Is Fitzpatrick Washington's Answer at QB? Cowboys, Eagles Need Defense

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

For this May round of Four Downs, we will be looking at each team's biggest remaining need as well as notable undrafted free agents who will be going to camp with each franchise.


Biggest Need: Safety

The Cowboys could not have expected the quarterback-needy Panthers and Broncos to select standout cornerback prospects Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II eighth and ninth overall before the Cowboys were set to pick at 10. That likely motivated Dallas' decision to trade down and draft Micah Parsons, a player that was closer to "best available" than to a team need. Given their required audible, the Cowboys did a tremendous job of filling their holes. They landed corners Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright in the second and third rounds. They bulked up their defensive line with defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa and edge rusher Chauncey Golston, also in the third. And in the fourth, they drafted a Day 2 talent in offensive tackle Josh Ball who presumably fell because of off-the-field issues.

If healthy, the Cowboys have a complete roster for 2021, but health motivates the need the team might develop at safety. They added Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee from the Falcons this offseason, but Neal tore his Achilles in 2018 and ACL in 2019 and Kazee tore his Achilles in 2020. Dallas wants to try Neal at linebacker, in any case. The team will likely have to rely on an incumbent or two at safety. That should be fine for Donovan Wilson, who started 10 games for the team last year, but fourth-round sophomore Reggie Robinson and sixth-round rookie Israel Mukuamu played cornerback in college, and neither has taken a defensive snap in the NFL at their new position. And Darian Thompson is entering his sixth year in the league. He probably would have started more than 11 games the last three seasons if he had a future as a full-time starter.

Notable Undrafted Free Agents

The Cowboys did add an undrafted free agent safety in Tyler Cole from Purdue. They also signed a pair of UDFA tight ends in Nick Eubanks from Michigan and Artayvious Lynn from TCU, addressing another injury-driven potential hole since Blake Jarwin missed the 2020 season with a torn ACL. But their best apparent post-draft addition follows the same playbook as their draft itself. Linebacker Anthony Hines is a former top high school recruit who only briefly played to that potential because of injuries and a 2020 opt-out. That said, Hines' best plays were highlight-worthy, and his quickness and discipline offer him a chance to cover NFL backs and tight ends as an outside linebacker.


Biggest Need: Offensive Line

Analytically inclined Giants fans likely threw a party when general manager and notorious trade-upper Dave Gettleman traded back in the first round and netted a bounty of draft capital. The move was tremendous in a vacuum, but his subsequent selection of wide receiver Kadarius Toney seemed a bit superfluous after the team added Kenny Golladay for big money in free agency. This is a critical year for the Giants' evaluation of quarterback Daniel Jones, yes, but Jones needs better pass protection to help him avoid the sacks and turnovers that have his future with the team in doubt. Last year's No. 4 pick Andrew Thomas will hopefully improve in his second season, but in his first, he blew 6.5% of his pass blocks, the highest rate among tackles with 300 or more pass-block snaps according to Sports Info Solutions charting. Returning 2020 opt-out Nate Solder was barely better (6.3%) when he last played in 2019. And guard Kevin Zeitler left for the Ravens in free agency.

Notable Undrafted Free Agents

The Giants did target their offensive line with two of their three undrafted free agent signings. Jake Burton played mostly right tackle for UCLA, but his size and athleticism offer him a chance to find a place on the team's line even if his shorter arms make him a suboptimal fit for his traditional tackle position. Meanwhile, Florida product Brett Heggie has college experience at center and both guard spots. Clearly Gettleman values positional versatility on his line. Edge rusher Raymond Johnson will likely face stiffer competition for a roster spot after the team drafted Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith in the second and fourth rounds, but Johnson outproduced both drafted players with 15 sacks and 33.5 tackles for losses in four seasons at Georgia Southern, although his testing numbers bode poorly for a similar impact at the next level.


Biggest Need: Linebacker

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman seems to have read the division-rival Giants perfectly with a trade-up to the 10th pick and selection of wide receiver DeVonta Smith. It's ironic then that the Cowboys—another division rival and Roseman's trade partner—settled on the draft's top linebacker Micah Parsons and left the Eagles wanting at the position. That may seem strange to hear since Eagles incumbent Alex Singleton and free-agent addition Eric Wilson each accumulated 120 tackles in 2020, but both players were productive because of volume rather than efficiency. In fact, Singleton, Wilson, and middle linebacker T.J. Edwards all finished in the bottom third of linebackers with 25 or more tackles allowing between 18.3% and 19.5% broken tackle rates according to Sports Info Solutions charting. Sophomore Davion Taylor and rookie JaCoby Stevens offer some internal hope at the position, but the former played just 32 defensive snaps in his first season, and the latter is a tweener linebacker/safety whose size spurred his fall to the sixth round. Recent roster management suggests the Eagles do not value the position the way that some teams do, but just once it would be nice to see a plus linebacker play behind the team's consistently excellent defensive line.

Notable Undrafted Free Agents

The Eagles peppered their other roster holes in the undrafted free agency period, signing and wide receivers Trevon Grimes (Florida) and Jhamon Ausbon (Texas A&M), tight end Jack Stoll (Nebraska), and and offensive linemen Kayode Awosika (Buffalo) and Harry Crider (Indiana). But the team's two biggest UDFA signings play at positions that are less obvious needs. Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman has a dual-threat potential to rival that of Jalen Hurts and was QBASE's eighth-best quarterback prospect ahead of several drafted players, including third- and fourth-rounders Davis Mills and Ian Book. But he never had the chance to reach his ceiling, transferring from an RPO-heavy scheme at Wake Forest but never playing at Georgia since he opted out of the 2020 season for Covid concerns. In contrast, Iowa State defensive end JaQuan Bailey put too much on tape despite starting all four seasons at Iowa State and setting school records for sacks and tackles for losses. He damaged his stock with poor pass-rushing performances against some of his best competition such as Texas and Oklahoma State, but he has the NFL size and quickness to spark optimism for his development for a team with a history of turning later-round picks into productive starters.


Biggest Need: Quarterback

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the perfect caretaker quarterback. Not only has he gracefully accepted demotions behind prospects including Jameis Winston, Josh Rosen, and Tua Tagovailoa in recent seasons, he's also a capable passer with above-average DVOA rates in each of his last four seasons. That said, Fitzpatrick will turn 39 years old during the 2021 season. He has now played for nine teams in his 17-year NFL career, but he has never played with Tom Brady to learn the secrets of the TB12 method. His play will almost definitely decline in the next few seasons. Last year's strong performance was fueled in part by the league's best numbers under pressure, which is not usually sustainable for a quarterback who was far from the best in the league when not pressured. And while backup Taylor Heinicke opened some eyes with his gutty playoff performance last season, the 28-year-old has just 121 career pass attempts and would rival Kurt Warner's rags-to-NFL-riches story if he went on to become a successful starting quarterback.

Notable Undrafted Free Agents

Thanks to their 10 draft selections, Washington did not have much left to do in the undrafted free agency period, but their one addition there could prove to be the best of any team. Running back Jaret Patterson likely slid past the draft because of his smaller stature at 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds and small-school pedigree at Buffalo, but Patterson spurred his tremendous college productivity with unrivaled success after contact, a skill that should help him outplay his size at the next level. Patterson earned the eighth-highest BackCAST projection, better than a bunch of drafted prospects at his position including mid-round selections Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, and Trey Sermon. He also landed with the perfect team. Washington demonstrated its creativity in turning college receiving back Antonio Gibson into an early-down standout, and their depth chart is thin at the position since former top prospects Derrius Guice and Bryce Love are no longer with the team.

Portions of this article previously appeared on ESPN+.


91 comments, Last at 31 May 2021, 11:56pm

#1 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 25, 2021 - 10:34am

For all the stuff I hear him say, it makes me wonder so much. After the draft he spoke about, one time QBs winning it all, besides Brady and the Manning bros, that being the reason for not trading up for one (of course Chicago jumped them for Fields being notable). 

It's fascinating seeing a long tenured HC take the same approach as many fans thinking QB is plug and play because they can build up the roster in other ways. Ignoring it's a one time thing, that many had tried and a majority have failed to do. Very interesting coming from the guy that had #1 overall picks for a lot of his career, in Newton (ROTY winner too 'member) and Smith less so (limited but not completely talentless). And the one time he makes it to the SB is when Newton was at his highest, winning MVP.

I guess...*checks notes* 39 year old Fitzpatrick will lead his team to, not only the playoffs for the first time in his career but a Lombardi trophy. A game manager that...uh doesn't actually limit turnovers like he wants. Fascinating conclusion and subsequent bet. The NFL is a strange place. 

Points: 0

#3 by Noahrk // May 25, 2021 - 11:48am

After having unlikely success this year, I predict the beginning of a long streak where Fitz is voted as the player most likely to decline -following Brady's play falling off a cliff this year, of course.

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#6 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 25, 2021 - 12:57pm

Fitz was below average in...everything his first year in Miami but one blind hail mary later and it's always been Fitzmagic and not Fitztragic. 

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#7 by Noahrk // May 25, 2021 - 1:10pm

I don't recall the numbers, but the supporting cast was that of a team expected to go 0-16. I thought he played really well all things considered. He's barely touched his FitzTragic identity the last couple of years, although the fact he's played for an underdog surely helps.

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#9 by AFCNFCBowl // May 25, 2021 - 1:38pm

Fitzpatrick put up a DVOA of 1.3% compared to Rosen's -63.0% with the same supporting cast and coaches.

The fact of the matter is that he single-handedly led one of the worst teams in NFL history to a 5-4 record over the last 9 games including a win over the Patriots. Fitzpatrick also put up positive DVOA in 2018 and 2017 with TB.

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#10 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 25, 2021 - 2:02pm

Wow. That and looking like Conor McGregor in Tampa sure can change the perception on a dude. 

Believe the Lions and Texans are underdogs in every game this coming season. But as we know (especially with more games), they're likely to pop off a win or two because that's how things work. Doesn't mean they still aren't bad (specifically at the QB position). Preseason W/L O-U was 4.5 for the Dolphins that year. Just barely over. 

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#17 by Noahrk // May 25, 2021 - 6:40pm

Well, that was the year the Dolphins traded Tunsil, Kenny Stills, Fitzpatrick (Minkha), Drake and Kiko Alonso after the end of preseason and everyone said they were tanking for Tua and trying to go 0-16. After Week 3 DVOA had Miami as the worst team ever measured. The cup was really bare. The starting RB was the infamous Ballage. The OL was a bunch of guys you probably never heard of and was abysmal. The lone weapon on offense was Parker, with Gesicki starting to come on. And offense was the team's strength. It's a minor miracle they didn't go 0-16, and his name was Fitzpatrick.

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#18 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 25, 2021 - 8:44pm

And that O-U was preseason, so before the regular season. 

The front office was (rightfully) trying to tank but those 3 wins at the end of the season when they were already eliminated from playoffs were...completely pointless. Which...I mean if you want to give credit for pulling somethings out of their behind...I guess go ahead but it was ultimately actually bad for them. IDK, still below average in legit everything...but he was expected to be the worst? Ever? That's what it sounds like to me.

Which...IDK, aim higher if he's not elevating better than a few bonehead wins when the seasons already over and the opponents aren't taking them seriously (remember he was benched, for bum Rosen for a reason, yes they quickly realized it could get worse, but at that point coaches were still trying to win so it doesn't go on their permanent record). 

TLDR; at least try to get someone better than Fitzpatrick (and Miami correctly did that in the 2020 draft, aided by the FO tanking so they could position themselves for what turned out to be a top 2 QB in that draft)

Points: 0

#23 by BJR // May 26, 2021 - 5:46am

I'm absolutely sure Washington would ideally like to get somebody better than Fitzpatrick. Unfortunately that wasn't readily available to them this off-season. Still, he ought to be a huge upgrade over what they were fielding at QB last season. 

I'm not really sure what you are suggesting the team should have done (outside of execute a hypothetical trade up in the draft). Start Kyle Allen/Heinicke? That would surely represent the ultimate waste of a season, given the strengths across the rest of the roster. 

I'd be the first to criticize if I thought a team was ignoring opportunities to improve, or achieve long-term stability at the QB position (*cough* Denver/Giants *cough*). The fact is that WFT has improved, considerably, if only in the short term. A longer term solution would be nice, but there really wasn't an easy path this off-season. 

