As the 2023 NFL offseason closes in, Spotrac's Positional Breakdown series kicks off with a deep dive into the financial statuses of each team's quarterback position, including rostered players, remaining term & guarantees, and stability at the starting & backup roles.
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Status: Money Locked.
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $22.7M
The GM who was extended prior to extending the QB this past summer is now likely to be fired. That’s about all you need to know as to how the quarterback situation is simmering in Arizona. Kyler Murray’s deal holds 6 years, $235M remaining on it, with 5 years, $189M all but fully guaranteed.
Colt McCoy remains under contract for 2023 on a 1 year, $3.75M ($5M cap hit) deal. If Murray’s ACL recovery carries into next fall, look for a slight redo on this contract to include performance bonuses to better reflect his temporary QB1 role.
Status: Wide Open.
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $69M
Marcus Mariota’s tenure in Atlanta certainly feels over (left team + knee surgery). $12M of his $14.5M cap hit for 2023 can come off the books per a trade or release.
Desmond Ridder’s 3 year, $3.5M remaining rookie contract (non-guaranteed) will certainly keep him in the mix to compete for the 2023 job, though it certainly stands to reason that the Falcons will bring another option onto the roster in some capacity next spring.
Status: Big Payday or Big Trade.
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $44M
Lamar Jackson has been Lamar Jackson this year, despite the annual tradition that is a lack of wide receiver talent + a slew of injuries across the Ravens’ roster. Jackson’s rookie contract will expire this winter, putting him in line for a franchise tag this coming February, almost certainly of the exclusive variety. This exclusive tag for QBs currently projects to cost north of $45M, and eliminates the possibility for other teams to negotiate with Jackson during his tagged window. He projects to a 6 year, $246M extension in our system currently, though anything short of Kyler Murray’s $189M guaranteed wouldn’t seem appropriate.
The Ravens don’t currently have a QB under contract for 2023.
Status: Happily Locked In.
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$3.5M
Josh Allen’s deal carries 6 years, $217.5M through 2028 with early guarantees built in through the 2025 season. His $39.7M cap hit for 2023 4th in the league, and probably gets restructured in the coming months, despite GM Brandon Beane’s reluctance to do so in many cases. Buffalo can free up over $21M with a full base salary restructure to Allen.
Allen is the only QB currently under contract in Buffalo for the 2023 campaign, as Case Keenum becomes an unrestricted free agent next March. A reunion there seems good for both parties.
Status: Desperate & Looking.
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $1.9M
Three quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker) split snaps for the Panthers in 2022. None of them are under contract in Carolina next year. Matt Corral (3 years, $3.5M non-guaranteed) will enter 2023 as the lone QB under contract in Carolina as he recovers from a Lisfranc injury.
It’s plausible that Sam Darnold has earned himself a small extension to compete for the 2023 job, while a Top 10 draft pick will also be in play here. Despite a lack of rostered QBs, the Panthers project to carry less than $2M of Top 51 cap space into March right now thanks to large (but restructurable) hits for DJ Moore, Taylor Moton, & Shaq Thompson + nearly $30M of dead cap.
Status: It’s Not Me, It’s You
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $120M
Justin Fields quieted a lot of doubters this year, as a new coaching regime has at least started to unlock his super powers. There’s still plenty of fringe around the edges to smooth out, but the focus this offseason won’t be on the QB position (but literally on every other area of the roster). Contractually, Fields holds 2 years, $5.5M + a 5th year option, and becomes extension eligible after the 2023 season.
Trevor Siemian signed a 2 year deal this past March, leaving him on a 1 year, $1.965M deal ($2.465M cap hit) for 2023. He’s recovering from oblique surgery, so adding a body or two here definitely makes sense next spring.
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $48.8M
After a sluggish (recovering from appendectomy) start, Joe Burrow has rounded back into big boy status, and becomes a slam dunk to cash in this coming offseason. His representation should be pointing directly at Deshaun Watson’s deal with the Browns as the only correct offer, though the Bengals seem like the last franchise in the league that would be willing to go that route. He’s a 6 year, $260M player in our system, though another Super Bowl appearance this season could shatter that ceiling. It should be noted that Burrow’s rookie contract contains 1 year, $5.5M + a 5th year option remaining, so while an extension isn’t at all required - it kind of feels required.
