Predicting Quarterback Resolutions for 2024

Predicting Quarterback Resolutions for 2024

A new year always brings plenty of new quarterback conversations for many of the 32 NFL franchises, and this upcoming offseason will be no exception.

We’ll step outside our analysis-only shoes for a moment, offering a bold prediction for each NFL team’s quarterback situation in the coming months, including potential extensions, trades, releases, salary conversions, & plenty more.

Arizona Cardinals

Perfect. Let’s begin with maybe the most complicated situation in the league. Kyler Murray’s limited action in 2023 after returning from a serious knee injury hasn’t exactly wowed anybody - but neither should the roster being put around him on a weekly basis.

Arizona can actually save $5.6M of cap space by trading Kyler Murray in early March, but that hardly seems like the biggest thing standing in the way of a potential move out of town. Is there another team willing to take on 4 years, $150M guaranteed (for practical purposes)?

The Cardinals sit with the #2 overall pick in next year’s draft at the time of this piece, putting them in prime position to select the next young QB of their future. If of course, they kind remove themselves from Murray & his contract.

Arizona trades back to #4 overall, selecting Marvin Harrison Jr. to pair with Kyler Murray for 2024 & beyond.

Atlanta Falcons

Young QB of the future Desmond Ridder was benched multiple times in favor of Taylor Heinicke, who completed less than 60% of his passes with a rating somewhere in the 80’s. It’s a bleak outlook for an otherwise fairly talented roster, begging for an expensive quick fix this March.

Ridder’s contract contains 2 years, $2.5M remaining - but none of it is guaranteed ($922,458 of savings to trade or release him early on next March). Heinicke has a $1.32M roster bonus due March 17th, but a release before that can open up $7M of cap space.

Atlanta acquires Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2024 2nd round pick, and a 2025 2nd round pick that can convey to a 1st based on production & playing time.

Baltimore Ravens

Finally a soft landing spot here. Lamar Jackson’s tumultuous offseason turned into $185M guaranteed, and a regular season MVP. His contract carries another 3 years, $128M of practical guarantee before things get interesting again, and his $32.4M cap hit for 2024 should be tenable for Baltimore.

The Ravens need to address the QB2/QB3 position this offseason, though a reunion with Tyler Huntley seems to make a lot of sense. 

Baltimore signs Tyler Huntley to a 2 year, $5M extension, including $3M guaranteed to remain as Lamar’s backup

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen will be entering Year 4 of his 8 year contract in Buffalo, set to earn $30M cash against a $47M cap hit. The practical guarantees on his deal expire after 2025, but his future with the Bills has no end in sight.

The Bills need to address their QB2 again next March, as Kyle Allen was signed to a 1 year veteran minimum contract this past offseason.

Buffalo frees up $22.7M of cap space by converting most of Josh Allen's 2024 base salary + a $6M roster bonus into signing bonus.

Carolina Panthers

Year 1 for Bryce Young didn’t exactly go as planned - but then again, nothing did for Carolina in 2023. It’s a full reboot for the coaching staff, and a front office without a 1st round pick next May, keeping the immediate outlook bleak for now. Young is guaranteed $12.6M over the next 3 seasons.

Behind him (maybe), $2M of Andy Dalton’s 2024 salary is already fully guaranteed, making his $4M salary/$4.9M cap hit largely secure for the upcoming season.

Carolina pays handsomely for a new offensive-minded coaching staff and a weapon or two, attempting to Jacksonville Jaguars themselves back into the conversation next season.

Chicago Bears

The Bears hold the #1 & #8 picks in the upcoming draft at the time of this piece, putting them in an extremely powerful position - with a difficult decision to make at QB1.

Justin Fields has probably done just enough to keep himself tradable this offseason, though there certainly remains a lot to be desired still. The 24-year-old is fully guaranteed at $3.2M through 2024, and his 5th-year-option for 2025 needs to be decided on by next May.

Chicago trades Justin Fields at the start of the league year, setting themselves up to select the best available QB in next year’s draft

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow’s injury didn’t torpedo the Bengals’ season as quickly as many expected - but he’s still far and away the number one option for this franchise indefinitely speaking. The next 4 years, $173.5M of his new contract are guaranteed for practical purposes, putting plenty of pressure on Cincy to keep the gas pedal down every offseason.

The Bengals leave Burrow’s $29.7M cap hit intact this March, tendering QB2 Jake Browning to his $915,000 salary for 2024.

Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson was turning a corner with this offense at the time of his season-ending shoulder injury, offering at least some hope that Cleveland will eke out a few morsels of value from the massive trade price & $230M cash sometime soon.

The real fascination here comes with fill-in Joe Flacco, who has already stated that he plans on continuing his career past 2023. Will he accept a new backup contract in Cleveland, or does he have eyes on a team that might offer him a better chance to start?

Cleveland doubles down on an already expensive QB situation, signing Joe Flacco to a 2 year, $12M extension ($7.5M guaranteed) to remain a viable fill-in for Deshaun Watson, who sees his base salary converted to signing bonus, freeing up $36M of cap space.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys entered 2023 needing an answer to “is Dak Prescott still our long-term QB1?”. He responded with one of his most efficient & productive seasons to date, carrying a near 105 rating through most of the campaign.

Prescott enters a contract year in 2024, set to earn $34M against a $59.5M cap hit. He mathematically projects to a 4 year, $200M extension, but Dallas probably needs to get closer to $60M per year to convince Dak to extend early (something he opted not to do the last time around).

Quickly, behind Dak, Cooper Rush holds a non-guaranteed $2.25M for 2024, but Trey Lance (remember him?) carries a fully guaranteed $5.3M salary next season. Is he poised to be Prescott’s backup, or will Dallas need to shuffle a few pieces in the coming months?

Dallas extends Dak Prescott to a 4 year, $240M contract extension ($190M guaranteed), including a record $75M signing bonus. The Cowboys trade Trey Lance to Denver for a late round pick swap.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos had life in the middle of the season, but Russell Wilson & the Denver offense sputtered down the stretch, forcing a benching of their high-priced QB. Now it’s a chess match entering 2024, as Wilson is fully guaranteed $39M for the upcoming season, but another $37M from 2025 will lock in on March 17th. Will Denver take on the $85M of dead cap associated with an outright release (split into $35.4M/$49.6M as a Post 6/1 move)? Is there a team out there willing to swap a draft pick to take on a portion of Wilson’s contract for 2 years?

$1M of Jarrett Stidham’s $6M salary for 2024 is already fully guaranteed, aligning him well to stick on this roster in some capacity next season (potentially as the Week 1 starter).

Unable to secure a trade partner, Denver designates Russell Wilson a Post June 1st release in early March, paying him $39M cash to go away. The Broncos also acquire Trey Lance from Dallas for a late round pick swap.

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles’ trash is Detroit’s future. Jared Goff hasn’t had the cleanest season (10 INTs, 6 fumbles), but he’s done more than enough to warrant more financial security from the Lions. Goff will be entering a contract year in 2024, set to earn $26.6M against a $31.6M cap hit.

The 29-year-old currently calculates to an extension in the $39M-$40M per year range, but a significant postseason run can certainly flex those numbers quite a bit.

The Lions extend Jared Goff to a 4 year, $180M contract ($135M guaranteed), including $50M cash in 2024.

Green Bay Packers

Jordan Love should finish off his first full season as a starter somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of overall production & efficiency. There have been a few moments of good wow, and a few moments of bad wow along the way, setting up an interesting decision for Green Bay this offseason.

Have they seen enough to really put a stamp on this situation, extending the 25-year-old out a few years to secure him, or will they roll the dice on an expiring contract in 2024 (currently projected to carry a $9M cap/cash hit)?

The Packers keep Love on his current contract, hoping for a little more clarity before they pull the trigger on $150M+ guaranteed.

Houston Texans

Houston hit the lottery with C.J. Stroud, though his late-season concussion is certainly something to monitor as his career progresses. He’s fully guaranteed for the next 3 years, $12.1M plus a possible 5th-year-option in 2027.

There’s at least a bit of a discussion behind Stroud, as Davis Mills (non-guaranteed 1 year $1.3M) was passed over for 35-year-old Case Keenum, who already has $1M of his $3M salary in 2024 fully guaranteed right now.

The Texans release Davis Mills, making C.J. Stroud and Case Keenum their 2024 1-2 punch.

Indianapolis Colts

A healthy Anthony Richardson should still be locked into the QB1 role going forward. The 21-year-old has 3 years, $11.5M fully guaranteed ahead of him, plus a potential 5th-year-option for 2027.

The real conversation here starts with Gardner Minshew, who filled it more than admirably when Richardson’s season came crashing down due to injury. This isn’t the first time that Minshew has shown flashes of real starter potential - but will a team take a chance financially on him this winter?