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#24 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 26, 2021 - 10:03am

But we surely would've heard something by now and from that article I linked, sounds like they didn't want to develop a young guy (like Haskins). Well that's after signing Fitz on the 2nd day of FA which probably says they werent interested. 

If they keep picking 19th gonna be hard to find the guy eventually because Fitz is gonna mess around and win a few games but not enough to be taken seriously. That's what I consider a waste since he's not a developing young QB. We know who he is at age 39. The strengths are gonna be wasted on a guy that doesn't fit the timeline. Unless they think this is their only shot (they surely dont). 

Improving from the 19th pick to the 20th with the 2nd oldest (?) guy that's never been elite or to the playoffs...I guess I just don't think it's worthwhile. Improving the short term usually hurts the long term/delays it. And I dont think the short term (or long term at this point) is gonna yield any trophies for Washington. Shouldve bit the bullet for a trade up especially after Carolina and Denver passed because they aren't gonna be picking high (or low) next year so why not do it now with a stacked class? Playing with fire.

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#25 by fyo // May 26, 2021 - 10:31am

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

"Improving the short term usually hurts the long term/delays it."

Any data to back that up?

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#26 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 26, 2021 - 11:19am

Otherwise it's hard to believe them going from pick 23 to...Spencer Rattler without trading up which isn't something they said they're interested in.

Trying to have your cake and eat it too shouldn't require much mental gymnastics.

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#91 by RickD // May 31, 2021 - 11:56pm

The best organizations know that franchises need to excel in a lot of different ways to make a serious playoff run.  Tanking to slightly the draft position has never worked in the  NFL (well, aside from "Suck for Luck" was was really not a huge success for Luck in the long term.)  

You don't see franchises like the Patriots, Steelers, and Ravens improve by getting worse.  All three are nearly always in the top half of the AFC.  The NFL doesn't work like the NBA.  You cannot turn a franchise around with 1 or 2 draft picks.  It generally takes 3-4 years of multiple picks in multiple rounds, along with good work finding UDFAs and making good trades.  

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#5 by BJR // May 25, 2021 - 12:24pm

Rivera deserves credit for coaching good teams around Newton that did not rely on elite level QB play, but that's a different matter to filling a giant hole at the position, which he obviously never had to do. So yeah, a bit rich to suggest he's somehow cracked the code.

I'm not going to crucify them for not trading up this year, as they were starting from a difficult position at #19 with many QB needy teams ahead of them. Chicago jumped them, sure, but we never fully know what conversations are going on in those war-rooms (e.g. would the Giants have been so willing to trade picks with a division rival?). And I like the Fitzpatrick signing as a low cost, short term stop gap. He's got a more recent track record of good play than other free agent QBs like Andy Dalton, Jamies Winston, or indeed Cam Newton. But if their organizational policy is going to be to keep plugging in these guys, and never take shots in the draft, I agree, that's stupid. 

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#8 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 25, 2021 - 1:34pm

But Cam usually brought something with his legs if the arm wasn't working. Not that those Panthers were some model team one should want to emulate. 

Couple this with his comments on being scared of the 1% of the time analytics is doesn't turn out your way and I wonder how he's made it this far. Then I remember that this is probably a majority of the league.

I'm not saying trade up every time but man they really let a conference rival get a 5 star recruit because they had...Fitzpatrick for 1 year and Tyler Heincke for 2. And the Giants were willing to do that trade in conference and the other NFC East teams made a deal with each with the pick right before (and after). Maybe not trade up for Jones but then again they (correctly) sat for Haskins and that didn't work out. They just seem to value Fitz and scrubs over this years class flat out. That's suspect to me but I guess they just had to fill a low value position like LB instead of risking it on the most valuable position that pays for itself way more in the long run if hit. 

I dunno, I still struggle with what the intention of stopgaps. Fitz is a stopgap for...the 19th pick again? Until Kyle Allen is ready (and he's spent 3 years with Rivera already!)? I just dont know anymore. Feels like a way to go 9-8 and stay in the "well should we trade up? or sign Dalton for 11m? or trade a non conditional non 7th for Bridgewater or Darnold?"

Good on the Bears for not letting the signing of Dalton (dumb at the time and especially now) or the trade up for Trubisky (also dumb at the time and especially now) stop them from getting some real hope this time around (and it might have saved Nagy/Paces job, so what's there to be afraid of?)

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#20 by Pat // May 25, 2021 - 11:23pm

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

2021 was a *terrible* year for WFT to go after a QB.

Think about it: 2 QBs were obviously off the table immediately. Then SF traded up, so now it's 3. Yeah, WFT could've outbid them, but even so, they would've been down to their 3rd possible choice at QB. But I think it's fairer to just imagine SF taking even that choice away. Maybe they were trying to trade up there and failed. Who knows.

They'll be in a *much* better place to trade up in upcoming years: especially since a lot of the (cough) questionably run franchises won't be going after QBs anyway, so they'll be more inclined to trade down.

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#21 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 25, 2021 - 11:34pm

You could almost say this every year. 

They put themselves in that situation and as of right now, next years class isn't great. And who knows when it'll be good again AND when they'll have this magically perfect situation/timing. Just delaying the inevitable. 

And, again, I would say it was great for the Bears, another NFC one and done team. Just make it work. Others did. Who knows if a team like Jets will be back up there just like they were 3 years ago. Playin with fire but hey, it's not my franchise. Can't be scared to make a move on the most important position.

Points: 0

#27 by Pat // May 26, 2021 - 11:40am

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

You could almost say this every year.

Wait, really? Did I miss something? I could've sworn this year was the year with the most first-round QBs since 1983. Oh wait! It was.

And who knows when it'll be good again AND when they'll have this magically perfect situation/timing.

Patience is literally the hallmark of the best franchises. The Ravens just stuck with Flacco until a good opportunity presented itself. The Chiefs signed Alex Smith and rode him for several years until they had an opportunity with Mahomes. The Steelers had garbage QBs for forever until Roethlisberger landed in their laps. And the Packers had the reverse of that - they still had a Hall of Fame QB who'd go on to multiple more Pro Bowls, but Rodgers was there and just too good to pass up.

Doesn't have to be perfect. But 2021 is just a bad situation. WFT had no chance whatsoever of getting the top 2 QBs. There's no reason to believe they had Trey Lance or Fields anywhere near the others. 

And, again, I would say it was great for the Bears, another NFC one and done team.

Why? Because draftniks are like "ooh Justin Fields is a sure-fire NFL starter"? Fields was passed over by 3 other teams looking for QBs. It's doubtful he'll turn into a good NFL starter. You might be extremely high on him. NFL teams clearly were not.

I seriously can't understand the argument that Washington absolutely should've burned buckets of resources so they could be guaranteed to get a player who's likely the 4th best QB on their draft board. If all 4 of those QBs become Pro Bowl level starters, that would make 2021 the best first-round QB draft class in history, I think. And statistically, that's just not likely.

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#29 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 26, 2021 - 1:07pm

The most since 2018 actually, when 5 also went. And you don't think 5 going in the top 15 signals that's a good class? Lol

Yes patience for one to Fields. But I guess post facto we call it patience since they didn't select one. Convenient. 

So yes the Ravens one with the 18th overall pick...which they traded up to get. Same with Mahomes. And Ben was 11th...just like Fields lol. And of course Rodgers was #1 worthy, that was a whole debate, but times were different. 3 RBs went in the top 5. That'll never happen again. League even 15 years ago wasn't that privy. And the Packers did no wrong but man did it cause a lot of stress. 

I REALLY don't understand how a great class like 2021 is a bad situation. They could've done something but, again, the had already determined not to do anything when they signed Fitz. Same when the Panthers traded for Darnold and the Broncos traded for Teddy. What I'm saying is those were all bad moves that doesn't really change the trajectory of the franchise like one of the top 5 QBs this year could. 

And even if we correctly assume the top 2 were QBs AND allow the 49ers to jump to 3 to get one. The Falcons were begging people to take 4! Washington said no way loooooooonnnnnng before the Falcons eventually fell in love with Pitts. The natural response to this is "they'd have to give up too much and NEEDED a stop gap like Fitz because what if all 5 went early, like in the top 5!" I'd say oh well. Also say the Bears stop gap didn't stop them and what makes them so different? 

But that's not what happened, Fields did slip and no, 3 dumb teams doesn't change the consensus and we know the consensus is pretty accurate that high. You literally brought up Ben landing in the same exact spot lol

You think the consensus #2 pick a year ago making a pro bowl is less likely than Fitz leading Washington anywhere but purgatory? That's where we disagree. I'm fine rolling with Kyle Allen, pocketing Fitzs money (and Heinckes) for someone else and getting Rattler (and that's it, there's no other really great prospect next year, that's why they shouldn't have passed on one this year, especially one that slips because other teams foolishly let him go in hopes they can teach old dogs new tricks). Oh and still having Chase Young for 3 more years before 3 more tags. Since that's the main thing people are worried about here. About such great talent going to "waste."  This all just comes down to teams/fans being scared of "wasting" a season like the Jags just did. Even though all of them are pumped now for Lawrence no matter how dumb it was for them to draft Etienne in the 1st, etc because Lawrence will (unfortunately) overcome a lot of dumb decisions. Kinda like Mahomes overcomes Frank Clark being overpaid. How he manages OL injuries (until there were toooooo many). Kinda how Rodgers overcomes having no one outside of Davante (until ESB drops a 2 pt conversion). Etc. Jags got the golden ticket. Doesnt mean anything is guaranteed but it sure is exciting.

Ill end by asking straightforward here; do you watch college football? Not to be mean but I generally know a lot of people here don't. 

Points: 0

#31 by Pat // May 26, 2021 - 2:30pm

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Sigh, that said most in the top half, then I wasn't sure if that was true since 1983 had more overall, so pointlessly dropped it. Bleah. Pretty sure it's most in the top half, ever.

For the teams that are already at the top of the draft, that's a good thing. For the teams lower, it's not. WFT did not have all of those QBs graded the same. They likely had ideas where other players were going, which means there's a huge chance that the guy they wanted just wouldn't be there.

After all, that's why the 49ers jumped that high. They knew Lawrence was going #1, they knew Wilson was going #2, and so they knew Lance would be available and they thought he was worth it. You think Fields would've been worth a high pick, but if the Bears didn't, why should they draft him?

"You literally brought up Ben landing in the same exact spot lol"

So? Roethlisberger was the 3rd QB drafted and while Manning and Rivers were in relatively high demand it wasn't like, crazy. You could imagine someone having any of Roethlisberger/Manning/Rivers graded high. With the super-high demand on the top 3 this year, the fact that Fields fell so far clearly means many teams see that as a big gap.

Getting the top QB in a class where lots go is a good thing. If you evaluated him as better than the others, and other teams still value the others as 1st round talent, then there's a strong chance your guy actually will be good. Elway in the 83 class, for instance, or Mayfield in the 2018 draft. Getting the second, third, fourth QB in that class? Yeah, not so much of a help.

"Ill end by asking straightforward here; do you watch college football? "

Yes. Quite a lot. That being said, I've found far more often that my opinions formed from watching college football have led me wrong more than right. I lean now more towards the idea that the opinion of a player formed by watching college football tells you more about how quickly he'll develop, not what his ultimate ceiling is.

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#37 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 26, 2021 - 4:06pm

Obviously they didn't have them graded the same. That's my entire point. If they arent impressed by this class who knows when they will be by another one. Because if it's next years, that's flying entirely away from consensus as of right now. That's a red flag. 

It's funny you bring up Baker and Elway when they weren't even the best in their class lol. Lamar (and Allen) and Marino ended up being better. So yeah, getting the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th can work out. But none of it mattered since they weren't looking or waiting for such an opportunity. They decided to reach for a LB. Not even a high value position. 

At the end of the day. Washington needed a QB then. They still need a QB now, hence this article. And there was prime picking spot in this draft. Now, it's all left up to a lot of luck and teaching the 2nd oldest dog in the league a trick he's never done; making the playoffs, let alone winning a Lombardi. Good luck but dont be surprised if you look over at your conference rivals, hyped up about their young guy while you watch Fitz throw 6 picks. Maybe learn to evaluate QBs better, especially ones that have been in the league 15 years already. Maybe then youd see why that was such a prime opportunity.  

