NFL Rumors: Commanders, Colts, Bucs, Saints, Panthers, Steelers to Pursue QB Trades

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 28, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Detail view of the Washington Football Team helmet at the Super Bowl Experience on February 08, 2022, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The trade market for NFL quarterbacks is trending toward being robust this offseason. 

According to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, the Washington Commanders "have already inquired about every quarterback who might be available, according to a source. The early digging is a sign that they plan to be aggressive in an attempt to upgrade the position.

"The Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers also figure to be diligent, according to sources."

So who might be available?

The future of Aaron Rodgers remains in doubt, with the two-time defending MVP undecided on his future, though Howe reported that "several teams have expressed some level of interest in acquiring the reigning MVP this offseason if the 38-year-old prefers to leave Green Bay."

He isn't the only veteran quarterback who could be on the market. Howe noted that teams "are also continuing to monitor Deshaun Watson's legal situation, and sources inferred they would kick the tires on Russell Wilson's availability."

The Seahawks, however, reportedly "don't intend to trade Wilson unless they see no other choice—either by Wilson demanding a move or playing hardball with any future contract discussions."

And then there's Jimmy Garoppolo, with the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reporting over the weekend that the San Francisco 49ers would explore trade options to move on from the veteran quarterback as Trey Lance waits in the wings.

QB-needy teams likely will need to trade for one in an offseason when Jameis Winston is the top option available in free agency—who the New Orleans Saints "appear to be comfortable with the possibility of re-signing," per Howe—and the incoming class of rookie quarterbacks isn't highly regarded. 

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his list of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 draft, with just four quarterbacks—Kenny Pickett at No. 28, Malik Willis at No. 32, Matt Corral at No. 34 and Sam Howell at No. 47—making the cut. 

While quarterbacks are traditionally over-drafted and a few of these players will likely come off the board in the first round, there doesn't appear to be a can't-miss prospect out of the bunch. 

But a number of teams remain in need of a quarterback upgrade:

  • Washington got mediocre play from Taylor Heinicke (3,419 yards, 20 touchdowns, 15 interceptions) this past season.
  • ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported earlier in February that the Colts would likely trade or release Carson Wentz after an up-and-down 2021 season. 
  • The Bucs and Steelers are looking to replace retired quarterbacks Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, respectively.
  • It wouldn't be surprising to see the Panthers try to improve upon Sam Darnold or the Denver Broncos upgrade from Teddy Bridgewater, who's a free agent, or Drew Lock. 
  • Are the Philadelphia Eagles completely sold on Jalen Hurts as the long-term answer? An Eagles team building around young talent probably doesn't have to answer that question just yet, though if a talented veteran becomes available, they have three first-round picks in the 2022 draft to build a trade package around. 

So it's easy to see a scenario where multiple quarterbacks are on the move via trade. If Rodgers and Wilson decide they are happy staying put, however, the potential trade market is more likely to center around players like Garoppolo and Wentz.