Unable to secure a true QB1 contract/landing spot, Gardner Minshew agrees to a 2 year, $15M contract, $9M guaranteed, to remain a viable starting option for Indy going forward.

Jacksonville Jaguars

This was supposed to be the year that Trevor Lawrence broke out into the Top 5 QB he was drafted to be. It hasn’t exactly gone to plan, but this is still far from a “sky is falling” scenario. It might however impede Lawrence from getting his big time extension this winter - maybe.

Lawrence is a $49M player in our system, mathematically speaking, and the Jags may want to cash in on a situation where his value is a bit lower than expected, if both sides can agree to something like that.

The Jaguars exercise Trevor Lawrence’s 5th-year-option this offseason, but allow him to play out his $5.6M salary in 2024 before making a more long-term commitment.

Kansas City Chiefs

A restructured contract for Patrick Mahomes has him pretty outstandingly secured ($204M) for the next 4 seasons, rightfully so. Mahomes carries a $57.3M cap hit in 2024, so there’s some work to do in that regard.

Behind him, Blaine Gabbert is finishing off a 1 year, veteran minimum contract. It stands to reason that the 34-year-old will be back on similar terms.

The Chiefs convert all of Patrick Mahomes’ $34.9M roster bonus into signing bonus, clearing $27.9M of cap space for 2024

Las Vegas Raiders

2023 Week 1 starter Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t seen action since Halloween, as the Raiders saw enough from the 32-year-old to decide his future early on. $11.25M of Jimmy G’s 2024 compensation is already fully guaranteed, while another $11.25M is injury guaranteed right now.

2023 4th round pick Aidan O'Connell hasn’t exactly hit the ground running as the step-in starter, but with a non-guaranteed 3 year, $3M contract on the books from here out, he’s a no-brainer to stick around and continue to compete for the starting role.

Incredibly, $2M of Brian Hoyer’s 2024 compensation is fully guaranteed. Assuming he doesn’t retire, Hoyer figures to be an overpaid QB3 next year.

The Raiders pay Jimmy Garoppolo his $11.25M parting gift, taking on a $28.3M dead cap hit ($15.5M in 2024, $12.8M in 2025 if designated Post 6/1) to outright release him next March. Aidan O’Connell gets the keys again in 2024.

Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert’s new deal carries $228.6M more practically guaranteed through the 2028 season, so there’s no need to discuss his standing just yet - even if the walls around him may be completely excavated this winter.

Easton Stick’s tenure as a pinch hitter probably came crashing to an end this season. The new regime in LA will be in search of a more capable QB2.

Herbert’s $19.3M cap hit for 2024 is more than doable, so his contract stays untouched this winter. The Chargers sign Davis Mills to a 1 year, $2M contract to back him up.

Los Angeles Rams

Don’t look now, but Matthew Stafford is going to finish 2023 in the Top 10 of many passing stats, and with a Top 5 QB grade according to PFF. All $31M of his 2024 compensation is fully guaranteed right now, and $10M of his 2025 salary locks in on March 15th.

Behind him, it’s hard to imagine Stetson Bennett can be relied on as a true QB2 going forward, and Carson Wentz’s prorated minimum contract expires at the end of 2023. There’s work to be done here.

The Rams convert $29M of Stafford’s 2024 salary into a signing bonus, freeing up $23M of cap space. LA signs Jameis Winston to a 1 year, $4M contract to back him up.

Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa will be entering a fully guaranteed 5th-year-option season, set to earn $23.1M in 2024. He’s answered almost every question being asked of him before the start of the campaign.

QB2 Mike White holds a non-guaranteed $3.5M salary in 2024, while youngster Skylar Thompson carries a non-guaranteed 2 year, $2M contract.

The Dolphins make Tua the highest average paid QB in NFL history, signing him to a 5 year, $280M extension through 2029. However, his injury history limits the new, practical guarantees on the deal to just $175M. Mike White is a cap casualty this March.

Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins limps into free agency as the most experienced, productive QB set to become available. The 35-year-old carries a $40M valuation into the offseason, likely seeking his 4th consecutive fully guaranteed contract.

Minnesota never lets Cousins hit the open market, agreeing to a 2 year, $80M, fully guaranteed contract extension with their QB1. And under-contract Nick Mullens remains as the QB2.

New England Patriots

Will the Patriots find a trade partner for Mac Jones this winter? Will they pay him his fully guaranteed $2.78M salary as a buyout? Or will they keep him in the fold to compete as needed? Current QB1 Bailey Zappe sits on a non-guaranteed $985,000 minimum salary next season.