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#14 by Pen // May 25, 2021 - 3:28pm

And lead a new Over the Hill Gang to the SB.  Of course, they'll need a Charley Taylor and a Larry Brown.....and a Herb Mulkey...and a Chris Hanburger...and a Mike Bass...and a....

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#15 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 25, 2021 - 3:53pm

a year prior at his age 32 season! 

But I guess that's the premise (-7 years). Would have to re-sign him next year, which likely means a raise and/or no guarantee he'd want to. Eventually played in 5 playoffs. Fitz would be lucky to play in 5 playoff games.

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#2 by AFCNFCBowl // May 25, 2021 - 11:26am

If Fitzpatrick or Heinicke can even play at a level close to their 2020 selves, WFT will win the division. Their defense was 3rd in DVOA last year despite how terrible their QB play was, and it got better in free agency (replaced Ronald Darby with William Jackson). Last year WFT had the worst offensive Pass DVOA in the league by a mile and still won the division.

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#4 by TacticalSledgehammer // May 25, 2021 - 12:01pm

So to make sure I'm following correctly - the Cowboys have Smith and Vander Esch, drafted Parsons, and want to play Neal at LB. How do you play 4 off-ball LBs when most teams are only fielding 2 in their "base" (nickel) defenses. This seems like an odd investment of resources.

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#11 by theslothook // May 25, 2021 - 2:16pm

I read that statement as votes of no confidence for Smith and Vander Esch

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#12 by jheidelberg // May 25, 2021 - 3:20pm

I have listed a couple of times on this site the number of mediocre QB's that have made a Super Bowl, and even won a Super Bowl during the past 20 years. This list would be more extensive if not for Brady taking up 1/4 of the Super Bowl QB spots during the past 20 years.

As a Ravens fan, my love of the mediocre QB knows no bounds. Lets leave out the super elite, Brady and Peyton Manning for a moment. You can go to the playoffs virtually every year with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Ben Roethlisberger, and win a championship but how about having a great TEAM and making a 5 year playoff run? (Joe Flacco).

WFT looks so Ravens to me. Just get in the playoffs, and try to go on the Fitzmagical run. Remember, he is replacing the two worst QB's by DVOA in 2020, Haskins and Alex Smith. Maybe WFT has upgraded the QB position MORE THAN ANY TEAM in the NFL since the end of last year. By DVOA they were a mediocre team last year, with the bottom of the barrel QB's. By DVOA Fitzpatrick has 4 straight years of above average play. Yes, I know how many playoff games this guy has played in, I still think the Colts blew it by now taking a one year flyer on this guy and making Wentz their guy.

For those of you not familiar with Baltimore, it is mandatory for a fan of the Ravens to hate the WFT. Yet, I believe in them. Why not just keep resigning Fitzpatrick to one year deals if he remains mediocre, and keep the rest of the team as intact as possible, with possibility for upgrades. The Colts could have done the same thing, and even the Rams. Teddy Bridgewater would have also been viable options for these very good TEAMS.

Points: 0

#13 by theslothook // May 25, 2021 - 3:24pm

How many teams have the Ravens innate ability to constantly field solid defensed and solid special teams? The answer might be limited to 1 or two with NE. 

I think Rivera is a good coach so maybe he brings defensive competency on his own. I don't think that's a given, but maybe. But as Andy Reid showed...give him a cromulent qb and maybe he can get lucky and win it all. Give him a superstar and you might get a dynasty.


Also how much of this narrative changes if some high leverage moments don't work against Rodgers and Brees? 

Points: 0

#16 by jheidelberg // May 25, 2021 - 5:02pm

Everyone can not have an elite QB.  This is why I think that it is important for good teams like the WFT, Colts and Rams to have affordable competency at the QB position.  As playoff teams, it would have taken a massive use of draft capital to move up to get a QB.  When you have a good team with competent, yet not elite QB play you get to have plenty of high leveraged moments.  If you have a good team many years, sooner or later you will get all of the 50/50 games to go your way in the playoffs. The key is to constantly get high leveraged moments (Raven's model).  

I'm New Around The... has gotten me to realize that when you have an elite QB, pay him and you will be good. (Houston/ Watson exception).   But if I am going with a mediocre QB, I must have the inexpensive version, Fitzpatrick or Bridgewater, not Cousins.

I question the Rams pick up of Stafford, maybe he is better than I think, but I would have stood pat if I were the Rams.  They are the good team under Goff that made it to the Super Bowl and with some breaks could have made another run.  

The Colts almost beat the Bills and then who knows?  Rivers at his age was mediocre, it is why I would have bought Fitzpatrick, try to duplicate last year, and roll the dice in the playoffs.  Wentz must have a monumental improvement from last year just to be mediocre.  He can set the team back a long way.  With Fitz, I can assume that the Colts will be 3-3 or 4-2 after 6 games, with Wentz the downside is scary.

Points: 0

#19 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 25, 2021 - 9:13pm

I guess this is in regards to draft capital because rookie QB contracts are generally steals money wise and a very important aspect in why their valued so highly. 

Maybe in some sorta vacuum Teddy and Fitz are more effective at their prices than Kirk but then again I never seen Kirk as the guy, an elevator if you will. So those 3 guys can go into my bucket of "aim higher." Which I guess you're glad someone has to do it but if I were running a team I would not really be interested in any of them. 

Relating back to Kirk though. How did MN obtain him? Or rather when? After they somehow got to the NFCCG w/Case flippin Keenum. Yeah remember that?  Bananas. That's what Washington is hoping for though at this point. That aaaaalllllll the other pieces somehow come together at JUST the right time when you're game manager (that does NOT limit turnovers btw) can do just enough to make a...CCG...and lose? Keenum then goes back to being Keenum (bad) and, or rather, BUT, the Vikings upgrade! And...yet they cant even reach Keenum heights...weird. Why? Well, not exactly Kirks fault. He's still playing at a good level. It's the team. The team around him...isnt the best. And he doesn't elevate like that. And all the other singular pieces just arent as stable or important as QB play. The Jags roster clicked on all cylinders in 17, except when they need their newly paid QB to elevate at the most crucial time...he couldn't. To literally no ones surprise btw. 

Now you're probably thinking, "well Teddy and Fitz are even CHEAPER than Kirk so they can use the money elsewhere to compensate!" And you'd be correct. But also remember Kirk is better than them. Oh and you have to spend that money really wisely to reap the benefit of having a cheaper (worse) QB. And even then Keenum, Bortles, Jimmy G, Goff, etc limit what your ultimate ceiling is and you find yourself struggling in frustration year in and year out with such players that you eventually ship out or just give up on.  

The Ravens won with Dilfer (on a backup deal) and Flacco (on a rookie deal) because they seem to generally run their organization really smart and analytically. Which really helps when you're QBs aren't the best. Doesn't mean they should settle for mediocre QB play though (and that's part of being smart! Although I imagine part of the 2nd Flacco contract was a thank you for playing above his head w/the slight hope he continued it). Not many teams seem dedicated to analytics as them though. And ultimately they can only really pay off once in a decade...without good QB play that is. Now imagine their sound strategy + great, elevating QB play. Whoa. That's what Kyle Shanahan is attempting. That's something the Rams want (although as an NFC North fan, they might now like the fact that I never saw Stafford as an elevator). 

Back to the OG point. I felt like the Bear felt. That there was no way I was letting Justin Fields slip any further. Chiefs felt the same with Mahomes. Paid off. Now the Bears felt the same about Trubisky buuuuuuut I don't think many others did (hence the weird reaction when he was drafted). Nothing weird in fan reaction when the Bears gave "all" they did for Fields. And since they came from behind Washington to get Fields, Washington could've probably offered a similar package but the signing of Fitz and Heincke, etc made them complacent. Thinking that a late rising LB, etc is what the roster really need to round out as contenders. Instead of realizing they made the playoffs while being below .500 bc it was in a garbage division where an actual elevator (Dak) got hurt, Wentz no longer could rely on 3rd downs and Daniel Jones was Daniel Jones. 

Real shame for them. I think they'll be learning the hard way. 

Points: 0

#32 by Pat // May 26, 2021 - 3:22pm

"Chiefs felt the same with Mahomes."

The Chiefs targeted Mahomes from day 1. Had nothing to do with how far he slipped, they always wanted him. The hard part was getting up to get him. They already had the trade for #10 in place before the draft.

If the Bears are confident that Fields is going to be great, good for them, but I don't blame any team that didn't go get him. The reason the Chiefs were so focused on Mahomes was that they saw an opportunity - there was a lot of disagreement regarding Trubisky, Mahomes, Watson, and Kizer. This year's very different: there's broad consensus on the QBs, which means there's less of an opportunity. (Doesn't mean that the QBs are actually valuable - just that the draft valuation doesn't have much variation).

Points: 0

#34 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 26, 2021 - 3:52pm

Targeted since day 1 and they waited til the 10th pick. Interesting.

So don't blame any move a team does essentially. Well there's another problem. You think that whatever a team does is correct. Which I don't.

The board consensus had Fields as QB2 and you dont see how scooping him up multiple picks after actual QB3 is an edge one should take advantage of? Instead throw in the towel because no one expected it? Exactly my point. But they had already committed to Fitz and determined a young dude (like Fields) was never going to be an option for them. That's concerning that they're ok with "a poor mans Eli." A red flag. No bueno. Bears (keep bringing them up because they were so similar) weren't taking such a silly stance like Washington, Denver, or Carolina. 

Points: 0

#36 by Pat // May 26, 2021 - 4:02pm

They didn't "wait"! That was as high as they could get!

"The board consensus had Fields as QB2 and you dont see how scooping him up multiple picks after actual QB3 is an edge one should take advantage of?"

Board consensus predicts drafted position. Doesn't particularly pick NFL success. If Washington didn't think he was worth it, of course they shouldn't draft up to get a player they don't really care for.

Points: 0

#39 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 26, 2021 - 4:30pm

There's always a way to get higher. Although writing the piece after he wins MVP miiiiight affect the way they remember some things but they'll respond with the utmost confidence so...whatever. 

No, that's a consensus big board I linked, not EDP. For example literally no one had Pitts going at 2 to the Jets. That's a big signal that that ranking is for a big board. I've already linked to one of my many replies on here, on how it does pick NFL success (getting a feeling you're not clicking on them, guess it can be a lot, sorry). 

And like I've said. Washington needs to learn how to evaluate current QBs in the NFL it seems (the trade for Kyle Allen was worthless and stays worthless). Otherwise they'll end up in purgatory again thinking THIS is the veteran QB they need instead of finally just biting the bullet and getting a guy that has higher ceiling than Fitz/Allen/Smith/Heincke/etc.

Points: 0

#51 by Pat // May 27, 2021 - 1:21pm

There's always a way to get higher.

If you go to the Jaguars and say "kay, we want the top overall pick" and they say "fine, we want all your draft picks for the next 20 years" then yes, technically there's a way to get higher. But I live in the real world. Trading up is extremely hard. If you do it and everyone knows who you're picking, you're almost certainly screwing yourself, because the team you're trading with will demand more. It only really works out when your intentions aren't obvious.

on how it does pick NFL success (getting a feeling you're not clicking on them, guess it can be a lot, sorry). 

Of course consensus draft position correlates with NFL success. So what? Why would you think that means Fields would be a viable starter? The typical starting QB drafted at Fields's position sucks. Is it that you just think it's totally random whether or not a QB succeeds? As in, you don't think any team is better than drafting or evaluating than any other team?

You only should target and trade up for a QB if you're more confident of him than you typically would be at his draft position. If a guy just looks like "typical 10th overall QB" you'd be mortgaging your future for like, Mitch Trubisky's career.

Otherwise they'll end up in purgatory again thinking THIS is the veteran QB they need instead of finally just biting the bullet and getting a guy that has higher ceiling than Fitz/Allen/Smith/Heincke/etc.

Literally the team with the best quarterback in the NFL right now started off by acquiring Smith and being patient. I don't get it. You keep pushing that WFT should be aggressive, and go after players when none of the successful franchises do that.

Historically, trading up for a QB is a horrible idea. Which never surprised me, because it only happens when a team is more confident about a player than the rest of the league, and that almost always means they're wrong.

