In the offseason, quarterbacks are going to drive the conversations in the NFC South more than anywhere else.
Tom Brady retired Wednesday after spending the past three seasons in Tampa Bay, a run that included a Super Bowl victory and two division titles. With his departure, each team in the dreadful division now has questions at QB.
No NFC South team finished above .500 in 2022.
The only QB on Tampa Bay’s roster is Kyle Trask, who has nine career pass attempts. If the team can land a veteran such as impending free agent Jacoby Brissett, it could be in a strong position to three-peat as division champ.
Atlanta started rookie Desmond Ridder in the final four games of 2022, but the Falcons could be in the market for an upgrade if they believe another QB would give them a better chance to win the division.
The Panthers will likely draft a QB. Reports have connected Will Levis to Carolina, and the team could be a candidate to trade up to land the former Kentucky QB.
New Orleans has Jameis Winston under contract, but after he was benched for Andy Dalton in 2022, it’s unclear whether the team would prefer to pay him to start in 2023 and hope he catches lightning in a bottle, as Geno Smith did in Seattle, or designate him as a post-June 1 cut and save $12.8 million.
New Orleans can perform salary-cap moves to get $30 million in space to pursue a veteran QB such as Derek Carr in free agency. Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski suggested New Orleans as the best landing spot for Carr last week.
If the Bucs and Saints don’t begin major rebuilds, both have enough veterans on their rosters that either could be the favorite in the division with a veteran QB.
The Falcons will go as far as their defensive improvements take them, and the same can be said of the Panthers in regard to the offensive side.
In any other division, none of these four teams would sniff the postseason next season. But the terrible state of the NFC South means all four have a shot at the playoffs in 2023 — if they find an answer at QB.
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Publish Date:2023-02-02 06:07:00