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Cory's Corner: It's a great time to be a quarterback

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Cory's Corner: It's a great time to be a quarterback

Is it possible that the value of quarterbacks can be growing?

The NFL has become a petri dish for passing offenses and now it looks it is being proven yet again.

Jimmy Garoppolo and even A.J. McCarron aren’t just trade targets, they are quickly becoming the most coveted quarterbacks this offseason.

Garoppolo got his break when Tom Brady was serving his four-game suspension. He started two games, looked poised and smooth, tallied passer ratings of 106.1 and 135.4 and now he’s what just about every team wants.

Garoppolo looked outstanding, but how much of that was the Patriot machine? Julian Edelman recently compared the 2014 second rounder to Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, but that’s a pretty tall order.

“He's got that kind of gunslinger confidence,” Edelman said on the NFL Network’s Total Access. “That Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers kind of confidence.”

Other teams believe it as well because Garoppolo has been rumored to fetch a first rounder. The two questions the Patriots have to ask themselves are: 1. Can Jacoby Brissett be trusted and 2. How much longer can Brady defy Father Time?

McCarron is little more precarious. He hasn’t started a game since a 2015 wild card loss. He doesn’t have the arm strength and the New England pedigree. But he has what every coach wants: efficiency. In four career starts he has five touchdowns and only one interception. With the amount of poor quarterbacking in the league, which is why Vince Young thinks he still has a shot to resuscitate his NFL career, McCarron has the right ingredients.

McCarron’s obviously not going to fetch a first rounder. However, he may have a more active market than Garoppolo because teams would be more apt to give up a third rounder for a guy that is better than what they have now. A great example would be Houston. The Texans backed the money truck up for Brock Osweiler and judging by his $19 million cap hit for 2017, he’s vastly overpaid. McCarron could come in at a cheap price and start to make that mistake forgettable.

And then, there’s that Tony Romo guy. If he didn’t get released, teams wouldn’t be lining up to sign the oft-injured gunslinger. But the moment that Romo becomes available, teams will want to get their hands on him. Does John Elway make another free agent splash in Denver just like he did five years ago with Peyton Manning? Or does Arizona replace Carson Palmer with another aching veteran?

And aside from those three, two quarterbacks are still pegged to go in the first round of April’s NFL Draft.

NFL teams are trying to catch comets right now. If they can land at least a solid quarterback, they know they at can least have a playoff heartbeat. And if they can get an elite one, going deep in the playoffs is a real conversation, regardless of the supporting cast. Case in point is the Packers. Rodgers put them on his back this past year.

Unfortunately, if a team doesn’t have a reliable quarterback, your season never really gets off the ground. The Jets, Browns, 49ers, Rams and Bills know how that feels and will never get out of the toilet bowl swirl without one.  

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (8) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Since '61's picture

Cory the value of good QBs has been increasing ever since Johnny Unitas tied on his cleats and stepped on the field for the Baltimore Colts. Even before the NFL became a pass crazy league good QB play was essential to winning in the NFL. Neither Bart Starr or Joe Montana had great arms but both executed their respective offenses brilliantly, rarely made mistakes that hurt their teams and became the most prolific championship winning QBs in league history. One only needs to look at our 2013 Packers without Aaron Rodgers for 8 games to appreciate the value of good QB play. While the money paid to Osweiler by Houston was ridiculous it does show us how far desperate teams will go in their efforts to acquire improved QB play. Yes, QB value is increasing because in this era of the NFL your team literally cannot play never mind win without a good QB. See the Indy Colts without Luck or Manning. Thanks, Since '61

Ferrari Driver's picture

I was at the game where Unitas was injured and the Colts had to use their running back, Tom Matte, under center and he had a list of plays that he was able to run written on a wrist band. I believe I recall our place kicker hitting a short try which looked like it missed wide right to me, but was called good by the refs. Amazing game. Perhaps "Since61" is able to recall that game as well.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

I remember so much Unitas against Starr great match ups, in a way somewhat like today. Yes a good QB is worth his weight in gold and some bet pain like that.

Nick Perry's picture

Many Packers fans today don't know what it was like before Favre and Rodgers. Many fans might not remember guys like Scott Hunter, Jerry Tagge, Randy Wright or David Whitehurst. They might not have been around when the Packers Coach and GM Dan Devine traded two 1st rounders, two 2nd rounders, and a 3rd rounder to the Rams for 34 year old John Hadl. That truly was the straw that broke the Packers back for years to come.

The Packers have been SO FORTUNATE for the last 25 years it really is remarkable. They've had the most important position on the team covered for the last 25 years.

Ted T has had a QB for the last 12 seasons. That means Ted Thompson has a leg up on EVERYBODY else in the NFL. He has who is probably the "Best Thrower of the Football" in NFL history, what an advantage! Yet Ted does next to nothing year in and year out to get this team over that proverbial hump. If he at least TRIED and failed fans like myself could at least say "We Tried"!

Rodgers said at the end of the year something about "Reloading" and making a run at it next year. If Thompson is half as smart as I think he is, he better start listening to these subtle messages made by his HC and QB. Rodgers isn't talking about 7 draft picks and 10 new UDFA. He's talking about IMMEDIATE help. Rodgers just turned 33 this December and is only under contract 3 more years. He's made the comment about playing until he's 40 more than once. I don't think it's out of the question Rodgers could leave GB if he doesn't start getting some help from the brass.

marpag1's picture

I remember all of those QBs. I have little more than cloudy recollections of Bart Starr from my very early childhood. Basically, the Packers were the laughingstock of the league for the first 30 years of my life.

But here's the thing. I was a Packer fan throughout all of those dark years... and I loved it.

Do I love the Packers more now that they are one of the best franchises in the league? Honestly? No, as strange as that may sound. It was Green Bay Packer football back then and it's still Green Bay Packer football now.

On a totally off-topic issue, I love that question about who is the "greatest thrower of the football." Wanna know my answer?

...... wait for it.....

It's Jeff George. Jeff George is the greatest thrower of a football that I have ever seen. Don't get me wrong... dude sucked (and sucked hard) as a quarterback. But if we're talking about nothing more than the ability to propel a football through the air, no one did it like Jeff George. It was a thing of beauty, like the ball was self-propelled.

If I had been an NFL GM in need of a QB, I would definitely have drafted George. Heck, I would have given up my whole draft to get him. And then I would have been fired, never to work in the NFL again.

But dang that dude could throw.

Slim11's picture

I saw one who could throw better than Jeff George.

It was Karl Douglass of Texas A&I in the early 1970s. He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts to take over for Johnny Unitas. He had an arm unlike any I ever saw. Like Jeff George, he could throw but wasn't a passer... a horrible QB.

At that point in time, I think the NFL draft was 12 picks per team. Douglass was a late round pick, maybe a 10th or later.

Cory Jennerjohn's picture

That's a great pick. I would probably say Randall Cunningham. I still remember the 60-yard throw he made into the wind at Buffalo while rolling to his left.

Handsback's picture

The Packers have been lucky with Favre and Rodgers. Obtaining both of those qbs was a roll of the dice. Neither were considered Manning or Elway sure bets.
This Era of football requires a good passing game to be successful. I always thought Joe Namath was the best passers, not QB, but passers. Now I think Rodgers holds that mantle. Now if you discuss best qbs....different story. As a fan of Green Bay, would love to see Rodgers get two more SB wins.

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