By Steve Silverman
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Quarterbacks drive the game. They have for the last 50-plus years in the NFL, and it’s unlikely that will change anytime soon.
We have tried to show in recent weeks that it is possible to build a complete team that is not so quarterback-driven, but the QB position will always occupy a general manager’s mind.
The Jets are among the teams that have quarterback issues that need to be addressed during the offseason. Let’s take a look at the Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills’ quarterback situations.
The Jets would benefit greatly from the addition to Kirk Cousins. While there has been talk that the Washington Redskins would franchise him out of spite – Alex Smith is their new quarterback – that is most likely just palaver and not reality.
Cousins has a track record of excellent productivity and near superstardom for his work in the past three years. Cousins has started every game in the past three seasons, and he has been remarkably consistent from 2015 through 2017. He has completion percentages of 69.8, 67.0 and 64.3, yardage totals of 4,166, 4,917 and 4,093, and TD-interception ratios of 29-11, 25-12 and 27-13.
Consistency at that position is perhaps the most valuable asset a football team can have, and Cousins has it in spades.
Cousins had no better than average or decent receivers in Washington, and while it doesn’t appear that things will be any better with the Jets, the belief here is that he will get the most out of the talent at hand. Of course, Mike Maccagnan could shock the world and bring in a talented free agent and draft well at the position, but we are not going to hold our breath.
While the Jets would be an excellent fit for Cousins, they would still have to sell the quarterback on that and get him to sign a contract.
The Vikings have a tough decision to make themselves. Sam Bradford started the season for the Vikings, but he was out of the lineup by Week Two with yet another knee injury. Since Teddy Bridgewater was not in the picture, that meant Case Keenum had to take over.
Keenum, a journeyman to that point in his career, came through with a brilliant season. He was the triggerman for a surprising Vikings offense. Keenum and Bridgewater will come back for the 2018 season, while Bradford will be allowed to get injured while wearing another team’s uniform.
Bradford has simply had more bad luck with injuries than any quarterback in the last 20 years.
The Bills finally made the playoffs, and while they gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a good battle for a half, they did not have the offense to survive and advance.
The Bills know they have a quarterback problem, and they were quick to blame Tyrod Taylor throughout the season. However, while Taylor is not perfect, he may be quite a bit better than the Bills think. They had issues with his pocket passing this year, but they did not give him anything to work with.
You may have noticed that Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods were both wearing Rams uniforms last season. They would have been Taylor’s best receivers, but they were not brought back to Buffalo.
Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott has never had faith in Taylor, and the Bills will almost certainly draft a quarterback this year.
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