The free agency frenzy produced quite a shuffle at the offensive skill positions, including quarterback. NFL Network analyst and former QB David Carr has surveyed the recent relocations of notable signal-callers, answering one question for each: Will the player post greater, similar or lesser production with his new team in 2020 than he did with his previous club in 2019?
I like this fit for both Tom Brady and the Bucs. Brady will unquestionably eliminate a lot of the negative plays Jameis Winston produced, but it will still take some time for the 42-year-old to get completely comfortable in a new system and with new terminology. Knowing Brady's work ethic and experience, he'll put in the time to make this transition as seamless as possible.
In New England, Brady has been in a system that works from the inside out, with a number of dink-and-dunk throws. In Tampa, Brady has the luxury of throwing to some of the top threats on the perimeter in the league, a group that features Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and tight end O.J. Howard. With Bruce Arians' "no risk it, no biscuit" policy and Brady's ability to identify and exploit coverages, I expect to see the veteran drop back around 40 times per game. I can actually see this approach being successful in this situation as long as the G.O.A.T. is protected.
2020 production: 60 percent completion rate, 4,500 pass yards, 30 TDs, 12 INTs.
Bears fans have wondered for months now: Will Mitchell Trubisky be our starting quarterback in 2020? Well, I think you have your answer. Trubisky will likely take a backseat to Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. Trubisky has struggled going through his reads and getting the ball to the open guy, while Foles excels at ripping through his progressions to find the right target. The veteran quarterback has done that for so long that I'm convinced he could stay in quarantine for six months, roll out of bed and run Matt Nagy's offense well.
I realize Foles is coming off an injury-abbreviated nightmare year with the Jaguars, but that's a thing of the past. In Chicago, he will have better offensive weapons and a ferocious defense that will routinely provide good field position. Right now, I see Foles having one of his best seasons.
2020 production: 65 percent completion rate, 4,000 pass yards, 28 TDs, 5 INTs.
Rivers' final season with the Chargers was rough, to say the least. He was trying to do too much, played recklessly at times and put his team in tough situations more often than not. His 23 passing TDs were his fewest since 2007. Meanwhile, he threw 20 picks -- tied for the second-most in his career -- with nine of them coming in the fourth quarter. Rivers' turnover woes certainly played a factor in the Chargers going 2-9 in one-score games last year.
I expect Rivers to turn things around under Frank Reich. These two know each other extremely well and Rivers had some of his best years when Reich was in San Diego. Although Reich's offense differs from the one Rivers played in over the past couple seasons, Reich is going to give the veteran quarterback plenty of opportunity to succeed by using more play action and allowing him to get in a rhythm with easy completions. Not to mention, Rivers will be playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, a unit that ranked 11th-best in pass blocking and second-best in run blocking in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus. There are a bunch of factors playing in Rivers' favor. It's up to him to refine his mechanics and be a better decision-maker in 2020.
2020 production: 67 percent completion rate, 4,500 pass yards, 32 TDs, 12 INTs.
Bridgewater made the most of his five-start audition last season to land a top job for the first time since injuring his knee back in 2016. Filling in for an injured Drew Brees in 2019, Bridgewater went 5-0 while completing 69.7 percent of his passes for 1,205 yards and nine touchdowns (against just two picks). Now he joins a familiar face in Joe Brady, a former offensive assistant with the Saints. Thus, Teddy will run an offense similar to the one he was a part of in the Big Easy, one with a lot of play action and a great running back who can play every down. The Panthers have good weapons for Bridgewater on the perimeter, including newly signed deep threat Robby Anderson, but expect Christian McCaffrey to still be the center of everything. Teddy's in an ideal situation for his skill set, but I don't see his production significantly skewing one way or the other based on the system.
2020 production: 65 percent completion rate, 3,800 pass yards, 24 TDs, 6 INTs.
Anything is going to be better than what he had to go through in Tennessee -- with four offensive coordinators in five years, from Jason Michael (2015) to Terry Robiskie (2016-17) to Matt LaFleur (2018) to current OC Arthur Smith. I know the position Mariota is in, as a top draft pick who went through a lot of change and ultimately was never the organization's guy. But then I went to New York, sat behind Eli Manning, learned a ton and had a blast. Of course, I would have loved to play, but there's one quarterback on each team, unlike most other positions.
I do think Mariota can have a great experience in Las Vegas, but it might not be as a starter. Putting Mariota in Jon Gruden's pro style offense isn't a great pairing schematically. Mariota's at his best when he can use his legs and athleticism, not when he sits in the pocket. If Gruden doesn't try to make Mariota into something that he's not, I believe the young passer can be effective in a Taysom Hill-like role. He is dynamic as a passer and runner -- he can still probably run a 4.4 or 4.5 40 -- and could elevate the Raiders' offense by being involved in certain packages.
2020 production: Honestly, your guess is as good as mine.