Current backup Brandon Allen is slated for unrestricted free agency next year, and could be asked back at around his previous $1.5M mark.
Status: Front Office Seeking Men in Black Neuralyzer
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $3.7M
2022 was always going to be weird. Even before Deshaun Watson was acquired, the turmoil with Baker Mayfield heading into the offseason was boiling over, and every team in the league knew it. Every decision thereafter can (and will) be questioned, though it’s only fair to give this a little time to simmer. Don’t worry - Watson’s contract offers plenty of it, as the 27 year old holds 4 years, $184M fully guaranteed through 2026, including an historic $54.9M cap hit in 2023. A full base salary restructure can drop it down to $19M, but there will be short-term future pain in pushing that cap out.
Kellen Mond (2 years, $2.4M non-guaranteed) is the only other rostered QB in 2023 currently.
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $6.6M
Dak Prescott’s deal has 2 years, $65M remaining on it through 2024 and is fully guaranteed at $31M for the 2023 season. His $49.1M cap hit next year ranks 2nd only to Deshaun Watson, and is very likely subjected to restructure. A full base salary conversion can free up over $23M of cap space for the Cowboys next year. Unless Dallas tries to get ahead of things right now (not entirely crazy), a new deal for Dak Prescott will be a focal point this time next season.
Youngster Will Grier carries a non-guaranteed $1.08M salary into 2023 and could very well become the new QB2 in Dallas if Cooper Rush finds a better situation next March.
Status: Cart Before the Horse
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $15.4M
I know, I know, they gave up two firsts, two seconds, a late round swap and 3 players to acquire Russell Wilson - so an extension was all but necessary to justify the trade price, but it bears repeating for the 109th time: The Broncos could have paid Wilson $24M for 2022, then been faced with a non-guaranteed $27M for 2023. Instead, it was $57M cash this year and 3 years, $104M guaranteed now through 2025. Denver will try to band-aid this contract with a new coaching staff for 2023, but band-aid it will be.
Current backup Brett Rypien is slated for unrestricted free agency and with Wilson’s career falling apart, Denver could look to bring in a legitimate QB2 option for the next few seasons.
Status: 2023 Fine (I think).
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $28.5M
The advanced metrics (or advanced coaches) have never liked Jared Goff, but he passed more than a few eye tests with the Lions this season. The 2 years, $52.2M (non-guaranteed) left on his deal doesn’t feel too daunting, especially for a team clearly turning a corner offensively. A few splashy draft picks & free agent signings on the defensive side of the ball, and Detroit could be a legitimate middle of the pack NFC contender.
Current backup Nate Sudfeld is slated for unrestricted free agency this March. Will the Lions draft a potential “next man up” in April?
Green Bay Packers
Status: It’s Just Easier To Assume He’s Returning
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $2.7M
I’m just going to keep this really easy and assume that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers love each other and aren’t even considering a divorce. His $31.6M cap hit for 2023 is tolerable, and the $59.15M cash to be earned is ridiculous, but happening (somewhere - I mean definitely in Green Bay).
Current backup Jordan Love becomes an instant must-watch candidate next March, as rumors have already swirled that it’s play me or trade me for 2023. The latter seems inevitable. Love holds a 1 year, $2.2M (fully guaranteed) contract + a 5th year option for 2024 that must be decided on by May 2023.
Status: Bryce Young
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $47M
Davis Mills is probably going to get a few contracts as a viable backup in the league, but he was always a placeholder to get this franchise to the #1 pick. Bryce Young (assumedly) will sign a fully guaranteed 4 year contract + a 5th year option for 2027 next summer.
Both Kyle Allen & Jeff Driskel are slated for unrestricted free agency next March, but bringing in a QB with experience (either to start ahead of the drafted QB or to mentor his inaugural season) will be a vital move this offseason.
Status: Ralph Wiggum Meme of Choice
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $30M
Another veteran QB acquisition swing and a miss via Matt Ryan that lingers into the 2023 offseason thanks to a $12M guarantee for next season. It’s (slightly) possible that a trade partner is found, it’s definitely possible that Jim Irsay eats the $12M and outright releases Ryan, but it makes the most sense that a restructured contract is put in place for 2023 that makes his $12M cash, $18M total cap more efficient for the Colts.
