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Green Zone League Articles

Quarterback Musical Chairs v2.0
By Garth Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com

It's a new off-season for some and another year to reflect on what went wrong and what went right. It seems a lot of teams are shaking things up from the core, deciding to test their fate on the trade market and draft to find the next x-factor for their team that will lead them to glory. I ran through a team by team look at where they sat with their current starting QB's, but now a lot of those guys are on the market and the winds of change are taking hold from season 6 of GZL to bring around new fortunes in some GM's eyes.

This year's draft is giving us another highly talented rookie to add to the QB pool in Jonathan Higgins and the word on the street says he'll be going to Cincinnati with the first pick. I'm sure there were a few other teams hoping to get a hold of this young stud (such as Miami, New Orleans and now even Kansas City), however GM Brady Tinnin is holding onto pick 1.1 and put incumbent starter Ryan Tannenhill on the block to signify his intentions. Tannenhill is a remnant of previous management when two QB's were drafted in the same year (and Klein from the second round started most of 2014). With season end progression Higgins really only has a couple of inches and a couple of years on Tannenhill which makes you wonder if this is a worthwhile option. At least with Higgins you know Brady will be happy and the team set for at least 6 years for their signal caller, whilst Tannenhill tries to find a new or serves out as a backup. With Higgins out of the equation then some other teams are left with tough decisions to make.

Miami looked to be hunting the number 1 pick, most likely for the same use as the Bengals are aiming for. They do have Mike Glennon, but his stat line from 2015 puts him at 1st all time for most interceptions in a year (4 more than Tannenhill in the same year). The Dolphins are still loaded up on picks and with the rest of the QB's to follow on the market there may be a more established player behind center for the 2016 version of the 'Phins, otherwise Glennon can come back from a horrendous rookie outing, he has the skills to do it. But whether Miami is the place for him (after all, who could stand that climate? Smile ) is yet to be determined.

Barring a league knockback (which doesn't look likely), Buffalo have a pocket replacement for the scrambling RG3 and Kansas City is back to the drawing board as they say good bye to 1st ever pick in a GZL draft, Andrew Luck. From the Chiefs perspective they haven't fared well with Luck, never bettering an 8-8 mark no matter his health status. Fans are aghast at the move, but some can see the logic in these actions even if there is now a black hole at the position and no known replacement decided upon. The draft has some possibilities, but none you'd be taking with the 5th pick once Higgins is gone, so are they looking at the rest of the established market for their man, or are their other nefarious means being brewed up in the decadent establishments GM Miller is known to frequent and own?
For Buffalo on the other hand they've emptied the cupboard of picks again but got a QB more to their long term taste. RG3 now has to resign himself to being a highly paid backup or hope for a new home, but with such a large percentage of the GM base adverse to scramblers he really has very few ports of call to succeed in this regard. It would be a shame to see him waste away as a backup when he clearly has the tools to be a massive offensive weapon for any team.

The most talented of the bunch this year would have to also be one of the most injury prone in Blaine Gabbert. When you spend so much time on the sidelines you're bound to miss your teams Super Bowl win, even if you are an extraordinary talent for such a young age. The price tag slapped on this former #1 pick is in the range of multiple first and then some, a price most are shying away from. I'll be honest, I'd love to see Gabbert out of the AFC West (even though we don't actually 'see' him that often Wink ), but this could be the same scenario as Kansas City where they need that kick start to lift their game an extra notch. In 4 years of play, Gabbert has a QB rating of 82.7, never getting higher than 89.1 or lower than 80.2, so for his unbelievable ability he's not performing up there with the greats at San Diego, so a change could help both ways.

Mark Sanchez was a midyear addition to Green Bay and he had his best numbers in his career in a short amount of time. Now he's on the market again most likely as Kevin returns to the Jimmy Clausen project he's been nurturing behind Sanchez and Matt Schaub before him. I never expected this to take flight when Sanchez came over, but obviously the time is right for Clausen who heads into his 7th year and hopefully second starting year behind his 2013 outing that sparked this mentoring process. Whilst Sanchez was a fizzer in New England his previous time in New York and now in Green Bay have shown he can perform when it counts and help a team to the playoffs and his price isn't going to break the bank.

After two years in Dallas and barely a full years worth of games across that time, KVW is looking in another direction other than Ricky Stanzi. That direction could very well be Tyler Wilson who filled in for Stanzi whilst injured. He hasn't shown himself to be of top calibre just yet, but he has the tools to get there. Not sure why you'd move backwards from Stanzi to Wilson at this point (if that is the case), but it's on the cards. Otherwise they could be looking to return to the Tony Romo glory days and get themselves an established passer from the market. It will be interesting to see.

Looking back at previous articles, New Orleans is the team in greatest need of a starter worthy QB. Kevin Kolb makes a decent backup, but with the 4th pick in the draft they have the trading power to get a superior star from the trade market (or a raw yet developable youngster). With the myriad of trades they have pending the arrival of the off-season (and league approval) they may be completely emptying the cupboard this time round and going for a complete revamp under GM Sloat's strict guidance so a QB of calibre may not be a high priority at this point. With all the talent out there right now he's be remiss to pass up such an opportunity to secure a franchise leader now.
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