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Sports Update: The Year of the QB (3/24/20) By: Gray Salter

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

Quarantine across the globe has much of the sports world in a standstill. March approached, and like a child on Christmas morning, fans everywhere built anticipation of what this season’s ending had in store. But, as if Santa himself neglected to come down the chimney, basketball fans were denied their prized month of watching hoops, seniors were stripped of a chance to play out their final seasons, and teams were sent home in the name of safety. The impact of our fight against COVID-19 has reached far beyond basketball and dipped its hand into almost every aspect of, not only sports, but daily living activities. There is one thing, however, that sustained itself in the sports universe and maintained its exciting reputation during these turbulent times - NFL free agency.

The year of the quarterback is upon us in NFL free agency. For the first time in a long time, there has been a surplus of capable quarterbacks on the market for teams to take their pick from. Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, and Ryan Tannehill found their way back to their respective teams through new deals, while many free agents will become the fresh face of a different franchise. NFL legend and six-time super bowl champion, Tom Brady, headlined free agency after deciding he would leave the Patriots after 20 years in New England. Brady has found himself a new home in Tampa Bay, signing a two-year, $50 million contract where he will now play for Bruce Arians. Other notable signings include Philip Rivers on a one-year deal to Indianapolis, Case Keenum to Cleveland on a three-year contract, and Teddy Bridgewater to Carolina on a three-year, $63 million agreement.

With the signings of Bridgewater and Brady, there will be two new presences under center in the NFC South, forcing two very well-known names out the door. Cam Newton of the Panthers and Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers have been the long-term starting quarterbacks for their respective franchises but will have to find a new home elsewhere after both teams have struggled over the past few seasons. Newton spent nine seasons in Carolina, including the historic 2015 Super Bowl run where he won unanimous NFL MVP. Winston spent five seasons in Tampa Bay after being drafted in the summer of 2015. He made appearances on the 2015 NFL All-Rookie team, Pro Bowl roster, and was placed 57th on the NFL 100 list in 2017.

Other teams still exist in the hunt for a quarterback, as New England and The LA Chargers have to fill the void of their franchise quarterbacks headlining elsewhere. The Broncos, Bears, and Raiders have also been thrown around in the conversation of teams that could be searching for another option at QB. Could New England and Belichick’s system fix some of Winston’s in-game mental lapses? Could Cam Newton find revival for his larger-than-life personality within the Los Angeles lifestyle? These are questions I’m sure both players and coaches alike will be asking themselves. There is still a lot unanswered in the remaining realms of quarterback free agency.

The exciting news for sports fans-- these are just the basics of the NFL QB free agency market, which could turn the 2020-21 season into a memorable one. This has already been a hectic offseason and we have not even reached the 2020 NFL Draft yet. If you are looking for action within the sports world, turn off the rerun March Madness games. Look no further than the 2020 NFL offseason because next year is going to look a whole lot different when it comes to who is on the field and who they are playing for.

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