Looking Ahead to the 2021 NFL Offseason: As Tom Brady Reigns Supreme, Quarterback Centered Offseason Begins

With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now crowned as Super Bowl LV champions, attention is quickly turning from Tom Brady’s seven rings to an offseason that is expected to have a lot of moving parts. Thus far, the Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions have already swapped quarterbacks, and J.J. Watt has announced that he will part ways with the Houston Texans. If these early transactions are any sign of what is to come, this NFL offseason will be an active one with many stars on the move.

Looking at current quarterbacks who could move teams this offseason, none loom larger than Deshaun Watson. After being told he would be consulted on the search for the Texan’s next head coach and general manager, none of Watson’s suggestions were even offered an interview. This reportedly has caused Watson’s anger level with the franchise to jump to a 10 and could lead to the star quarterback becoming the third franchise cornerstone to leave the team in the past year, following wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and defensive end J.J. Watt. With Watson on the trade market, his likely destinations include the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Jets, the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins. All of these teams could upgrade at quarterback this offseason, although the Dolphins did just draft Tua Tagovailoa in the first round last year. 

The other big-name quarterback that has demanded a trade and will likely be on the move this offseason is Carson Wentz. The former second overall pick had a messy situation in Philadelphia this past season after getting sacked 50 times, the most of any quarterback in the league, even though he only played in 12 games. His ineffective play and loss of confidence resulted in him being benched in favor of rookie second round pick Jalen Hurts. Despite the firing of Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, Wentz has no desire to stick around for a new coaching staff and is reportedly still determined to get out of Philadelphia. Wentz’s most likely suitors are the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos. With Phillip Rivers announcing his retirement, the Colts are in dire need for a new franchise quarterback for their playoff-ready roster and are a top landing spot for Wentz, due in part to Colts head coach Frank Reich previously serving as Wentz’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia.

In addition to the teams already mentioned, the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Washington Football Team are franchises that could surprisingly add one of the previously mentioned quarterbacks, or take a QB in the draft. This year’s draft class for quarterbacks is shaping up to be one of the deepest draft classes ever, with the possibility of having five quarterbacks selected in the first round of the draft alone. From Trevor Lawrence to Justin Fields and Zach Wilson alongside Mac Jones and Kyle Trask, there are several possibilities for teams to find their signal-caller of the future this April.

This NFL offseason will have major implications on the makeup of the league next season as several teams vie to contend for Super Bowl LVI. For some teams, a couple of key additions or one special quarterback could turn championship aspirations into reality.