2017 NFL Season
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have the best quarterback situation heading into the 2017 NFL Season (ROBERT DEUTSCH/USA TODAY SPORTS)

There’s no denying the most important position in all of sports is the quarterback position. No player has more of an impact on the result of a game. It’s also why a mid-tier quarterback like Matthew Stafford is the highest paid player in the history of the league (135 million). Every team is in a different place regarding the league’s most coveted position. The saying always rings true. If you don’t have a quarterback, you might as well start looking for a new job elsewhere. Frankly, I’m not sure why coaches even accept head coaching jobs anymore without a competent quarterback in house. Let’s see where every team stands at the quarterback position heading into the 2017 NFL season.

Veteran Win Now Option / Younger Succession In House: (Patriots & Chiefs)

Only two teams in the entire league fit into the most important category. Both the Chiefs and Patriots have the veteran option in place and a young gun waiting in the wings. Obviously, Alex Smith isn’t Tom Brady but let’s not forget; Andy Reid elevates the Chiefs offense beyond even a reasonable level. Winning 12 games with Alex Smith is no joke. This goes further to my point that both teams also have elite head coaches as well. Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs first round pick, is the real wildcard here. Mahomes has elite arm talent but it’s the true definition of raw and should probably sit for two years. Jimmy Garoppolo has also paid his fair share of time on the bench and reminds me a lot of Tony Romo. If Mahomes pans out, these two franchises are in the best spot. I went this long and barely mentioned the fact that Brady has six rings and could realistically play another five years.

How long can the Giants hold onto Eli Manning as the franchise savior? (Andrew Mills NJ.com Advanced Media)

Veteran Win Now Option: (Packers, Saints, Steelers, Giants, Ravens, Chargers, & Falcons)

All of these quarterbacks outside of Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers, have won a Super Bowl. Well, Matt Ryan probably should have won a Super Bowl anyway. Joe Flacco, who was also in that 2008 Draft class with Matt Ryan, has won a Super Bowl. Say what you want about Flacco but he turns up the heat when his team is in the playoffs. All of these signal callers are also in their 30’s and represent a solid window to compete now. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in football. Brett Hundley will probably be moving on elsewhere by the time Rodgers is ready to hand over the reigns. Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger were drafted together in 2004. All three will be heading into their late 30’s as a succession plan needs to start to take place. Davis Webb could be that guy in New York. The lone wolf Drew Brees heads into age 39 and is an unrestricted free agent next year. However, he is still incredibly productive throwing for over 5,000 yards in 2016.

All of these signal callers are also in their 30’s and represent a solid window to compete now. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in football. Brett Hundley will probably be moving on elsewhere by the time Rodgers is ready to hand over the reigns. Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger were drafted together in 2004. All three will be heading into their late 30’s as a succession plan needs to start to take place. Davis Webb could be that guy in New York. The lone wolf Drew Brees heads into age 39 and is an unrestricted free agent next year. However, he is still incredibly productive throwing for over 5,000 yards in 2016.

Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger were drafted together in 2004. All three will be heading into their late 30’s as a succession plan needs to start to take place. Davis Webb could be that guy in New York. The lone wolf Drew Brees heads into age 39 and is an unrestricted free agent next year. However, he is still incredibly productive throwing for over 5,000 yards in 2016.

Derek Carr could be a year away from reaching the Super Bowl (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Franchise Quarterback Under 30: (Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, & Andrew Luck)

There are only three quarterbacks under the age of 30 who are capable of winning the Super Bowl tomorrow. Russell Wilson has already done so winning one and coming up a yard of a second. Wilson always makes the right decision and completes a high percentage of passes (68.1 in 2015). We already saw what the Raiders might be capable moving forward after winning 12 games in 2016. Carr should have been the MVP of the league as we saw them got rocked in the playoffs with Connor Cook under center. Carr is the real deal where a Super Bowl is very much within reach. Then we have Andrew Luck who’s in the middle of a hostage situation. Indy clearly isn’t taking care of him where he’s been hit the most of any quarterback in the league since his arrival. When Luck is given help, he’s damn good with a career mark of 27-2 when the defense holds opponents to 20 points or less. Luck might be the most talented quarterback in the league. He just has no help. Frankly, I feel bad for Luck because Indianapolis doesn’t deserve him with all of their dysfunction.

Carr should have been the MVP of the league as we saw them got rocked in the playoffs with Connor Cook under center. Carr is the real deal where a Super Bowl is very much within reach. Then we have Andrew Luck who’s in the middle of a hostage situation. Indy clearly isn’t taking care of him where he’s been hit the most of any quarterback in the league since his arrival. When Luck is given help, he’s damn good with a career mark of 27-2 when the defense holds opponents to 20 points or less. Luck might be the most talented quarterback in the league. He just has no help. Frankly, I feel bad for Luck because Indianapolis doesn’t deserve him with all of their dysfunction.

Indy clearly isn’t taking care of him where he’s been hit the most of any quarterback in the league since his arrival. When Luck is given help, he’s damn good with a career mark of 27-2 when the defense holds opponents to 20 points or less. Luck might be the most talented quarterback in the league. He just has no help. Frankly, I feel bad for Luck because Indianapolis doesn’t deserve him with all of their dysfunction.

Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston is on the verge of stardom (Jim Mone/Associated Press)

Young Rising Star Quarterback Ready To Explode: (Jameis Winston, Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott)

If you haven’t seen Hard Knocks, you better be all in on Jameis Winston before it’s too late. Winston’s leadership is infectious and is ready to burst onto the scene. Winston has to cut down on the turnovers a little but I think he can turn into a much better version of Cam Newton. Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott were the heroes of the recent quarterback draft crop. Carson Wentz is Andrew Luck

Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott were the heroes of the recent quarterback draft crop. Carson Wentz is Andrew Luck esk and caught fire in the early portion of the season. With proper protection, the Eagles were 5-1 with Lane Johnson in the lineup last season. Wentz has all the tools to become the real deal and should improve upon his 16 touchdown season. Dak Prescott is aided by the best offensive line in football and Ezekiel Elliot, there’s no doubt about that. However, Prescott is the real deal. His footwork within the pocket and decision making on and off the field are what make Prescott special. Prescott is the closest thing we have to Russell Wilson. Expect the Dak attack to only improve after completing 67.8 percent of his throws as a rookie.

Dak Prescott is aided by the best offensive line in football and Ezekiel Elliot, there’s no doubt about that. However, Prescott is the real deal. His footwork within the pocket and decision making on and off the field are what make Prescott special. Prescott is the closest thing we have to Russell Wilson. Expect the Dak attack to only improve after completing 67.8 percent of his throws as a rookie.

Jay Cutler
What’s the ceiling for Jay Cutler and the Dolphins? (Photo: Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports)

Stuck In Purgatory: (Washington, Miami, Minnesota, Detroit, Carolina, Tennessee)

These teams are stuck in no man’s land with nowhere to turn. Can Kirk Cousins win a Super Bowl? The easy answer is no, therefore, it’s time to move on. The point of purgatory is these teams are leaning towards 8-8 rather than going one way or another. Washington probably feels forced to pay Kirk Cousins but being 8-8 every year is the worst possible thing you can be.

Miami is in a similar boat except they have double the problems. They can’t afford both Jay Cutler and Ryan Tannehill next year. What makes matters worse is neither can win a Super Bowl. It’s time to start over Miami. Cutler’s ceiling is probably 10-6 but not much else besides a second round playoff exit.

In Minnesota, Mike Zimmer is a hell of a coach who runs a top 5 caliber defense. They also have Sam Bradford who they idiotically coughed up a 1st round pick for. Bradford completed over 70 percent of his passes but can’t throw the ball more than 5 yards down the field. Can he win a Super Bowl? No, so it’s time to move on. Also, what in the world do you do with Teddy Bridgewater? Matthew Stafford was just named the highest paid quarterback in the league. Stafford is a really good quarterback but can Detroit put the right roster around him to

Matthew Stafford was just named the highest paid quarterback in the league. Stafford is a really good quarterback but can Detroit put the right roster around him to succeed? Probably not. Stafford is the most talented of the group but falls in this category for a lack of organizational stability. I’m sorry but

I’m sorry but Cam Newton completed 52.6 percent of his throws in 2016. If that doesn’t improve to over 60 percent, I’m out on Cam Newton. His running prowess also has to be reduced as it’s shown to not be sustainable over time. Can Cam win a Super Bowl? Maybe, but he’s trending in the wrong direction.

Marcus Mariota is also the definition of a flash in the pan. Did you know Mike Mularkey’s coaching record is 27-46? Did you know Mariota completed just 61.4 percent of his throws? Did you know Mariota was asked to lose weight this offseason to run more because the coaches know he isn’t a dynamic pocket passer? It’s only a matter of time until Mariota is the latest RG3 and Colin Kaepernick failed experiment.

Mitchell Trubisky
Mitchell Trubisky is a bust waiting to happen (Matt Rourke/AP)

Either Delusional Or Trapped: (Cincy, Cleveland, Chicago, Jacksonville, Denver, Arizona, & LA Rams)

Wake up Cincy, Andy Dalton stinks! Oh wait, maybe they already realize this after they turned down a 2nd round pick for A.J. McCarron. Dalton hasn’t been the same since Jay Gruden left and it’s getting to the point where delusion is setting in. The Bengals took John Ross 9th overall and Joe Mixon in the second round and appear to be getting worse.

Cleveland and Chicago are on this list because the simply drafted the wrong guys. Both Mitchell Trubisky and DeShone Kizer are not the guys and are about to set the franchise back five years. You can check out my recent draft coverage of why here. You can add the Rams to this list as well as it’s only a matter of time before people realize Jared Goff stinks too.

The Jags, Broncos, and Cardinals are the teams that are trapped. Jacksonville general manager David Caldwell is a goner if Blake Bortles fails. Well, that’s pretty much inevitable opening up the door for a new regime. Denver is stuck with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch and probably won’t be bad enough for a top tier draft pick. The same can be said for Carson Palmer and the Cardinals. The good news for Denver and Arizona, they both have great front offices to make changes.

The football gods need to give Kyle Shanahan a franchise quarterback (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Wait And See Or Tanking: (Houston, New York Jets, Buffalo, & San Fran)

Houston has to wait out what Deshaun Watson becomes. Watson has the potential to be just as good as Dak Prescott or Russell Wilson. The Jets and Bills are clearly tanking. Nothing more needs to be said about that. The 49ers are doing the same but have an elite head coach in place that hopefully will land the franchise guy next year.