Points: 0

#53 by theslothook // May 27, 2021 - 1:57pm

Well...KC and Houston did trade up for a mid round first rounder which by your own argument is likely it to end in disaster. But I agree with your overarching point


Points: 0

#55 by Pat // May 27, 2021 - 3:40pm

If something is risky that doesn't mean you don't *do* it. You just do it infrequently enough that the net cost to you is small.

It's pretty much exactly the same as thinking about fourth-down conversion attempts. Even if it works out to be exactly the same to go for it on fourth down every time on average, the fact that punting has less variance is a better choice. But when there are other externalities in play (game situation, score, etc.) that's when you restrict those attempts. Same logic for taking deep shots down the field, too.

Same thing here. Going "all in" on a quarterback constantly makes no sense - it's a big risk, quarterbacks mostly suck, and the other teams are going to fleece you for it constantly. So for the most part you just plod along, and you wait for a hero shot opportunity to take it. And ideally you put yourself in a situation where if you fail things aren't that bad anyway.

Points: 0

#56 by theslothook // May 27, 2021 - 3:46pm

That's why I said I agree with your overarching point. 

I will say - I believe there are some savior qbs that can come to a bad situation and turn around a perennial loser. Elway and Manning come to mind. Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer to lesser extents. There is hope Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence can turn around the moribund Bengals and Jaguars.

I think that alure so tantalizing, going from zero to hero with one pick. But the road to that victory is paved with sacked coaches and gms. 

Points: 0

#58 by Pat // May 27, 2021 - 4:25pm

Oh, now if you're talking about moribund franchises, there's an entirely different dynamic coming into play.

By far, most importantly, the biggest issue with teams like the Bengals and Jaguars (and why I have no hope for Burrow or Lawrence if they stay in the same spot - hello Matt Stafford) is that you don't get that perennially bad without just being a poor front office/scouting department, period, and bad teams stay bad because they don't actually change.

I mean, the Bengals changed the culture by firing Lewis, right? Now they're trying to win... with the exact same player personnel guy who's been there since 1999. And the same college scouting guy since 2015. Who got the job after the previous guy moved to the coaching staff (he's still there too) who was in the scouting department since 2012. And yeah, man, those Jaguars, totally changing things up with Urban Meyer with... the same scouts they've had for the past ~decade.


Points: 0

#62 by theslothook // May 27, 2021 - 4:44pm

I don't think the Bengals have been as bad as you make them out to be. I fully acknowledge, they have a cheapo owner, a cheapo operating process, and some other less than stellar aspects.

And yet, over the last 20 years, they have made the playoffs quite a bit, including five straight years of making the playoffs, despite being in the same division with Manning and Brady and the extremely competent Ravens and Steelers. If you are looking for the prototype perennial loser, I think that describes their instate companions more than them. 

If anything, WFT is kind of proof that even the most dysfunctional franchises can draft well enough to produce some winning seasons. That's not to say organizations don't matter. They absolutely do. And yes, bad organizations have a way of turning an ugly situation into a nightmarish one. But I don't think it implies that these organizations can't draft great talent when they land them. After all, Myles Garrett and Joe Thomas were drafted by the Browns. 

To that end, if Lawrence is a savior, I think that will transcend poor organizations enough to at least make them good. Breyond that? Hard to say. 

Points: 0

#68 by Pat // May 27, 2021 - 5:30pm

If you are looking for the prototype perennial loser, I think that describes their instate companions more than them. 

Oh, I only mentioned the Bengals because you mentioned them. I've got nearly the same opinion on the Browns, really, although for differing reasons: one owner's cheap and the other one's just... not very good at managing sports teams.

But if you look at the Bengals, it's a similar situation to yet another sad-sack franchise (for again similar reasons!) - Detroit, which is why I even when Stafford was obviously going to be a top-end QB I was like "whatever" because, well, same thing that happened with the Bengals in the 2000s with Palmer.

 But I don't think it implies that these organizations can't draft great talent when they land them. After all, Myles Garrett and Joe Thomas were drafted by the Browns. 

Garrett and Thomas weren't actually decisions by the Browns - they basically fell into their lap. As far as I can tell, for most sad-sack franchises, they might as well just fire their entire scouting department because they could replace them by a consensus prospect ranking and they'd do just as good.

Which kindof explains why you'd get these "bursts" of decent performance from these teams, where they luck into enough talent due to high draft positions for a few years, then once they're forced to compete at lower draft points, they fall apart again.

Points: 0

#66 by jheidelberg // May 27, 2021 - 5:04pm

The Bengals have not won a playoff game since the 1990 season.   They spend the least money on scouting and coaching, the uncapped areas of the NFL where true gains can be made.

If the NFL is a 32 story building, the Bengals elevator stops at the 20th floor, far from the peak, yet makes frequent stops in the basement and the lowest 5 floors.

Points: 0

#76 by theslothook // May 28, 2021 - 1:18pm

I feel like saying they haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season is a bit too misleading. Its not as if they haven't had chances. Ok some of them have been thorough blowouts, but others were games like going into Indy with 0 healthy receivers. Or losing at home to Pittsburgh without Andy Dalton and losing because a running back fumbled the ball when they could have run out the clock. 

Conversely, do we think the Jaguars are well run? They have won actual playoff games and gotten to the conference championship - something that has eluded a lot of teams in the last twenty years(including the Cowboys).

In fact, the list of dysfunctional teams seems excessively long don't you think? Including the Bengals means at a minimum, we need to include..<deep breath> Raiders, Chargers, Jets, WFT, Lions, Cardinals, Browns, and Dolphins>



Points: 0

#77 by jheidelberg // May 28, 2021 - 1:37pm

The Bengals are the cream of the crap going 0-7 in playoff games in the Marvin Lewis era.  The others incompetents that you list wish they had 7 chances.

Points: 0

#80 by Pat // May 28, 2021 - 2:02pm

Dysfunctional teams are the ones where you hand them an elite level QB and they can't maintain success (and obviously they can't maintain success without one either).

Doesn't surprise me at all that there are that many. It's a rich person's playground, most of them aren't willing to step back and not screw around with their shiny toy. Or let their kids and friends play with their shiny toy, too. (Also doesn't surprise me that the one franchise that isn't a rich person's playground is literally the most successful in the league).

Chargers I think are borderline in that group, there's a difference between sustained mediocrity and oscillating between awful/good. Especially since being in the AFC it's hard to beat the Brady/Manning headwind. But the rest? Yup, totally agree.

There are also like, half-dysfunctional franchises that do smart things but then just seem to have wacko blind spots, like the Eagles, Bears, and Cowboys.

To be clear, though, the only franchises in the entire NFL that I would practically give a free pass on all organizational decisions are the Packers, Steelers, and probably Ravens (yes, seems weird to exclude the Patriots, but having Belichick and Brady means I dunno if they're good or lucky. Ditto with the Chiefs). I can't remember the last time there was a decision by any of those 3 teams that I said "what the hell are you doing."

Points: 0

#81 by theslothook // May 28, 2021 - 2:17pm

But look at New Orleans or the Manning era Colts. Both were laughingstocks and perennial punching bags. And it took the addition of a few people to completely turn them into powerhouses. 

To be clear, there are organizations that do have long lasting benefits. But as you mentioned above, that list is incredibly small. For the rest, I just think they are slaves to the talent. 

Points: 0

#54 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 27, 2021 - 2:07pm

this year. Might next year. Might be for who knows how long. 

You didn't click on the article? It's not consensus draft position. It's the consensus big board. There's a difference and the public is...slightly better. GASP. Even though the NFL is the one controlling all the leashes. 

You keep calling them patient post facto. Would you thrash them for trading up instead of being "patient?" No. You'd agree it was time like it was for the Chiefs (yet you wanna bring up Alex Smith getting acquired by him...hmmm) or Texans. They traded in the same range that Fields was in! And Washington was closer! A trade up for a QB is literally like the only time a team should trade up. QBs can be worth it 10x fold unlike less valuable positions. Literally no one cares that the Bears traded "all that" for Fields. And even slightly less so the 49ers for Lance. 

Points: 0

#57 by Pat // May 27, 2021 - 4:08pm

You keep calling them patient post facto. Would you thrash them for trading up instead of being "patient?" No. 

If they had traded up just above Chicago and grabbed Fields? No, I wouldn't've thrashed them. So what? It's a risky decision. I don't criticize teams for taking safe decisions when it's roughly a 50/50 shot in the draft, and going from 19->10 is basically that. I don't criticize teams for taking risky decisions in that situation either. Now, trade 3 draft picks like the 49ers did, and I don't like it. Trade more and you're nuts.

It is actually possible for both options to be correct. That's the way risky decisions work. If someone offers to give you $900 bucks every day, or offers to let you wager $100 each day to win $10,000 on rolling a 1 on a 10-sided die, those two decisions are equivalent, but I'd take the $900 bucks in a heartbeat. But if you lop off 2 zeros from those dollar amounts everywhere (edit: or you add two zeros to my bank account), the reasoning changes.

This is entirely the difference, and why you keep bringing up stuff I said like it doesn't make sense. It's fine that the Chiefs traded up. It's fine that Washington didn't trade up. It's a risk, and if they don't like it, there's no problem with the decision making.

Points: 0

#70 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 27, 2021 - 8:27pm

That's how you lose out. It's safe not patience. It's whatever they decide to do is right.

And even just looking at the recent trade ups in the first for a QB:

Darnold: miss

Allen: hit

Rosen: miss

Lamar: hit

Trubisky: miss

Mahomes: hit

Watson: hit 

Even if we say it's 50/50. Hitting is tremendous! Who remembers what those trade ups costed? Who cares! And as long as you move on quickly, missing isn't that bad. Now the Jets look forward to Wilson, Bears Fields and Cardinals Murray. Would you take Fitz contract over any of those guys contract? I sure wouldn't. There's a problem with their decision making I'd say! Just delaying the inevitable, for such a small chance at glory. Which in term delays the glory. 

Points: 0

#72 by Pat // May 28, 2021 - 10:22am

That's how you lose out. It's safe not patience. It's whatever they decide to do is right.

Yeah, because I'm super well known for never criticizing Washington. That's totally what everyone knows me for. The only option we know Washington would've had is trading away an excessive amount of picks to move up.

That's what I criticize teams for, and those trades just don't happen that often. In fact, none of the trades on your list are excessive value trades because very few of them happen anymore. The Chiefs and Texans made a neutral value trade: two picks for one higher pick. That's fine. But those aren't always available - you can't judge against that decision, because again, you don't know if it was possible. If Mahomes hadn't fallen to the Chiefs, you wouldn't've even known that the Chiefs had a trade in place, and you have no way of knowing how much they would've had to have given away to get any higher.

Lamar Jackson's trade was for peanuts and a stick of bubble gum - the functional value of a second-round pick is purely a small amount of money. The typical player at that position is available constantly in free agency. If you're asking should teams trade second round picks to grab value QB targets at the end of the first round when they've already got a minimally viable QB, that's a "duh."

You're just lumping tons of completely different situations with different risk assessments together and ignoring the steps that led up to those moves. That's not how you evaluate decisions.

The Bills roster/draft moves have impressed the utter hell out of me, so that's a good example to look at - the Bills traded away exactly zero first round picks (net) to move from 21 to 6. None. The players they gave up were all surplus-value: Dion Dawkins panned out really fast, and Cordy Glenn's injury made it obvious the Bills had a surplus left tackle. So they traded him to move up. No risk. Other resources in that trade were acquired by trading Sammy Watkins who was functionally surplus since they didn't have a quarterback that could utilize him. Wide receivers are more replaceable than QBs and with shorter careers, so again, no risk. 

So why didn't Washington do what Buffalo did? Because what Buffalo did took multiple years of planning and steady gains in the draft. They got the extra second in 2016, they got the extra value needed to be able to move on from Glenn in 2017, and then in 2018 they were able to move up.

You just keep focusing on Fields as if he's some opportunity WFT couldn't have afforded to pass on and so they trade the moon. That's just not what draft picks are. The success rate of draft picks is so low that you can always afford to pass on them. You keep saying "but... Fields is super-high on the consensus big board, and that means success!" Again - no, it doesn't! It actually means "crap starter." That's what the average value of a first round QB actually isThat's what WFT passed on.

