee Titans: “You Ain’t Gonna Tie Me Down”
No one can deny that Ryan Tannehill is balling. Yet how sustainable is this level of play moving forward? We have seen teams get burned by saddling themselves to middling quarterbacks after one good year.
So yes, Tannehill has been awesome, but should the Titans ignore the not so awesome rest of his career while negotiating an extension? Probably not. That is why using the franchise tag might be the smartest path for the Titans to take.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: “The Sex Is Great But Nothing Else Is”
Woah, this is getting weird but just go with me. The high points of Jameis Winston are up there with any of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. The problem is, the low points are down there with any of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.
Fortunately for Winston, Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians has always been known as a bit of nymphomaniac in terms of this metaphor. Meaning, he is a sucker for the peaks and is willing to sweep the messy stuff under the rug. So, Winston probably isn’t going anywhere as long as Arians is there.
Indianapolis Colts: “I Love You, But I Am Not in Love With You”
On the other hand, it seems like the Colts have reached their ceiling with him at the helm, and that ceiling is “quarterback purgatory.”
Like the Bears, the Colts don’t have to move on from Brissett for the sake of moving on. He is an ideal bridge option to next the quarterback that they want to invest in. They just have to start looking for that next single caller sooner than later.
Cincinnati Bengals: “We’re Looking for Different Things”
The Bengals are not 1-14 because of Andy Dalton. At the same time, they aren’t better than 1-14 because of him either. In other words, he is as good as the situation is around him, and the situation in Cincinnati is horrendous.
Dalton needs to be in a better situation and the Bengals need someone who can elevate their team/grow with them for the foreseeable future (cough, cough, Joe Burrow).
Miami Dolphins: “There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea”
Fish, Dolphins, see what I did there? In all seriousness, I chose this cliche for the Dolphins for one reason and one reason only. I have no idea what their plans at quarterback are.
First, they were “tanking for Tua,” yet that is in the air because Tua Tagovailoa is hurt and contemplating whether or not to declare for the draft. Then, when Joe Burrow started to emerge, they seemingly won too many games and don’t have a chance to draft him. Now, there are rumors that Tom Brady might be a Dolphin in 2020.
I just don’t know what to believe at this point, but isn’t that the beauty of being single? The Dolphins aren’t tied to anyone at quarterback and have the luxury of exploring all of their options.