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With offseason activities now under way for 2024 NFL teams, a few QB1 competitions across the league officially kick off as well. Spotrac has identified a few notable quarterback conversations to watch in the coming weeks and months.


Denver Broncos

Contenders: Bo Nix, Jarrett Stidham, Zach Wilson

#12 overall pick Bo Nix signed his 4 year, $18.6M fully guaranteed contract this month, but he’ll have work to do this summer to lock in the starting gig out of the gate. He’s the favorite in the clubhouse.

Zach Wilson, acquired from the Jets last month, has 33 career starts in the league, and could very well be tagged as Denver’s QB1 out of they gate while Nix continues to develop. The Broncos are only on the hook for $2.7M (50%) this season - the final year of his rookie contract.

Denver signed Jarrett Stidham to a 2 year, $10M contract in March of 2023 that included $4M in 2023, & $6M for the upcoming season. The Broncos already paid out a $1M roster bonus this spring, and $1M of his 2024 salary is fully guaranteed, but there’s a world where Denver cuts bait here, freeing up $5M of cap & cash. Stidham has 4 career starts, including 2 last season.

Las Vegas Raiders

Contenders: Gardner Minshew, Aidan O'Connell

Gardner Minshew signed a 2 year, $25M contract to open free agency, including $15M fully guaranteed ($12M in 2024, $3M+ in 2025). It’s aggressive backup QB, value starting QB money - putting him squarely in competition to win the job this summer. Minshew is a career 15-22 as a starting QB, including 62% of his passes completed.

Aidan O'Connell started 10 games in his rookie campaign, completing 62% of his passes for just over 200 yards per game. His contract carries a non guaranteed $3M through 2026.

Minnesota Vikings

Contenders: Sam Darnold, J.J. McCarthy

The Vikings surprised nobody in selecting J.J. McCarthy #10 overall in this past draft. Once signed, the former Michigan QB1 will be locked in at $21.8M fully guaranteed through 2027, with a 5th year option available in 2028.

Minnesota signed Sam Darnold away from San Francisco this March to the tune of 1 year, $10M ($8.75M fully guaranteed). While he’s logged 56 starts across 6 NFL seasons, Darnold only has 7 under his belt in the past two years (including 1 Week 17 start in 2023), and a career completion percentage under 60%.

New England Patriots

Contenders: Drake Maye, Jacoby Brissett

The Patriots stayed pat, selecting Drake Maye #3 overall to be the next man in line to attempt to replace the ghost of Tom Brady. When signed, he’ll lock in $36.6M fully guaranteed through 2027 plus a 5th year option in 2028. Maye started 27 games across 3 seasons in college, completing over 65% of his passes, including 63 TDs against 16 INTs.

New England signed Jacoby Brissett away from Washington this past March to a 1 year, $8M contract ($6.5M fully guaranteed). His last legitimate starting gig came back in 2022 when he filled in for a suspended Deshaun Watson in Cleveland (4-7 record, 64% completion rate). He’s certainly a capable option for the Patriots out of the gate if Maye requires more time.

New York Giants

Contenders: Daniel Jones, Drew Lock

Despite the Giants’ insistence that Daniel Jones will be the Week 1 starter, we’ll play devil's advocate until we get there. Jones is recovering from an ACL tear, is set to earn $36M fully guaranteed in 2024, and holds a $23M injury guarantee on his 2025 salary, should he be unable to pass a physical next March. It’s a risk to play Jones, who was 1-5 with 2 TDs and 6 INTs at the time of the injury last year, but he’s still the favorite to take the first snap.

Drew Lock was signed away from Seattle on a 1 year, $5M fully guaranteed contract. The 27-year-old has 23 career starts (9-14 record), and holds a career completion percentage under 60%. Still, there’s a world where the Giants leverage his experience as a way to mitigate the financial risk that comes with throwing Daniel Jones back out to the wolves.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Contenders: Russell Wilson, Justin Fields

Signed to a veteran minimum $1.2M salary for 2024 (thanks to the $37.8M buyout coming from Denver), Russell Wilson appears to have the early edge to win the Week 1 job. Saying something in March, and seeing something in September are two very different things.

Acquired from Chicago this past March for a 2025 6th round pick, Justin Fields brings a 1 year, $3.2M contract with him to Pittsburgh, set to earn nearly 3x more than Russell Wilson as a member of the Steelers. This is a rare scenario where contract statuses actually cancel each other out. PIttsburgh’s QB1 battle will be won on the training camp field.

Washington Commanders

Contenders: Jayden Daniels, Marcus Mariota

Washington took Jayden Daniels #2 overall this past draft, putting him in line to become the Commanders’ next franchise quarterback. Once signed, Daniels will lock in $37.7M through 2027, plus a 5th year option for 2028.

Marcus Mariota was signed away from Philly on a 1 year, $6M contract ($5.4M fully guaranteed). Mariota has 74 career starts (34-40 record), including 13 for the Falcons back in a tumultuous 2022 campaign. He holds a career 62.7% completion rate across 90 games played.

Worth a Mention

Atlanta Falcons
It would be reckless to think that Kirk Cousins (who is owed $62.5M this season) could be supplanted by Michael Penix Jr. this season, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make things uncomfortable out of the gate. Trading Cousins after 2024 means a new team acquires a 1 year, $37.5M contract, practically speaking, while the Falcons take on $37.5M of dead cap (saving $2.5M for 2025). Again - very hypothetical.

New Orleans Saints
Nearly $29M of Derek Carr’s 2024 compensation was converted to signing bonus in February, all but securing his spot for the upcoming season. Additionally, $10M of his 2025 pay (an early March roster bonus) became fully guaranteed. $30M more of next year’s salary locks in next March. If the wheels fall off this season, the Saints may consider paying that $10M guarantee as a parting gift, though an outright release comes with over $50M of dead cap next season ($21M in 2025, $29M in 2026 if designated post June 1st). The Saints selected Spencer Rattler in the 5th round this past draft as a possible replacement.

Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks made it clear by mid-February that Smith was going to be on the 2024 roster (his 3 year contract had an out after 2023). Geno is now guaranteed to earn the $22.5M owed to him for the upcoming season, but another clear out exists thereafter ($13.5M dead cap against a $38.5M hit). Sam Howell is on a 2 year, $2M non-guaranteed contract behind Smith.