The National Football League is about personnel turnover. Every season, each roster looks different from the prior year, sometimes by a little and sometimes radically. Thanks to the salary cap and the draft, teams are constantly bringing in new players while letting others go in hopes of getting that elusive Super Bowl ring.
Most moves go completely under the radar, except at one position; quarterback. Whenever a team changes the man under center, all types of columns, analysis and commentary come flying. This offseason, there will be some movement in the quarterback ranks with plenty of debate to follow.
Here are five teams that should be making a play for a new quarterback (excluding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans, who look certain to take signal-callers in the first round):
1. Chicago Bears
Chicago has started the offseason the right way, cutting ties with general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman. Now, the Bears must continue cleaning house by moving Jay Cutler. Cutler was benched before Week 16 after playing poorly throughout 2014. Due to his massive $126 million contract, Cutler won’t easily be dealt but some team will take his deal on in hopes of becoming competitive. Chicago would be wise to bottom out in 2015 and then use cap space and draft picks to rebuild.
2. New York Jets
Geno Smith was incredible against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, throwing for 358 yards and three touchdowns. How much should that matter? Not at all. Smith is nothing more than a backup, and Michael Vick is completely cooked. The Jets should actively search for a new quarterback. Brian Hoyer as a stopgap or Bryce Petty or Brett Hundley in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft would be a smart move for the incoming front office.
3. Cleveland Browns
Cleveland will likely let Hoyer walk, but giving the reins to Johnny Manziel is increasingly horrifying. Manziel looked terrible in his two starts and even worse off the field, missing treatments and getting blasted by veteran teammates. Cleveland has two first-round picks in the first round and could take somebody like the aforementioned Petty or Hundley. Manziel was the 22nd overall selection last year, but it sounds like the organization is ready to move on.
4. St. Louis Rams
The Rams can’t go another season without a capable quarterback. Sam Bradford has torn his ACL in each of the last two years, and the Shaun Hill/Austin Davis combo is atrocious. Head coach Jeff Fisher likely would to survive another losing season, so general manager Les Snead must make a move. Bradford can remain on the roster, but not without legitimate competition.
5. Houston Texans
Under first-year head coach Bill O’Brien, Houston went from 2-14 to 9-7. This turnaround is even more incredible when you realize the Texans started quarterbacks named Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and Ryan Mallett. Unless the front office is absolutely sold on Mallett being the future, Houston should be looking for an immediate upgrade. The roster is aging on the offensive side of the ball, but is still playoff-caliber with a solid quarterback.