The Patriots trade Mac Jones to the 49ers for a 2024 7th round pick swap, paving the way for a newly drafted QB to take the reins immediately in New England.

New Orleans Saints

Derek Carr is fully guaranteed through 2024 at $30M, and $10M of his 2025 compensation becomes fully guaranteed next March. It’s an overpay for a middle of the road QB1, but it’s impossible to imagine the Saints front office blowing up their already crunched cap table to do anything about it this offseason.

Carr’s $30M salary is converted to signing bonus, freeing up $23M of cap space for New Orleans. Taysom Hill operates as the QB2 in 2024.

New York Giants

All $35.5M of Daniel Jones’ 2024 salary is fully guaranteed, putting him in line to regain the starting role if he returns to full health in time. However, $23M of his 2025 salary is guaranteed for injury - so the Giants need to tread lightly with a player that they likely don’t want to pay past 2024. 

The Giants swing a draft trade with Arizona to move up and select their next franchise QB, who takes over the starting role in NY sometime around Week 7.

New York Jets

A totally and completely healthy Aaron Rodgers will regain QB1 duties next Spring with a fully guaranteed $38.1M on the books for him in 2024. The remaining $37.5M from 2025 contains no early vesting guarantee.

Can the Jets secure a trade partner for Zach Wilson? Will they keep him around as Rodgers’ QB2? Or will they pay his fully guaranteed $5.4M salary as part of a release/buyout?

The Jets trade Zach Wilson to the Washington Commanders with a 5th round pick for Sam Howell, who steps in as Rodgers’ new QB2.

Philadelphia Eagles

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense this year, but contractually the 25-year-old's standing is rock solid ($184M practically guaranteed through 2027, $40M cash in 2024). Hurts’ $13.5M cap hit next year needs no attention.

The Eagles re-sign Marcus Mariota to a 1 year, $2.5M contract

Pittsburgh Steelers

Kenny Pickett carries a fully guaranteed 2 years, $4.6M, and should regain his starting gig next Spring. 2024 will be a pivotal year for the future of Pickett in Pitt. Mitchell Trubisky holds a non-guaranteed 2 years, $11.25M (incredibly).

The Steelers release Trubisky before his $1M roster bonus is due next March, re-signing Mason Rudolph to a 1 year, $2.5M contract to backup Pickett.

San Francisco 49ers

While the MVP conversation has quickly cooled, Brock Purdy will remain one of the best values in the NFL next year, set to earn a league minimum $985,000. His contract cannot be extended until after the 2024 campaign. Both Sam Darnold & Brandon Allen are on expiring contracts right now.

The Niners acquire Mac Jones from the Patriots in exchange for a 2024 7th round pick swap.

Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith’s 3 year, $75M contract was structured to give Seattle a clear out after 2023 if they needed it. While nothing is certain as of yet, it seems more and more likely that Smith will remain on this contract through the 2024 season, where he’s set to earn $22.5M cash against a $31.2M cap hit. Very capable QB2 Drew Lock is scheduled for unrestricted free agency next March.

The Seahawks keep Smith, converting his $9.6M roster bonus into signing bonus, freeing up $7.6M of cap space next season. Seattle re-signs Drew Lock to a 1 year, $5M contract to remain the QB2.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baker Mayfield should finish out the 2023 season with around $6.6M under his belt - pretty impressive value for a Tampa Bay team that was rolling the dice on the former #1 overall pick. Will this marriage continue?

The Buccaneers extend Baker Mayfield to a 4 year $164M contract, including $84M fully guaranteed. Tampa signs Sam Darnold to a 1 year, $2M contract to solidify the room.

Tennessee Titans

The Will Levis era hasn’t exactly kicked off with a bang, but there have been moments of positivity. Head Coach Mike Vrabel likely doesn’t have time to slow play a full rebuild, so this offseason should be about finding immediate upgrades.

The Titans sign Russell Wilson to a 1 year, $2.5M contract plus $7.5M in incentives (with Denver paying him the balance of his $39M owed), offering him an opportunity to take over Tennessee’s offense in 2024.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders should find themselves in a prime spot to draft their next franchise QB, (currently slated to select #3 overall). 2023 QB1 Sam Howell holds a non-guaranteed 2 years, $2M, while veteran Jacoby Brissett is slated for free agency next March.

Washington acquires Zach Wilson and a 5th round pick from the Jets, sending back Sam Howell. The Commanders then select their next franchise QB at the top of the draft, giving him the keys to the car immediately.