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Green Zone League Articles

Is It Time to Re-Franchise?
By Garth Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com

That's right, it's another article on the topic I love, quarterbacks, but when you regularly read the articles and trade block posted during the season you can pick up on tit-bits of information that may seem innocuous at the time but could spell the end of an epoch for many franchises. So with all that information it is becoming rather apparent that many of the "Franchise QB" seem to be at the end of their tenures, but why are so many facing the prospect of moving homes in one hit? It may be the age factors kicking in as many GMs try to cash in on some value before their old men wither up and bring their hand bags to the passing game. Or it could be a sheer coincidence that many are right at the end of their contract and ripe for a trade with minimal cap hit. Whatever the case we could see many high profile names bandied about this off-season as trade bait to bolster depleted trade stocks or try to work in that new x-factor that may see a team rise to the next level.

So who are these fabled names I'm talking about? Well let's list them out and check out your prospects of getting your hands on an experience signal caller:
  • Josh Freeman, TAM - this 6'6" pile of muscle has just been the aching haemorrhoid in Anthony's backside purely because of his real life comparison. AF tried to deal him last off-season but John Stanley cut and ran before a deal could be finalised (thank god!) and no-one else was in the market for a swift amnesty price of a top 15 pick. A year later and he's turn out for his best year ever and now making AF think about whether Glennon really is the future. Needless to say you'll be paying premium price to get Freeman, however you'll be getting a premiere passer who'll keep going for the next 6 years till his retirement.

  • Matthew Stafford, DET - the career leader in passing yards is on the block as Tom looks to shake things up in Detroit. It's already the end of an era as Megatron gets older and slower so Tom is hoping to cash in for the next setup all in one hit to get him back to the post season. Again he'll fetch a premium price but you're guaranteed the same longevity and performance levels that Freeman will give, just in a shorter frame.

  • Matt Ryan, ATL - the mid-season amnesty attempt failed on Ryan as he'd still take the Falcons over the cap hit limit, so the future for Matt was written in stone. Bo Callahan took over and Matt has been watching for the latter half of the year making a wish list of where he'd like to end up. The question is at what price will he move, will it be an amnesty attempt again and who will be willing to pay over $10M a year for a 33 year old who is one season away from losing his already low arm power? Some may remember the success Drew Brees had at the end of his career (Giants Super Bowl win) with a noodle arm and how well Collin Klein is playing for the Bears, so all is not lost for Matt in his twilight years and assuredly comes at a cheaper cost than the previous two.

  • Joe Flacco, BAL - it's only from the smallest of comment that one can consider that maybe Flacco will be moving out of Baltimore this summer. He'll be 33 and in the last year of his current contract while GM Gasper thinks that Drew Powell could be the answer. He's not going to suffer the same weak arm problems of Matt Ryan (both being the same age/vintage) and is a solid bet for the next 4 years, even if his time as a Raven has been troubled by injury and poor performances. Many an RZL GM also here may reminisce on the glass-jaw Joe from that league and shy away, but he can still do a lot for any team provided you support him with the right tools.

  • Andrew Luck, BUF - this former first round pick just hasn't endeared himself to Breck's heart over the past 2 seasons...evident by the franchise tagging last season instead of a long term contract. For all those who remember his troubled days in KC (was injured at least once every year), he has shook those injury concerns whilst in Buffalo and even turned and decent year on the back of his FT. I suppose I could offer him back RG3 in exchange for Luck, that might pry him loose, but currently it may be debatable if he's headed out. A decent offer could grease the wheels and have un-Luck-y move to yet another franchise, but the FT cost may be a bit steep for many.

  • Aaron Rodgers, PHI - Malik McNabb is the new man in Philly, even if he couldn't muster a win all year. With Rodgers in the last year of his contract and only providing mentor support at $15M a year, the 34 year old could be bound for greener pastures (or put out to stud). He is already sliding down the regression stick but is still a highly capable passer in the right hands for another 2-3 years, but definitely needs a winning team for a morale boost otherwise you won't be getting him back after his 1 season ticket expires.

  • Ben Roethlisberger, PIT - another player who's inclusion on this list comes from an off-hand comment by his GM. Strange how this happens in the AFC North. Ben is into the last year of his career and would need to break a NTC clause to get out and hope for another starting gig, but he'll still be viable to lead the game, otherwise he may be worthy as a mentor for a young pup (at a cost of $6.91M on the year). Remember he's got the career best QB rating at 95.9 and his worst year was an 89.1, having never thrown more INTs than TDs with a lowest TD-to-INT ratio of 1.66.

  • Colt McCoy, MIN - this is a bit of a stretch, but with Jake Locker coming to town this year and seemingly a shoe-in for the starting job until injury took him down, it may be Colt's time to head out. He too is in the last year of his contract and probably in the prime of his career. If the Vikings wait too long his value will drop, as with only 89 THP once he starts regressing his playable life drops into the Kyle Orton void of mentorship and butt splinters. Currently he's accurate and mobile and shares all the same qualities as Matt Ryan/Drew Brees/Collin Klein do when it comes to succeeding as a passer. Maybe he just needs a new set of tools to work with to bring out his best.

  • Kendall Irving, HOU - if you read a Texans game thread and don't get a Paul Willis downer about Kendall Irving then something is wrong. It appears that Paul has not gotten his rewards out of Irving over the years and he always fails to hit the mark when needed. Another number 1 pick who just isn't the right fit for the organisation he is a big stretch to leave this team, due in fact to his massive cap hit ($17.19M). An amnesty may bring a possibility, but probably needing a guarantee of a very high pick to do so, which puts him at odds with the likes of Freeman and Stafford. The Texans haven't gotten him to work, much like the Chiefs didn't get much out of Luck, so it could be the same scenario for a plucky team to take him on and make new headlines.
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