Points: 0

#74 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 28, 2021 - 11:49am

We knew what now? Excessive? Man, if you think the Bears haul was excessive...yeesh. You must hate trades. It was for a QB. They can be worth that haul all the time. Using the guise of well we dont KNOW (even though you just said we did) what it would cost. No, we actually have a pretty good idea from history. Washington just wasn't interested! Not good! You think it's fine though under that guise! Not for me! Find a way! Don't need to hoard 5th round picks! 

Very convenient the trades that DO happen are all well and fine. Again, hiding under the guise of Denver or something demanding six 1sts for #9 or something because it's possible. No risk for Mahomes, Allen, Lamar, or Watson but there was for Fields/Jones for Washington? That's REALLY generous that you think that those teams had the master plan YEARS ahead. Besides what did the Bears do that was meticulously planned to get their trade up this year? Why was it THEIR time but not Washingtons? Or does the difference between the two teams not matter?

But man, if only there was someone was saying they shouldn't go to Allen/Smith solely for the sake of winning in 2021! Maybe then a trade up wouldn't have been necessary/easier. 

I never said it was guaranteed success (being obtuse now). I point to these studies (that you clearly arent reading) because that's the basis for why they should've taken a shot! "Crap starter" yet all someone did is mention Big Ben, Watson, Mahomes, etc in that same range. The fact that you CANT see it being successful is crazy. No team is planning on getting the "average" that high lol. Otherwise Washington mustve been like "no thanks to that average, let's stay put and pick less valuable positions since they're above average at that slot in the 1st!" Becauase if you're getting a crap starter at 9-11, geez what's the "average" at 19+ (and where are you getting that info anyway)?

Fields was a good prospect. Hence why Chicago traded up. Hence why he was rated so highly coming out of college and high school. Washington thought it was better to fill less valuable positions with worse draft slots. That's not good process! They didn't even try to trade up! There was no moon offered! I don't care about any further explanation! I got enough info elsewhere! Good luck with another WC exit Washington! Hopefully Fields is a "crap starter" like Pat is tellin me! Hopefully when you trade up from #22 next year the class is worth it despite giving up future assets this year! 

TBH tho I'm still in awe of you explaining away the 4 most recent hits. Like...dude...such a post facto explanation as those were waaaaaay better/more obvious than what I'm saying Washington should've done? Incredible.'re siding with the teams on whatever move they do for sure. I get why they do things. Doesn't make it right. lol two 1sts for 1 higher 1 is neutral value? Yeesh. That's why the Packers were rightfully praised when the Saints moved up for Marcus Davenport. And Davenport is solid when available! But he's not a QB! He can't provide as much value as a Watson or Mahomes can! CRAZY. (one of the picks traded for Watson was FOURTH OVERALL and NOBODY CARES because QBs can be worth not reaching on a LB). 

And correction on the Mahomes trade: it wasn't 2 for 1, the Chiefs also included a 3rd that year (#91). And that 3rd turned into John Johnson, who is solid! But NOBODY CARES because he was worth SOOOOO much more. Just...take...the...risk WFT. If he's crap in 2021, who cares, same thing as giving Fitz a bigger cap hit this year with the ability to mold him 4 more years afterwards.

Points: 0

#75 by Pat // May 28, 2021 - 12:47pm


Very convenient the trades that DO happen are all well and fine.

Yes, just like it's very convenient that people don't buy houses for 10 times their market value. Teams don't do stupid things just to demonstrate to us that they're stupid. I mean, usually. Mike Ditka did at least demonstrate that "trade the house" is a stupid freaking strategy.

Hopefully Fields is a "crap starter" like Pat is tellin me!

Good prospects are crap starters on average. That's what actually happens in the draft. Draftnik crap on draft day makes it seem like draft picks are these ludicrously valuable things because everyone who gets drafted is going to be a Pro Bowl player or make the Hall of Fame.

They're not. They're valuable, sure, but they're far from the most important thing to a team. When Philly signed DeSean Jackson to one of the stupidest free agent contracts ever, they burned like 2-3 years worth of first-round picks in terms of value. 

TBH tho I'm still in awe of you explaining away the 4 most recent hits.

I'm not explaining anything away. All of those trades were reasonable. What about if the Chiefs were absolutely convinced in Mahomes and traded away 4 first round picks to jump as high as they could? That would've been crazy. Sure, look at Mahomes and say "doesn't matter, would've been worth it" but that's hindsight. Based on the average return of a pick, if a team trades like that they'll be utter garbage.

never criticize teams for passing on a pick, because they're just not that valuable. They'll be right way more often than they're not.

Incredible.'re siding with the teams on whatever move they do for sure.

Yeah, it's like you're not even reading anything I write. I'm not saying the Bears did the stupidest thing ever. I'm not super fond of it because when you've got 3 teams that clamored over quarterbacks before Fields, the odds say that Fields is likely worse than they are, which means his upside's limited.

If Washington had done what the Bears did I'd have the exact same opinion. Mostly neutral, slightly negative. If Washington had given up even more than the Bears to beat them out, my opinion on it goes down even more.

It's ludicrously silly to criticize Washington for not doing what the Bears did first because tons of externalities come into play there. The Bears traded with the Giants. Maybe they did try to get Fields (suggesting Fitzpatrick prevented them from drafting Fields is wacko, he costs nothing), but the Giants were like "yeah, no, we'll trade with the Bears TYVM, suck it Snyder" and Washington would've had to trade up to like, 8 or something, and it would've cost multiple first round picks. That part's nuts.

But if you're convinced that me siding with teams when they do reasonable things is somehow siding with them on everything... whatever. I've said multiple times San Francisco's trade was nuts, and Los Angeles's trade was nuts. 

Those were big deals. Functionally you're here haggling over a trade which, on average, nets a low-end starter for Chicago. These picks just aren't that valuable.

Points: 0

#82 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 28, 2021 - 2:32pm

"What the league does is the right thing most of the time" more or less. Can't agree. Those teams absolutely took risks. Washington did not. Just because they didn't, doesnt mean it was right..

IDK what Desean contract you're talking about. 

So you don't see a flaw in the Chiefs trading a two 1sts AND a 3rd for what amounts to a crap starter? Or is using hindsight to helpful to now? But you can't fathom the WFT doing something similar for Fields like the Bears did? 2 1sts, a 4th and a 5th? Because this time it WONT be Mahomes? Or Watson? Well I'm gonna blame the team because they still need a QB. Chiefs didn't trade 4 1sts either and neither would the WFT! The fact that you think Carlolina or whoever would demand that much from Washington is the wacko part. 

You're not "super fond of it" because were discussing it here lol. But you sure seemed fond of the Allen, Mahomes, Watson and Lamar trades because...they're actually pretty similar? Wait...can't say they are similar because those guys hit! Would ruin the argument here. 

And no the WFT didn't try. They literally said it themselves (read what I linked or provide counter evidence). And multiple 1sts? You mean like Allen, Mahomes, and Watson????? Duuuuuuude you're so flip floppy. You continue to ignore that multiple 1sts, including one for the FOURTH OVERALL PICK, is still worth it! Ironically the Trubisky, Darnold and Rosen trades are the ones that didn't include multiple 1sts...and they missed. Give up more for a better QB is worth it, it seems. But yeah those teams calculated years before hand, so that's why those trades were so different from this one. 

You keep saying on average, where's this evidence (also I'm guessing it's "low-end" because teams mostly select non QBs there)?

Also, sorry, you do not agree with teams on everything. You just hate trading up (I dont like it either). Even for the most valuable position, that has shown us recently, that trading multiple 1sts for a QB IS worth it. QBs are indeed the exception for trade ups, that high. So, yeah I will continue to blame Washington for being COMFORTABLE with Fitz and letting a great prospect slide to a conference rival.

You just can't convince me a prospect like Justin Fields isnt worth giving up something like Jamin Davis, John Bates, Darrick Forrest and next years 1st. When I literally just saw Mahomes be worth more than Rashaan Evans, Tre White and John Johnson. Watson more than Denzel Ward and Jabrill Peppers. Allen more than Vita Vea, MJ Stewart and Duke Dawson. Or Lamar (and Jaleel Scott) more than Kemoko Turay, Avonte Maddox and Miles Sanders. You gotta notice a trend by now. Just gotta fill out the rest of the roster with the likes of John Bates, Darrick Forrests, John Johnson, MJ Stewart, Duke Dawson, Kemoko Turay, Avonte Maddox and Miles Sanders of the worlds over a great QB dont we. 

Points: 0

#83 by Pat // May 28, 2021 - 3:28pm



So you don't see a flaw in the Chiefs trading a two 1sts AND a 3rd for what amounts to a crap starter?

Anything past 2nd round is pointless fluff. And again, as I've said multiple times before, spending two firsts for a starter is fine, because the "starter level success" rate is ~50% (which is why I say an average draft pick is a crap starter). So all you're doing is you're betting "this guy's gonna be a starter." Last time I checked, 50% is half of 100%. Burning 2 picks on a guy you're sure of is fine if your hit rate and frequency of doing it is low enough.

You keep saying on average, where's this evidence (also I'm guessing it's "low-end" because teams mostly select non QBs there)?

Just google career AV versus draft position, read the Massey-Thaler paper (or any of the more recent derivatives), QBASE 2.0. Career AV of a mid-round 1st is ~30, which is Joey Harrington. Massey-Thaler value of a mid-round first is ~$4M/yr in 2008 dollars, which is basically value of a low-end starter averaged over positions (that'd be ~$8M now). In other words, every time a team screws up a free agency acquisition at $8M/yr, that's a first-round pick tossed away. Which happens all the time.

And really the only guy I look at recently and say "yup, done, Hall of Fame" is Mahomes. It would not shock me to see, for instance, Watson and Allen fall apart, and statistically one of them is likely to. But guys like Mahomes happen once in... never, so you don't plan on that.

But yeah, considering you keep telling me what I think when I've said, repeatedly, that that's not what I think, I think this is pointless. You just have a much different risk profile than I do, which is unsurprising considering your high opinion of draft picks.

Points: 0

#84 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 28, 2021 - 4:10pm

So what's wrong with the Bears essentially trading Kadarius Toney and a future 1st for Justin Fields? If he hits what's given up really doesn't matter. If he doesn't oh well, gonna stink either way. Still don't know how those trades are really any different than what Washington could've done. Or did you hate them at the time too?

So as I suspected, it's lower value positions bringing it down. Also 11th = early 1st, 12-21 = mid, 22-32 = late. Cutoffs established! Oh and wow, Fitz went for more than $8m. Maybe that's why it's so bad...

You think they have to a HOF by year 4 to be worth it? Lol There's another problem. Yeah I guess a team shouldn't plan on non HOFrs at pick 11 like Lamar, Allen and Watson. What a shame if they got such a player there. Because in reality, redoing those drafts, all 4 of those guys are going in the top 2 in their respective years. I dont even need to look to see who else was drafted. Average I guess.

You're the one calling anything past the 2nd fluff yet being scared of trading up for the most valuable position? Lol I don't know if you're higher or lower on picks. But it seems like you don't know/care about positional value as much. Which is a little more known/objective. And if everyone is saying the Bears hit it out the park, it was probably good process. Results TBD (results of recent past says get excited Chicago, lets learn from the past Pat)

Points: 0

#89 by BJR // May 31, 2021 - 1:47pm

I don't believe Pat (or anybody) is criticizing the Bears for making the trade. They are simply not criticizing Washington for not making the same (or similar) trade.

Because: a) Our information about the transactions made on draft day is incomplete. Washington may have attempted a trade with the Giants and been rebuffed. Something else may have impeded them. Who knows? 

And b) Fields had dropped to 11, with at least two other QB needy teams having already passed on him. That at least provides some evidence that the NFL as a whole was unsure of him. If you aren't prepared to weight that into your opinion of the player at least slightly, I would suggest you are guilty of over-confidence.

I personally didn't like the decision from Carolina or Denver to pass on him (or the other QB - I don't study college football so I have no opinions on the particular players. This is based solely on positional value and general consensus). I think the trade up from Chicago was reasonable in the circumstances, but definitely not such a knock-out that other teams should have been desperately outbidding them. 