Behind (or next to, or possibly in front of) Ryan, Nick Foles carries a 1 year, $3.6M contract into 2023, $1.5M of which is fully guaranteed. While, youngster Sam Ehlinger carries a 2 year, $2M (non-guaranteed) contract into the offseason.
Status: We’re Ok.
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$17M
The Jacksonville offense as a whole is becoming more fun every week, and the emergence of Trevor Lawrence is a major reason why. The #1 overall pick carries 2 years, $9.6M + a 5th year option on his rookie contract, and won’t become extension eligible until after the 2023 campaign.
Current backup C.J. Beathard is slated for unrestricted free agency next March.
Kansas City Chiefs
Status: MVP Money Coming
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $23M
Now we’ve seen Patrick Mahomes be great with a true WR1 *(Tyreek Hill) and with a weapon by committee system. Translation, he’s great, which works out, because his contract holds 9 years, $414.5M remaining on it, with no clear and concise “out” for Kansas City at any point in time. Mahomes as “only” banked $63M cash across the first three years of this contract which is basically what he would have earned having played out his rookie contract plus a franchise tag. The meat & potatoes of the deal kick in now, as the 27 year old will see $120M cash over the next three seasons.
Mahomes’ 2023 cap hit currently rings in at $46.7M. The Chiefs tolerated a $35.8M figure in 2022, and with the salary cap rising significantly, could theoretically do the same next season. But there’s $27.5M to be saved in converting a roster bonus if they feel the need.
Longtime backup QB Chad Henne is playing out another 1 year deal in KC as he approaches 38 years of age. It may be time for the Chiefs to switch up their QB2 for the first time in 5 years.
Las Vegas Raiders
Status: Every Possible Possibility
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $34M
Derek Carr’s 2022 needed to at least resemble his past two seasons to help justify the 3 year, $121.5M extension he was handed this past April. Instead, he’s having his worst season in 5 years, despite a shiny new weapon in Davante Adams at his disposal. There’s a tiny world where the Raiders release Carr before February 15th, after which another $40M+ becomes fully guaranteed. Will Las Vegas trade those guarantees away to another franchise this spring? Our sources say it’s extremely likely.
Current backup Jarrett Stidham is a pending free agent (so the Raiders don’t exactly have Plan B for Carr ready and waiting in the wings).
UPDATE: The Raiders have benched Derek Carr for the remainder of 2022, putting him on track to be moved this offseason. If they can't put together a trade before February 15th (when $40M guarantees), expect an outright release for the 31 year old.
Los Angeles Chargers
Status: Pay the Man
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$9.4M
Justin Herbet’s 2022 isn’t going to approach the fantastic 2021 performance he put in, but the jury’s already out on this decision. Herbert’s rookie contract holds 1 year, $4.2M + a 5th year option in 2024 that will certainly be exercised by the May deadline. He’s a $44M quarterback in our system currently, but as with Joe Burrow in Cincy, the financial sky is the limit.
Backups Chase Daniel & Easton Stick are pending free agents, so there’s a move to be made in that regard.
Los Angeles Rams
Status: Run it Back
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$1.9M
Matthew Stafford has been vocal about his plan to return from spinal cord contusion injury, so the Baker Mayfield conversations can dissipate. Stafford’s deal contains 3 years, $121.5M remaining including $57M that fully guarantees next March. At this point, it’s more likely he’s the Rams’ QB1 through 2025 than not.
Status: Hold Please
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$6.7M
One of the tougher rooms to read right now as Tua Tagovailoa has shown greatness, averageness, & below averageness this season, plus three separate trips into concussion protocol. While he becomes extension eligible after the 2022 season, Tua’s financial future is likely in a holding pattern for now, as his physical condition is a must priority for both sides. He’s on a 1 year, $4.7M (guaranteed) rookie deal plus a 5th year option for 2024 that must be decided on this coming May.
Teddy Bridgewater is headed back to free agency, while 7th round pick Skylar Thompson remains on a 3 year, $1.1M (non-guaranteed) deal.
