Acquiring a star quarterback is tough
It’s becoming clear that the NFL is becoming a quarterback league. Any team looking to make themselves a contender has to have a quarterback at the top of their priority list. Teams are paying around $30 million a season to have a franchise quarterback, and that is only in the case of extensions. Teams also try and trade up for a quarterback. They often trade three or four picks from day one and day two of the draft to take a quarterback that might become successful.
The problem is drafting these quarterbacks comes at a risk. Despite the confidence teams have drafting players at other positions in the first round, they will take a risk for a quarterback. There is no exact definition of what a franchise quarterback is, but I usually estimate that there is a two out of five chance that a quarterback that you draft in the first round works out. In a winner take all league, that is worth it. But the problem is if it is not the right quarterback. One GM said that drafting the wrong quarterback a mistake that costs your team five years.
So the next thought is to get a quarterback in free agency. This does happen and this year was a banner year for it. Teams were able to compete in a winner take all competition to sign Kirk Cousins and Case Keenum. Now, these quarterbacks are indeed not the top of the league. Keenum is often questioned as a “one-year wonder.” However, these quarterbacks were in the market to get $30 million a year and have a lot of it guaranteed. It is also a winner-take-all bidding war with many teams interested and big price tags.
So there is no perfect way for GMs to acquire a quarterback, but that is what makes the NFL offseason one to watch. You have to look at what teams have a franchise quarterback and hope yours has one to win. However, either way of acquiring one is a roll of the dice.