INDIANOPOLIS – Standing here on the podium on Tuesday when the NFL intelligence plant opened, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said the team would always leave the door open for Tom Brady’s return.
Minutes later in the stands a few feet from Arizona head coach Cliff Kingsbury was asked that his agent Eric Burkhardt was also an agent of the quarterback “Cardinals” Kyler Murray, and that it was Burkhardt on Monday who issued a lengthy statement, essentially a request. teams give Murray a long-term contract now, one way or another.
“We understand it’s a business and he (Burhardt) is doing his job,” Kingsbury said.
Then, a few minutes later, Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst asked one question after another about the still unclear status of defender Aaron Rogers. Is he waiting for Rogers’ final decision on his plans for 2022 by the time the free agent signing period begins on March 16?
“It would be helpful,” Gutekunst said.
Meanwhile, during a speech Tuesday on The Today Show to promote a children’s book he co-wrote with his wife Ciara, Russell Wilson made the latest of many statements this offseason, seemingly letting cold water on any talk of that his immediate future lies anywhere. except Seattle.
Asked if he would ever play for Washington, another NFC team with an uncertain QB situation, Wilson replied: “I like the East Coast, but I think the West Coast is better for me now. I have a whole family here. I’m from Richmond, Virginia, I know what you mean. I am beaten every day by people, all my friends from the East Coast. But Seattle is where I am now. I love it and it’s great. ”
Everyone left the impression that the Seahawks, whose clearly uncertain situation with the defender a year ago dominated the rumors, at this point suddenly feels among the more stable. Anyway, for 2022.
But in today’s NFL – and especially with the Seattle team, which seems to have firmly demonstrated last year there was just a trick and that it could still be a contender for the playoffs – it could be all that matters.
How are the situations of NFC defenders with the beginning of the off-season?
Here is the rating of one person.
1. Green Bay
Until Rogers says he’s done, or until the team really trades them, the Packers remain at the top of the list. But, boy, let’s talk about the really big shoes for Jordan Love, which he can fill up if he’s suddenly hired – and Green Bay is quickly sinking almost to the bottom of that list if that happens until Love shows up. As Gutekunst noted, the team hopes, if not expecting, that Rogers will inform the Packers anything by the time of the free agent period so they can plan accordingly. Rogers is expected to remain in Green Bay.
2. Los Angeles
We’ll put Reims here in honor of Matt Stafford, who proves he can lead the team to victory in the Super Cup, and also because things seem to be going well in contract negotiations to keep Stafford – entering his final deal last year – in Los Angeles for a long time.
What was considered the worst year of Wilson’s career was still what most teams in the NFL gladly accepted. Note that in the first four games, before the finger injury, Wilson had a pass rating of 111.2 or better, and 104.1 in the last three when he seemed to finally heal, with a TD factor and an interception of 18 to 1 in those seven games. .
Obviously, the defender can’t do it all himself, but in reality Dallas has only 1-3 in the playoffs in six seasons of Duck Prescott as a starter, and his QBR – the overall ESPN defenders rating – was lower last year than in Wilson, if barely (Wilson was 54.7, Prescott 54.6).
Murray had a better year. But the playoff crash against Rams shows there is still plenty of room for growth. And now all of a sudden there is tension between Murray and the team, which is likely to be resolved only by Arizona signing a contract with Murray, as rich as anyone else in the NFL.
Kirk Cousins remains one of the league’s biggest puzzles, again giving sterling stats in 2021, but only a record of 8-8 for his 16 starts, corresponding to his overall career score of 59-59-1. The hope in Minnesota, obviously, is that the transition to offensive coach at former OK Rams Kevin O’Connell will do the trick.
Wilson will count on $ 37 million against Seattle’s wage limit of $ 208.2 million in 2022. If that seems like a lot, then it’s at least not the $ 48.6 million that 37-year-old Matt Ryan will credit against Atlanta next year.
And now begins a pretty big drop in QB situations. Jalen Herts demonstrated promises last year, and the Eagles also still have Gardner Minchau in reserve. Minshu has a year left before his initial deal with the newcomer.
9. San Francisco
The 49ers are expected to trade Jimmy Garopolo. But it may have become a little more complicated after Tuesday’s announcement that he needs shoulder surgery, even if he is expected to be ready for training camp. And is Trey Lance really ready? The 49ers may have no choice but to find out.
In Jared Goff’s last four starts, the Lions have taken a 3-1 lead, including victories over Minnesota and Arizona as these teams battled for a place in the playoffs, with a TD to INT ratio of 9 to 2.
The Bears are hoping former Packers QB coach Luke Getty will help Justin Fields progress rapidly in the second year. And hey, Nick Falls is still under contract in 2022 because of the $ 10.6 million limit.
The commanders have only one QB under the 2022 contract – Taylor Heineke – so they say Washington is ready to do anything to exchange or sign it.
13. New York Gients
New coach Brian Deball will try to repeat his success in training Josh Allen at Buffalo with Daniel Jones, entering his fourth season in 2022 with a career record of 12-25.
Sam Darnold’s experiment looked like a disaster in 2021 (TD to INT ratio 9 to 13 and a 4-7 record for 11 starts). But the Panthers stuck with him for 2022, as he signed a contract for a guaranteed $ 18.5 million.
15. New Orleans
Perhaps Sean Payton’s departure is not just an idea of what life was like without Drew Breeze. But that probably gave at least a boost. The Saints are reportedly hoping to re-sign James Winston, although he is still recovering from a PKS injury received on October 31. And there is always Thames Hill, who will credit $ 12.325 million to the 2022 limit.
16. Tampa Bay
The only QB in Bucs under contract is second year player Kyle Trask. But the team is expected to re-sign reserve Blaine Habert and continue to look around. But, as Licht said on Tuesday, trading on QB sounds easier than usual. “There’s always chatter, there’s always some talk,” he said. “Usually conversations are a little more than actions.”