The NFL quarterback market is on the cusp of heating up.
Between free agency, the trade market and the 2022 NFL Draft, several teams will have a brand new face in the quarterback room who will either lead the team right away, be a key backup or be part of future plans.
So, where are all these quarterbacks available on the open market set to land? There’s still a lot to figure out before landing spots become clearer, but we're going to give early predictions of all the notable quarterbacks’ potential teams in 2022.
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AARON RODGERS: DENVER BRONCOS
Everything is on the table for Rodgers this offseason. He could return to the Green Bay Packers, retire from the game for good or follow his former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett — who is now the Broncos head coach — to Mile High via a trade demand. If I had to make a prediction today, Rodgers joining the Broncos would be it. And that would immediately make the AFC West a historically talented division.
Rodgers joined Joe Burrow and Tom Brady as the three highest-graded passers for the 2021 season. The other three quarterbacks in the AFC West — Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr — all have a top-10 passing grade in one of the past two seasons.
JIMMY GAROPPOLO: WASHINGTON COMMANDERS
Garoppolo’s time with the San Francisco 49ers is seemingly done, given the team’s investment in 2021 third overall pick Trey Lance. Regardless of an outsider's viewpoint of the Commanders’ current franchise state, Washington operating in “win now” mode and trading for Garoppolo as opposed to drafting a passer with its No. 11 overall pick would not come as a surprise. Garoppolo ranked 18th of 32 qualifying quarterbacks in passing grade while producing 30 turnover-worthy plays to just 12 big-time throws this past season.
RUSSELL WILSON: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
There have been murmurs that Wilson would entertain a trade, but he’s not going to demand one. The 33-year-old is coming off the lowest-graded season of his NFL career. He endured a finger injury to his throwing hand midway through and then rushed back from it.
Any trade for Wilson would obviously require a package of draft picks in return, including multiple first-rounders and some Day 2 picks to cap it off. Since it is known the veteran quarterback isn’t set on a trade and would be fine with returning to Seattle, moving teams is the less likely option. And with that, expect Wilson to return closer to his 2020 form — when he ranked top five in passing grade — with a clean bill of health.
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MALIK WILLIS: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (TRADE UP IN ROUND 1)
It’s no secret that Pittsburgh really likes the prospects of Malik Willis being their future starting quarterback. From ownership to head coach Mike Tomlin, several individuals within the Steelers organization have harped on the importance of mobility at the quarterback position, and Willis checks that box. After all, he led all FBS quarterbacks in rushing grade (94.5), 10-plus yard runs (46) and broken tackles (90) in 2021. Willis also has a lively arm that helped him to an FBS-leading 11% big-time throw rate last season.
And after Willis produced the highest grade among quarterbacks at the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl practices, his stock is firmly on the rise. Tomlin and company watched him extensively in Mobile, Alabama, and their heavy interest in the Liberty product was widely reported. Pittsburgh could be willing to trade into the top 10 in order to secure the heir to Ben Roethlisberger.