Points: 0

#90 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 31, 2021 - 3:08pm

I am though. I criticize the process of thinking it wasn't a good class/too much to trade up. Just delays the inevitable. 

a) this keeps being brought up but there would have surely been some leaks by now of them trying. But most of all, they literally said they'd rather go this route because they had to fill positions like LB. And my retort to that is QB makes up for those positions if hit (and they of course have to hit on the other positions otherwise they especially look silly in my eyes). 

b) I mean sure, but we see teams do silly things all the time. Again, going back to Big Ben, Mahomes and Watson falling in the same range. Redo those drafts and they're going top 2, full stop. 

So yeah, a real missed opportunity is something that can be critiqued. It's like critiquing Denver and Carolina, except they're even sillier. 

People seem to think a trade up destroys the future, and in some ways it can. Or in some ways you get the number 1 pick next year in a "weak" class but a talented QB1. Or you move on from him 3 years later getting 3 picks in return including a 2nd (non-fluff I've been told) and select one at 2 in a stacked class. Or you move on 4 years later and someone falls enough in a deep class that you trade up and everyones cool with it. Or you can try to change Fitzpatrick/hope he puts it together at 39 for 20/21 games. I know what risk I wanna take. Not sure why many would are scared of losing a Jamin Davis or Kadarius Toney, choosing the latter with a higher cap hit than each of the young, possibly bright futured, QBs first 4 years we are.

Points: 0

#64 by jheidelberg // May 27, 2021 - 4:47pm

I believe that trading down is used the most often by the Ravens, Patriots and Packers, it works really well.  The NFL draft is throwing darts at a board, and these teams throw more darts.  Therefore, they hit more often.  The Ravens are the masters of getting the compensatory pick.

I agree with you Pat about trading up for a QB when you are talking of the high high up picks, I will add that it is rarely a good idea to trade up period.

If I am going to bet on who are the best of the 5 QB's in 5 years I will take Trey Lance and Mac Jones, simply because they both went to competent organizations.

When you have the number 1 pick, what if you traded down?  How much would the Jags or Jets have to work with had they traded out, and ended up with Justin Fields or Mac Jones, or neither for that matter?

Points: 0

#73 by Pat // May 28, 2021 - 10:35am

I'm not a fan of "go for huge draft haul" by trading back. I mean, small trades, sure, but really teams are pretty cautious about trading more than 2-for-1 on first-round picks (gee, you think it's a coincidence that first round picks have basically a 50% success rate?) so trading back more than a few picks would mean mucking with multiple teams, and that's just logistically a bit of a nightmare.

I'm a big fan of what the Browns did over a few years, but I don't think that's repeatable (got the guys involved fired, after all). Bigger fan of what the Bills did, but that takes patience and luck.

Trading back for a different QB is super-iffy in my mind. That'd have to be a very specific situation where guys are scouted as practically identical, and even then, you'd want to like, move back 1. The idea that a team would move back a bunch because there's like, four QBs that they all have ranked evenly and they're happy with any of them? I don't buy that as something that would actually happen. That's just draftnik talk. 

The recurring theme that people may see is that I'm not a fan of dancing around the draft trying to outsmart people. Minor stuff, sure, when opportunities present themselves, sure, but offering another team a "yeah, you've gotta take this" trade to move up? Dumb. Passing on a top prospect to get a peanuts and bubble gum? Dumb.

It's also pretty telling that these kinds of things don't happen that often anyway. I'm super interested to see what happens with the Trey Lance trade because holy crap, that's one hell of a risky move, and definitely one I wouldn't've made. Same deal with the Stafford trade.

I honestly have no idea WTF Shanahan and McVay were thinking - those are "all in" type moves that could monumentally backfire, and they don't have that much upside. San Francisco was the 5th overall team by DVOA two years ago. Rams were a top 10 team last year. What do they think, they're gonna suddenly become unstoppable juggernauts?

Points: 0

#22 by cstoos // May 26, 2021 - 12:48am

Washington WILL be a playoff team as long as they start Fitzmagic all season.

Points: 0

#28 by COtheLegend // May 26, 2021 - 12:52pm

While Linebacker is probably the correct answer for the Eagles, I can also make the case for Cornerback, as I am not sure as to who will be the second starting CB after Darius Slay. I wonder if they believe that the new defensive coordinator and staff is going to coach up improved play out of the players that are already on the roster.

Points: 0

#35 by Pat // May 26, 2021 - 4:01pm

Corner's really the correct answer in terms of a player the Eagles are actually looking for. I mean, linebacker's been a team need for, uh, forever, but Roseman's never valued linebackers (nor did Reid or Heckert, who Roseman learned under). 

The brief comment in the article is actually hilarious: "recent roster management suggests the Eagles do not value the position the way that some teams do". I mean, recent? Really?? The Eagles haven't drafted a first-round linebacker since 1979. That's 42 years! I haven't gone through all of the teams in the NFL but I think that's literally the longest any team has gone. (Marcus Smith/Brandon Graham are occasionally listed as linebacker in draft histories but they were drafted as DEs by the Eagles). I mean, jeez, Mychal Kendricks at 46 practically gave me a heart attack!

It's a freakin' universal truth in the NFL, the Eagles linebackers will always suck.

Points: 0

#38 by COtheLegend // May 26, 2021 - 4:22pm

Coincidentally, two seasons that the Eagles got good linebacker play (2004 and 2017) involved trips to the Super Bowl. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned!

Points: 0

#59 by Pat // May 27, 2021 - 4:27pm

Well, yeah, if they were capable of learning lessons. But we're talking about the Eagles under Howie Roseman here. Self-reflection and criticism are, uh, not exactly strong points.

Points: 0

#30 by gomer_rs // May 26, 2021 - 1:47pm

Fitzpatrick more than any QB other than Eli Manning is the one QB where I'd be totally comfortable just betting on a streak of good play if he ever got into the playoffs.

The idea that Fitzpatrick can play at or near the top of the league for a 3-4 game stretch is not radical, he's done it periodically through out his career. He just has as many 3-4 games of truly god awful play, and a lot more mediocre play. He's basically always been a poor man's Eli.

I think if you have an otherwise great roster Fitzpatrick makes a lot of sense. And I like him better then the normal caretaker game manager QB you'd normally try and find. Because on his best day Fitzpatrick actually can hang in there with the Rodgers and Wilsons of the world. His best day is just a lot less common (and on his worse day he can hang in there with the Leafs of the world).

Points: 0

#33 by jheidelberg // May 26, 2021 - 3:51pm

So agree that for any 3-4 game stretch Fitzpatrick can be top of the league.

"Poor man's Eli"-talking right to me, as I have mentioned a number of times previously that Eli is a first ballot mediocre Hall of Famer.

It seems from the comments that the general consensus is that the Ravens are a brilliant organization and their Dilfer/Flacco model is not duplicatable, I will argue that indeed this model is duplicatable, the Giants also have won two Eli Manning championships this way, but many teams have gone a long way in a given season with comparable QB's to Dilfer, Flacco, and Eli Manning. I must admit that no one has maintained the consistency of excellence over the long haul as have the Ravens, despite not having an elite QB.

Is this really a league with 5-6 elite QB's and 26-27 team that are not relevant and should be in endless search of that one extra elite QB?  I think not. No one said this directly, but this seems to be implied by many of the comments.

The idea seems to be that this was one of the best QB drafts in history because 5 QB's were taken in the first round.  I would change that to say that this is "perceived" to be one of the best QB drafts in history.  Lets see how many of the 5 are still standing around in five years doing more than just being a backup.  

I understand wanting more than Fitzpatrick, but my point is the improvement over Haskins/Smith is massive.  The team was mediocre with the WORST QB play in the league.

The WFT maybe should aim higher, but their management over the past 2-3 decades has proven to be like many men:  They have bad aim.

Points: 0

#40 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 26, 2021 - 4:43pm

Trying to consistently win with Dilfer on a backup deal or just paying whatever price to get a Brady or Mahomes?

Aim lower at QB, but not the other 52 spots that ones need to be perfect to win with or aim higher with QB where in the end you can do maybe riskier things with the other 52 spots like KC did trading for Frank Clark when they (already) traded for Mahomes? 

If yall want to go the former my guest. You'll quickly realize that the slight improvement in QB wont be enough to outweigh the regression at other the QBs gonna have to elevate eventually. Kirk, Fitz, etc. dont seem to be that type. Like, Stafford may be a slight improvement but with the loss of like 5 starters and their DC (among others) Rams probably aren't much different than last year. But their baseline was always closer than Washingtons (and FWIW I did like the Desean pick up, although a little confused at Atwell being their first pick even though I like him in a vacuum). 

Points: 0

#41 by jheidelberg // May 26, 2021 - 11:43pm

Signing Fitzpatrick is simply doing what you can under the circumstances.  If Mahomes is available, I am sure there would be 32 teams bidding for him.  This is my whole point, there are only 5-6 elite QB's, so for everyone else it is a matter of doing the best that you can without an elite QB.  Of course I would rather have an elite QB and fill in the 52 blanks, but for most of the league it is a matter of getting the best play at QB as possible.  Many teams win without elite QB's, it is difficult to win with a bottom 25% QB let alone the worst QB which is what WFT had.  

I will hold on to my argument that WFT is a legit contender based upon a baseline of mediocrity in 2020 despite horrific QB play.  They are not going to make the playoffs for 5 straight years with Fitzpatrick, but a one year band-aid is worth a try while you have this stellar defense.  

Clearly Fitzpatrick is a kick the can down the road option, but for 2021 I think it gives the WFT the best chance possible.  If Rodgers is available, of course they should go for him.  


Points: 0

#42 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 27, 2021 - 12:51am

to sign Fitz? Weird. The best they could do was a 39 year old that's never even made a pro bowl. Yeah that's pretty depressing to me. Many teams win without an elite QB but a crap ton more lose. According to you, 24-25 lose. Two sides to that coin and you're betting on the 1/26 side. Seems risky. 

And betting on defense...well that's an unstable aspect of football. Not that the top 4 teams made it to the CCG last year anyway. As opposed to 3 of the top 4 offenses went to the CCG. To go along with #5! With 2 and 3 making it to the SB!

And hey, maybe they should realize they don't need to win right away and should rather be building up to that. Because when they ultimately don't win...there's no adhesive bandage ready to go and they're stuck trying to figure out how to get one. Trade up...but it's a weak class...use the same old dirty band-aid...and hopefully the team (defense) says ready/young/inexpensive by the time you DO decide to get a higher ceiling guy instead of having that young guy grow with the team. Otherwise Chase Young might demand a lot (lol might), say goodbye to WJ3 to pay for Chase. Oops this other guy retired. Another guy you had to let go in FA. Another guy got hurt. Some others naturally regress. Hopefully you found an elevator by then. 

Just my too (many) cents. 

Points: 0

#43 by jheidelberg // May 27, 2021 - 1:29am

Please name who you think are the top 6 QB's right now.  I will call them elite QB's.  Once you have named your QB's I will give you my thoughts.


Points: 0

#44 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 27, 2021 - 10:38am

Including the guy this entire discussion is based around. Which is my point, we ALL agree he's not elite or anything of the like. I also said the same thing about Kirk whos better than Fitz (we SHOULD be able to agree on that). Although I'd like to hear your thoughts on the great 2017 Vikings (elite defense) that upgraded their QB position with an all agreed upon better, but non elite, QB. Why havent they won a SB? Scratch that, why havent they even matched that result since then, despite a "massive" upgrade at QB? And the 2017 NFC North was actually good (well at least better than the 2020 NFC East)! They were seen as offseason winners, not only for just that deal but they also got Sheldon Richardson!

You don't think that very recent example is a warning signing? Also the same year the Jags topped out annnnnnnnd where'd they go from there with a non elite QB? 

Points: 0

#48 by jheidelberg // May 27, 2021 - 12:40pm

Yes to have long term success you most likely need an elite QB (Ravens exception).  

Now you are the GM of any team that does not have an elite QB.  Where are you going to get him?

What I was trying to get at is that if I asked last May,”Who are the best 6 QB’s in the NFL right now” I bet few would have put Tom Brady and Josh Allen on the list.

i am wondering also if people think that the Ravens are continuing to be the exception.  Of the 32 starting NFL QB’s where does Lamar Jackson rank?

Going forward I would love to see a consensus list of the top 6 QB’s each August for the next 20 years.  I an willing to bet that the bottom 26 will produce an equal amount of each of the following going forward:


Super Bowl Champion

Super Bowl Loser

NFC and AFC Championship game loser

This is 4 QB’s per year.  