Status: Pay it Forward
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$7M
Kirk Cousins tacked on an extra 1 year, $35M guaranteed this past March, locking in his 2023 season - but nothing thereafter. A multi-year extension to keep the 34-year-old in Minnesota for the rest of his career is plausible this time around, deserving, and can help lower his current $36.25M cap hit next season.
Backup Nick Mullens is slated for unrestricted free agency.
New England Patriots
Status: Michael Scott Cringe Meme
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $54M
It’s not unfair to claim that Mac Jones took a giant step back in 2022, putting the position into a bit of flux for New England going forward. Jones is fully guaranteed at 2 years, $4.7M plus a 2025 5th-year option. For now it remains Mac’s job to lose heading into 2023.
Veteran Brian Hoyer is under contract on a 1 year, $2M deal ($1.4M guaranteed, $2.24M cap hit) through 2023 and should be back in the fold if he doesn’t hang them up first. 2022 4th round pick Bailey Zappe brings a non-guaranteed 3 year, $2.9M rookie contract into the conversation as well.
New Orleans Saints
Status: More of the Same?
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$57M
Barring a late season extension, QB1 Andy Dalton is headed to unrestricted free agency. The 35-year-old has been solid in 2022, completing 66% of his passes with a 95+ rating. Bringing him back on an incentive-based deal probably makes sense for a Saints franchise with no 1st round pick.
Jameis Winston is signed through 2023 on a $12.8M salary ($15.6M cap hit). $5.8M of it becomes fully guaranteed March 17th, and there’s an $11.2M dead cap hit to release him next spring. The Saints almost certainly move on here.
32-year-old Taysom Hill is fully guaranteed at $9.9M ($13.9M cap hit) through 2023 and could (finally) be a legitimate contender for the QB1 role.
New York Giants
Status: Keep With the Jones
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $58M
There’s still a deep dividing line between those who believe Daniel Jones should be allowed to walk into free agency this March, and those who believe he’s earned a 2nd contract in New York. Is a projected $32M franchise tag the happy compromise? Blake Bortles bagged a last minute 3 year, $54M deal in Jacksonville back in 2018. That $18M per year represented 10.1% of the league cap at the time. If we run this math on a projected $225M salary cap for 2023, we get Jones into a 3 year, $66M deal, with cap & cash flexibility for GM Joe Schoen & the Giants. It’s not a far reach if they can get their QB1 to buy in.
Backup QB Tyrod Taylor holds a 1 year, $5.5M deal through 2023, including $2.725M fully guaranteed now. His $6.9M cap hit is a bit high for a QB2, and while Schoen won’t ever be a huge salary restructure guy, this could be a candidate.
New York Jets
Status: Back to the Drawing Board
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $15.9M
2021 #2 overall pick Zach Wilson appears to have played himself out of town this season. His fully guaranteed 2 year, $9.25M contract contains $20.7M of dead cap next March, so an outright release makes little sense, but including him in a larger trade, or tossing in a draft pick to ship him out to another QB-needy team seems very much in play.
Mike White is finishing out a $2.54M restricted tender in 2022, set for unrestricted free agency next March. The Jets will likely look to swing bigger at the QB position this offseason, but bringing back White on a modified starter contract definitely holds logic. Mitch Trubisky’s 2 year, $14M deal seems a decent starting point.
37-year old Joe Flacco heads back to free agency where his future remains very much in question.
Status: Brinks Truck
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $10.5M
Jalen Hurts’ late season injury probably cost him a legitimate shot to snag away the MVP award from Patrick Mahomes, but it doesn’t sour our impression of the 24 year old. He was given an opportunity to sink or swim with a greatly constructed Eagles’ roster this season, and he answered every bell, completing 67% of his passes for a 104+ rating. Hurts becomes extension eligible for the first time this spring, and the Eagles’ front office loves handing out early contracts whenever possible. He’s a near $46M per year player in our system currently, putting him in line for Kyler Murray’s 5 year, $230.5M deal in Arizona.
Backup Gardner Minshew is slated for unrestricted free agency, leaving youngster Ian Book (2 years, $1.95M non-guaranteed) as the only other QB under contract in 2023.
Status: Dark Horse Splash?