For my bottom 26 QB’s we can virtually eliminate the bottom 10.  Fitzpatrick is not a bottom 10 QB.

Where do the Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz  rank?  

Of course I expect the Chiefs to be excellent with Mahomes for a decade.  How do you get him?  If the Jets, Jags, Bengals, Chargers already have the next Mahomes will they just screw it up?  Doesn’t the team and ciaching staff matter in making a QB elite?



Points: 0

#52 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 27, 2021 - 1:32pm

Tom Brady had an extensive history of being great and then weapons went to crap, took a dip, and yet they still made the playoffs. Josh Allen was still young and was buoyed by his rushing. Fitz was neither. 

And I don't think it's a hard and fast always 6. But at the end of the day, no matter the cutoff or what they're called, Ryan Fitpatrick isn't in it and there's no disagreement on that. 

The team and staff matters yes, but lets stay on this specific topic. You really think this Washington team and staff are gonna make 39 year old Fitz something he's never been? I just don't see it. I can maybe see 9-8 and maybe another WC loss. Let alone winning a SB.  

And btw I'd lump Goff and Wentz in the same boat as Fitz. Matt Ryan is clearly a tick above them and is borderline. We saw him win MVP and score 28 in the SB. Vastly higher ceiling than those guys that wasn't built on a bed of sand (makes sense why he was #1 overall). But that's not the topic on hand. They weren't getting Matt. They were getting Fitz. Like I said other places. All these teams like Washington, Indy, etc. should've waited for Dak and if not, get a young guy and if that's not possible (even though it clearly was), roll with whatevers there and, likely enough they're younger than Fitz with a sliver of maaaaybe having a higher ceiling. If they suck like we know Kyle Allen likely does, oh well, you're in better position to get a QB high next year. 

But please don't dodge the 2017 Vikings (and Jags). Why didn't they progress (actually regressed) with a massive upgrade? 13-3 team won the offseason! That should end great at some point in the near future!

Points: 0

#60 by jheidelberg // May 27, 2021 - 4:36pm

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Six is an arbitrary number, but if you go over six what is elite?  By definition elite is special, if I go to 8 I am at 25% of the starting QB's in the league.  If I go less, that makes these guys even more scarce, thus making it more foolish to believe if you are one of the other 28 teams that you will land the next elite QB.

The reason that I wanted you to pick six (no pun intended) is that for the next 20 years, I am willing to take the bottom 26 and I expect to have an equal number of Super Bowl Winners, Super Bowl Losers and NFC and AFC title appearances.  In a prior post you said I was taking a 1% strategy.  I felt that you were limiting the idea of winning to a select few teams.  We can not after the fact pick the 6 best QB's of the league, clearly the top 6 QB's in any given year after the fact will have a massive correlation to winning.

I will be glad to comment, please be more specific.  When I look up the 2016 Vikes I see mediocre Bradford, then 2017 Vikings mediocre Cousins.  Other than a name change at QB and likely a $$$ change, what happened?

Then the Jags went from 2016 Bortles to 2017 Bortles.

Lumping Fitz in with Goff and Wentz is my whole point.  You have a QB Super Bowl loser in Goff, who has led the Rams to a number of other successful seasons, and a QB in Wentz that brought a Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia team to a number 1 seed with Wentz, who then got hurt and the ever mediocre Nick Foles finished the job.

I am simply saying that I expect that the WFT is a Super Bowl contender, a good team like last years Colts, not Aaron's favorite 1991 team from Washington.

The Rams have had success with Goff, they think Stafford is a major upgrade (Why)?  Wentz had a historic fall off of a cliff, could anyone have predicted that massive decline?  

I am not expecting long term success with Fitzpatrick.  Last years collection of garbage at QB ended long term failure for the WFT, and I expect Fitzpatrick to lead WFT to the playoffs.  I expect nothing from the coaching staff, the guy is 39, he is what he is, which of late is a very consistent mediocre QB.  He is a well traveled and older version of young Joe Flacco.  He was better than Tua last year and Miami makes the playoffs in a normal season at 10-6 with 6 playoff teams, let alone 7.  He also led the previously -80 DVOA Dolphins to a 5 win season. 

You root for Aaron Rodgers, the rest of us are trying to win without Aaron Rodgers.  The endless hunt for the next Aaron Rodgers is the find the needle in the haystack approach.   Part of the Ravens success is that they have never been on a desperate and never ending hunt for a QB.  They work with what they have and make the most of it.  They do not have a secret sauce.  I believe that their model for success is duplicatable, and I am concerned as a Ravens fan that the team that has found the model is Cleveland with Baker Mayfield.

Points: 0

#65 by theslothook // May 27, 2021 - 4:47pm

I prefer tiers for this exercise. Tiers nicely separate out QBs. Tier 1 is your transcendent dude's, the guys who are mvp favorites every year. Tier 2 are the perennial probowl, could be the MVP but not as consistent. Tier 3 is the crowded tier and Tier 4 is everyone else.


Points: 0

#67 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 27, 2021 - 5:28pm

Did I say anything incorrect? Adding Richardson and upgrading to Kirk was better right? Or are we just ignoring how volatile teams are, specifically defense? But think it was Cousins in 17? I literally mentioned Keenum a ton of times lol. Why are you going back to 2016? Either way what happened was unstable. The roster peak and they didn't have the right QB (Keenan so you're not confused). A year later the team regress and the massive (really minimal) QB upgrade cant offset it. The Jags regressed too. But they just kept Bortles and WERENT IN REACH OF A QB. Or rather felt comfortable with Bortles. They messed up feeling that way. Took a few years and stealthy realization they needed a reboot. Now they have Lawrence and are happy.

And the premise of large numbers 26 vs 6 coming out to 50/50 doesn't favor you like you think. Like I already said it's 1 winner vs 25 losers. That's 1/26 you're trying to bet on. Who knows if you have that 1!

Lumping clearly coach dependent Goff and 0 playoff win Wentz is with Fitz is generous. They've actually played in the playoffs. But the teams also CLEARLY didn't trust them. Why would you want to emulate that? That seems to be something some of my fellow packers fans want (well now with the Rodgers situation). They want to dump the MVP because of Lafleurs "system" being so similar to Shanahan and them seeing Jimmy G lose in the SB as a sign they can make it work with anyone! No! You want the system AND great QB! The Chiefe had the system, they traded up for the QB! And it worked marvelously despite not really having any CBs their SB run!

The Ravens DID get desperate and traded up for Flacco! And their "system" gets a SB once a decade. Good but it could be better! Hence why they were desperate and traded up AGAIN for Lamar! Maybe trading up for a QB isn't bad when you DONT have one that can consistently win. But congrats on the WC exit Washington. Hopefully next year's class is deep and you have the capital to trade up (they traded a future 5th for a couple 6ths this year iirc) 

Aim higher! Don't settle for Fitz when you know what he is. And he ain't it. It takes a while to find the one but it's better than trying to FIND AND have the best JV guy in the state. 

Points: 0

#69 by jheidelberg // May 27, 2021 - 7:50pm

That is why I went back to those specific teams, clearly we have some misunderstanding.

You made me go back to my list, here are my 1/26 that are hardly 1/26 that have made the Super Bowl since 2000:

Trent Dilfer

Brad Johnson

Rich Gannon

Jake Delhomme

Matt Hasselbeck

Rex Grossman

Eli Manning

Eli Manning again

Joe Flacco

Colin Kaepernick

Nick Foles (Wentz got him to number 1 seed)

Jared Goff

Jimmy Garoppolo

No ancient history here, I have a 2017, 2018, and 2019 representative.  I have 13 representatives in 21 years.  That means that a year is more likely to have a mediocre QB in the Super Bowl than not.  If you want me to go back to AFC and NFC championship games, I will find even more (like Flacco 2 more times just to start).

I will say again that you can win a lot of games with a mediocre QB or as theslothook prefers, a bottom Tier 2 or top tier 3 in any given season, it is not a good long term outlook but do you really want WFT to sell the ranch for Mac Jones?  If Mac Jones works it is because he went to the Patriots, a great organization.

The rosters constantly flip, but the good teams flip good players for good players, and the bad teams flip bad players for bad.  The QB often gets sucked into the horror show, lets see how Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence and Zack Wilson do.  My guess is they get the regression toward the mean bounce, lets see how long it takes for any of these teams to get to 8-8 let alone a playoff spot.

Joe Flacco vs Matt Ryan, in the end the Ravens won a lot more games in the Matt Ryan era.  Had Ryan ended up a Raven, he would have won a lot more games and without Julio Jones.

WFT had nothing better to aim for, Aaron Rodgers was not available, or is he?

The Ravens traded up to get Flacco but the pick that they used was one that they got earlier in the draft from a trade down.  So in effect they traded DOWN to get Flacco.  Trading up some spots in the bottom of the first round is nothing like trading up at the beginning of the first round.  Here is what the Ravens did in 2008:

Traded the 8th pick to Jacksonville for the 26th pick, 71st, 89th, and 173.  Then they traded 26, 89 and 173 to Houston for number 18 to get Flacco.  So the net was trading down from number 8 to 18 to get Flacco and the 71st pick.  See below

Their are rumors that Rodgers will be traded as he is done with the Packers. The Packers will be fine, they are a great organization.  They survived losing Favre.

Good organizations perpetuate themselves as do bad ones.  The changing of the guard does occur, as Cleveland may have finally gotten up off the mat with a total change of the front office. Maybe WFT with Rivera?   I'll guess no, as they still have the same ownership.

Good luck Joe Burrow, you have Zac Taylor as a coach, and who blocks anyone on this team?

What will the Texans accomplish with Watson?  How many of the remaining 52 belong in an NFL uniform?

Points: 0

#71 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 27, 2021 - 9:07pm

In 2017 they had elite teams but mediocre QBs. They expect Bortles to improve and Kirk to compensate. Turns out they can't overcome the regression the team as whole does, peaking in those years despite better/more experienced QBs. That's not uncommon. 

You're looking at just those that make the Super Bowl and not the ones that fail to. AKA the other 25 ones. You missing the sheer number. That sheer number gets you a lot of crazy things but what you miss is Rodgers constantly make the playoffs. Russ. Peyton. Brady. Whoever you think the elite are. It's like betting on one team vs the field. If you had to pick one team last year, it was clearly the Chiefs. They got back to the SB so the bet made sense. But when it comes down to 31 vs 1 team, you gotta take the field (and the field was right last year despite the Chiefs coming so close, like many expected). Just like the field of 26. But who knows which one exactly!

Never said sell the farm for Mac Jones (although it wouldn't have taken a farm). But for Fields...did it take a farm for Chicago? Apparently not if they could trade up again in the very next round (not as good of a trade but nonetheless). No one cares a couple of those picks turned out to be Kadarius Toney and Jamar Johnson. And no no no, Mac Jones isn't solely going to work out based on some defensive HC. The patriots certainly can help but don't give the team all the credit. Otherwise when he leaves 20 years later and wins a SB for another franchise, you'll realize it's mostly always players over coaches. 

Flacco win% as a Ravens starter: 58.8%

Ryan win% from that same time period: 58.6%

Difference is probably coming from the Falcons naturally picking at #3 (bad team before) and the Ravens, well weren't that bad. Could've stayed at #26 but if Flacco was gone, well the next QB was Brian #56. Well Flacco aint great but  Brohm probably isn't pulling that playoff run off. So yeah tiers. Flacco>Brohm. Kirk>Keenum. Fitz>Allen. But, in the end, they just don't move the needle enough. Same bucket/tier/whatever you want to call it. 

But yes trading down is generally better! More stabs>>>, EXCEPT if you need a QB. Like so many teams did, they can win a trade up for a QB quite easily. Not always gonna work out but that's like the one time it's perfectly acceptable to give up more stabs because the long term payout>>>>. 

So stop aiming for Fitzpatricks! Can't believe that's a tough pill to swallow. Again, an upgrade in QB didn't save the Vikings after the 2017 season. Why? Regression is real and if that QB isn't good enough to overcome such a thing...well you're out of luck. Don't think 39 year old Fitz can stop regression but hey...they apparently had to because...they didn't expect any QBs to fall? Maybe that's why you wait before signing/trading for a mediocre guy like that? And if they dont fall, who cares. Load up for next year. You're not likely to win it all anyway. 