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $13.2M
Kenny Pickett’s rookie contract contains 3 years, $5.94M fully guaranteed + a 5th year option in 2026. It was a herky jerky first year for Pickett, and the Steelers aren’t the type of franchise to sit around and wait. Don’t be surprised if a veteran move is at least entertained here this offseason.
QB1A Mitchell Trubisky carries a 1 year, $8M (non-guaranteed) salary ($10.62M cap hit) into 2023. With no early bonuses or triggers, Pittsburgh can keep him rostered through the offseason as an insurance policy, but the $8M of cap to be freed up via trade or release could come in handy early on. Longtime backup Mason Rudolph is slated for unrestricted free agency.
San Francisco 49ers
Status: If it Ain’t Broke
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $13.5M
Oh who knows anymore. Why would this team pay for a QB at all in their current iteration? And why would this front office even consider “advancing” this offense with a more versatile QB like Trey Lance? The grass isn’t always greener.
Contractually, Trey Lance holds a 2 year, $9M fully guaranteed rookie contract plus a 5th-year option for 2025. Until further notice, it’s his gig once he’s healthy enough to play.
Brock Purdy’s stabilizing performance down the stretch probably bagged him the backup role in 2023. His non-guaranteed 3 year, $2.9M remaining contract certainly fits the value bill.
31-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo is set to hit the open market this March for the first time in his NFL career. Despite a foot fracture that shelved his 2022 campaign, he’ll have plenty of offers to choose from. He carries a $35M valuation into the offseason.
Status: Now What?
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $50M
The shine has worn off a bit down the stretch, but Geno Smith’s bust to boom 2022 is a true revelation. Now what to do with his expiring contract though? Everyone under the sun (ourselves included) were putting him into a $30M+ contract 4 weeks ago. Is a $32M franchise tag too rich? The better question might be, if Smith walks into free agency, just how many suitors are there? This just might be the best, singular situation for the 32 year old, and he likely knows it. We’ll keep things easy for now and just put him on the Daniel Jones bridge contract path. 3 years, around $65M, but really just a 1 year guarantee at signing.
Backup Drew Lock is headed into free agency with very little buzz.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Status: Bueller? Bueller?
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$42M
Tom Brady finally looks human 23 seasons later, leaving us with absolutely no idea what comes next. Does he walk into his cherry Fox Sports gig? Does he try to pick up the pieces with a better run franchise? A return to Tampa in 2023 seems the least likely option, which means he’ll leave a $35.1M dead cap parting gift to the Bucs, thanks to void years built into his latest extension.
Kyle Trask holds 2 years, $2.5M non-guaranteed remaining on his rookie contract, while veteran Blaine Gabbert is slated for unrestricted free agency. The Bucs don’t have a legitimate QB1 plan for 2023 currently.
Status: Dark Horse Splash?
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: -$16.5M
Before 2022, Ryan Tannehill had no chance of sticking around Tennessee for the final year of his contract. That sentiment has changed (and not because he lit up the stat boards this season). Tannehills non-guaranteed $27M for 2023 comes with a $36.6M cap hit. A small restructure should clean things up a bit while not damaging their future caps too much. With that said, Tennessee could very much be a landing spot for Jimmy Garoppolo, Jordan Love, etc… this offseason, which then puts Tannehill’s contract on notice. The Titans can free up $17.8M of cap space with a Pre June 1st release of their veteran QB.
Backup Malik Willis didn’t exactly instill confidence in the position going forward, but his 3 year, $3.5M non-guaranteed remaining rookie deal offers little to no risk from here out. Will Tennessee try to find their next future QB this offseason, or is that plan still a year away?
Status: Better Required
2023 Top 51 Cap Space: $20M
The Carson Wentz experiment is most likely over in Washington, as the 30 year old carries 2 years, $53.3M, none of it guaranteed - and no dead cap sitting against it. With $9M of compensation set to guarantee March 17th, it’ll be an early decision for the Commanders. Washington could stand to find an upgrade at this position with a surrounding roster that’s rounding into form.
QB1A Taylor Heinicke is slated for unrestricted free agency, and probably doesn’t have much of a market outside of Washington. Is another short term incentive-laden extension good for both parties? Last year’s 5th round pick Sam Howell remains rostered at 3 years, $2.95M, non-guaranteed.