And uh...let me tell ya losing the reigning MVP would not be fine. The mystical Packers organization doesn't cover all and mean things will be all pixie dust and rainbows. QB play can cover a multitude of organizational sins. Getting back to HOF QBs is rare and not something you bet on (let alone 3 in a row; ask the 49ers how that went picking Jim Druckenmiller at, ironically, the same pick as Jordan Love, #26 (other notable #26 overall QBs include Paxton Lynch, hmmm, maybe the Ravens were right in trading back up for Flacco, even if he didn't turn out to be the best, instead of waiting at #26 and hoping he's threre). But just like the WFT shouldn't have bet on Fitz! Anything is possible but doesn't mean it's likely to happen!

Points: 0

#78 by jheidelberg // May 28, 2021 - 1:41pm

If I did, I can get a playoff spot almost every year for a decade.  But since I don't have an elite QB, should I go on the endless search for one, which may take 30-40 years, or try to build an excellent team with a competent QB?

Points: 0

#79 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 28, 2021 - 1:59pm

unless you keep going with Fitz. Building an excellent team and finding the one are NOT mutually exclusive. If anything, signing Fitz takes up more cap space and holds your team to a certain low ceiling even more so than a rookie contract QB that turns out be bad (hmmm kinda like Flacco). Really just described a win-win lol. 

Or you can just sign a Teddy Bridgewater type for a "discount" and go...5-11. Oh...well you got a 6th round pick back! (ignore all the dead money though!). I'm sorry, bad example. Or just like the Patriots signing Cam Newton and going...7-9...oh...hmmm well Cam was an actual MVP at one point and Bill just couldn't let Brady win. But in the

Points: 0

#85 by jheidelberg // May 28, 2021 - 5:05pm

I'm new around these parts, I want your opinion, you previously stated your opinion regarding Mac Jones and the Patriots, and feel free Pat and theslothook to chime in since we are the 4 having this massively long discussion.  Anyone else also, the more opinions the better.

What do you think of the theory that Mahomes is Mahomes in large part because he is on Andy Reid's Chiefs, Brady is Brady because he was on Belichick's  Patriots and Rodgers is Rodgers because GB is a good organization, Brees, etc.

Lets go the other way.  Trevor Lawrence, does he fail because Jacksonville drafted him?  That RB was a must have with the other 1st round pick right?  Does Zack Wilson fail because he is on the Jets?  Does Mac Jones succeed because he is on the Patriots?

This entire discussion has been predicated upon the theory that the QB makes the team, but doesn't the team in large part make the QB?

Opinions please.  Thanks all.


Points: 0

#86 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 28, 2021 - 5:47pm

You're not seeming to give enough credit to the player for their own level of play. Yes everyone else can help, there are of course 52 other players and countless coaches. But to apply a bigger % to any single individual other than the player themselves is disingenuous. And yeah 1 vs 52 players+a HC+3 coordinators+etc can outweigh one man. Doesn't change that that man can do some amazing things, just might not get Peyton more than 2 SB rings. But it'll get you to the playoffs a lot that's for sure. Then the single game elimination tournament be unforgiving. 

Mahomes was traded up for because he was good (despite the Chiefs already having some level of success). Mahomes clearly took them to a level they hadn't in 50 years. Brady vs Bill debate should've been closed 3 months ago. Rodgers was supposed to be #1 but, times were different and the '05 QB2 is actually QB1. Unsurprisingly. Attributing his success mostly to some overarching mystical franchise pixie dust, that only got Favre 1 title (and went on to be good under other franchises), isn't giving him enough credit. The best coaches and franchises though, adapt to their players. 

Bringing it back, QB1 is the single most important person in an organization. To believe one has done enough to overcome elsewhere is overconfidence and unstable. Just because Washingtons defense was good last year (you say you're not a believer in the coaching, which is something else Fitz has to overcome other than just himself) doesn't mean they'll be good again this year. Don't get to skip by Dak twice. Jones and Hurts have chances (however small) to improve. The WFT had the worst SOS in the NFC last year. Bottom 7 in the league. And they went 7-9. There's gonna be world of hurt for those that think Washington is some legit title contender based solely on unstable defense and a slight QB upgrade. Heck, the defense could improve along with the QB position and you can end up a fraud like the Steelers going from '19 Rudolph/Hodges to '20 Big Ben (father time and injuries are zapping him of his arm strength). Big Ben is no longer an elevator. And Fitz gotta learn a scheme (although he's probably used to it by now/has been in boundless different ones, so it's probably isn't that big of a deal, although it's also probably also a red flag that someone just can't find a good space/scheme for him despite the numerous different tries).

Points: 0

#87 by gomer_rs // May 28, 2021 - 11:26pm

Hasselback went to the Superbowl as the best QB in the NFC that year.  Example: NFC Pro Bowl QBs


Quarterback  8 Matt HasselbeckSeattle17 Jake DelhommeCarolina
  7 Michael VickAtlanta

And Rich Gannon was the league MVP the year he went to the Super Bowl.

The years that Hasselbeck and Gannon went to the Superbowl they were the most productive, arguely best, QBs in their half of the NFL.

Points: 0

#88 by jheidelberg // May 30, 2021 - 1:55am

Your comment made me look back.  Hasselbeck is a very odd mediocre QB.  Look at his DVOA year by year,  In 2001, 2008-2010 he was one of the worst QB's in the league (I will not count his first two years against him when he was also bad).  In between he had some very good years.  Also some very mediocre years.  To ever say he was the best QB in the league is a stretch.  He lasted a long time, I will not count his late years against him either.  So giving him all the benefits of the doubt, I will say he was a mediocre QB.

This is part of my argument, mediocre QB's have variance of performance.  In a good year you can ride them a long way, even to a championship. 

Gannon had an incredible long and odd career.  He certainly is one answer to a question I asked earlier as to naming a reclamation project before Tannehill.  Gannon played for 10 years (not counting a year he missed due to injury) and never played more than 12 games.  He was a completely irrelevant QB for a decade.  Then from 1999-2002 he was one of, and possibly the best QB in the NFL.  Then he reverted back to nothing and his last year was 2004.

I appreciate your comments, I love doing research like this, you have selected two QB's that have had very unique careers.  Gannon and Hasselbeck indeed were excellent in their Super Bowl years.  In doing the research you have help me find two QB's to go in the mediocre Hall of Fame with Eli Manning.  

Points: 0

#45 by theslothook // May 27, 2021 - 11:16am

jheidelberg, if I can summarize, you are basically saying - WFT should be admired for trying to avoid the QB conundrum.

Everyone is talking around the ultimate goal every team should strive for: Sustained winning. Is there a model besides having a tier 1 and tier 2 QB that ensures sustained winning? 

Though Pat and I debated so vociferously to that point of a stalemate, he did convince me of the following: Tier 3 QBs are going to demand Tier 1 money. Tier 2 Qbs are going to demand Tier 1 Money. That means Tier 2 is a slight overpay, tier 3 is a gross overpay, and tier 1 is an underpay.

That implies that if you sign a tier 3 player, you have a short window of contention before he becomes prohibitive and unless you hit gin in the draft, you are going to be a middling team in perpetuity for the life of the contract. Here I think of the Bears with Cutler, the Lions with Stafford, and what I think was/is the likely end game for the Rams with Goff and the Cowboys with Prescott.

But the other side paints another grim picture because outside of the Ravens, no one else has shown a model to win long term without the elite qb. I think the Broncos have a good defensive coach and that team is trapped into a 6 win purgatory. Throw them a cost controlled, competent QB and they will oscillate between 8 and 10 wins. But they won't be a long term winner.

I just think the odds of winning doing it another way are longer than the odds of going after a tier 2+ qb. 


Points: 0

#46 by jheidelberg // May 27, 2021 - 12:22pm

Here were the options

1. Trade up to most likely get the next Mark Sanchez but hope he is the next Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees, while giving up massive draft capital.

2. Sign Fitzpatrick

Am I missing an option?

To me it seems like most of the commenters are saying you should endlessly grab at straws and eventually you will get an elite QB. Teams like the Jets, WFT, Jacksonville, Cleveland etc. show me this is an endless way to be at the bottom. WFT tried a one year option. If they had Fitzpatrick last year, who knows what would have happened, but it would likely have been one of the best Washington teams in a long time.

I am saying this is NOT a long term success plan, your own team went a comparable route by going with an aging Rivers. What better option did they have and are they really in any worse shape by making the run they did last year.

I always enjoy talking with you, theslothook, so who would you rather have, Wentz or Fitzpatrick and why?

Points: 0

#47 by theslothook // May 27, 2021 - 12:37pm

"so who would you rather have, Wentz or Fitzpatrick and why?" If its strictly between those two and given the draft cost? I'd rather have Fitzpatrick.

Let's start with the Colts. I think signing Rivers made sense in this respect - it bought the coaching staff more credibility and time. I think if you had plopped on two straight losing seasons, then they'd be on the hotseat in year three. So in that respect, I think it was a wise decision.

Look signing Fitzpatrick is fine. If they didn't like Fields or didn't think he was worth the draft capital. Fine totally get it. That puts them in a colts like situation except Rivera isn't fighting for his job and this last season if anything bought him an extra season of tenure. In that respect, he probably should be rolling the dice with a QB prospect of some kind. Maybe its Heinecke. Maybe its a reclamation in Darnold or Rosen. Its the difference in situations that makes one move more understandable than the other if that makes sense. 

Now the downside is you are tossing away a potential playoff birth and a chance at some lottery magic. I don't want to downplay that, its valuable. But to me, it just forestalls the inevitable. But I can understand choosing that fork in the road instead. 

As an aside, I agree with New. Carolina and Denver doing what they did feels particularly egregious. Which gets back to the question at hand. Is there some alternative way to build which justifies Carolina and Denver's decisions? I would say no. 

Like it or not, today's NFL has wrought two realities:

1 - there is no alternative to consistently good offense besides throwing the ball. Even a turnover prone, inefficient but high volume passing game is going to score more points than an offense built around run centric scheme. I hilariously joked that the Chiefs should swing their pass run split to something like 90/10. 

2 - No defense is consistent week to week anymore. Even the best defenses are going to concede at least 25 points a game. And probably more against top offenses. 

It just forces all paths down one road. I wish it weren't this way, but like the 3 ball revolution in the NBA, it seems inevitable. 


Points: 0

#63 by Raiderfan // May 27, 2021 - 4:44pm

“Even the best defenses are going to concede at least 25 points a game.”

The #17 defense—in a high scoring era—gave up less than 25 points a game.  The top defenses gave up less than 20.

Points: 0

#49 by jheidelberg // May 27, 2021 - 12:54pm

Except on Rosen. Arizona bought a lemon then sold it in a year. Do not try to be the 3rd owner of the vehicle and try to fix it. Rosen is a vehicle in the junkyard after 2 years. He is a young vehicle that has now spent more time in the junkyard than on the road.

Finding the next Ryan Tannehill is a tough one. Who was the last reclamation project that worked so well?

Points: 0

#50 by theslothook // May 27, 2021 - 1:07pm

Lol poor Rosen. I agree he is probably damaged beyond repair but he never did get a fair shake. 

Tbh, the qb bust reclamation process is pretty low sample size. Most GMs just don't want to try their hand at it. If I were Rivera, I really would have rolled with Heinecke and or Rosen just to see. Sure, it means you are on the losing end of a lot of games most likely, but maybe you get something out of it? Again, you are trading a low seed playoff birth for the miniscule chance of uncovering a gem. I wouldn't willingly sign up for either path, but given the choices, id take the try and hope. 

Points: 0

#61 by Pat // May 27, 2021 - 4:36pm

Tannehill and Rosen aren't comparable. Tannehill was abandoned by Miami after being a completely reasonable QB for a flat out bad team. Yeah, Tannehill was bad in 2018, but he was normal bad. Not "unplayable" bad. 

Rosen, however, was utter garbage his first year on a team that wasn't that bad previously. And then in Miami he was by far the worst option. He's never shown that he's anything but unplayable.

The best option for "next Ryan Tannehill" would without a doubt be Mitch Trubisky or Winston, not Rosen. Those are comparable situations.

Points: 0

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