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Which quarterbacks could be available in 2021?

The list is growing

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While the Philadelphia Eagles attempt to sort out their mess at quarterback with Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts, the Los Aneles Rams are preparing for a playoff game with either Jared Goff or John Wolford. The Eagles may part with Wentz in the offseason despite the fact that his four-year, $128 million extension hasn’t even kicked in yet and that they can’t get away from his $34 million cap hit in 2021.

Would the Rams entertain the notion of entering 2021 without Goff?

Goff’s four-year, $134 million extension starts in 2021 and he has the same cap hit as Wentz. Los Angeles is in the same position as Philadelphia and the Eagles may not hesitate to move forward with Hurts; the team can’t save money next year by parting with Wentz, but they would save themselves money in 2022 if they get rid of him before the third day of the upcoming league year.

However, the Rams converted some of Goff’s salary into a bonus and that raised the level of his cap hits in each of the four years. The team won’t be able to save any money in 2021 and they’ll incur a $31 million dead money hit in 2022 if they part with Goff.

By most accounting, Jared Goff is locked into the Rams for the next two seasons.

But there is always the possibility that LA would search for other options. The position is too important and the only “window” the matters for the Rams is what happens in the next 2-3 years, knowing that they’ll only have Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Andrew Whitworth and others playing at a high level for only so long.

It is possible that the QB market has been developing in such a way that LA could either find veteran competition at a low cost or a young project from another team to take a chance on. Much of this has to do with the rising costs of “franchise quarterbacks” and the urgency for teams to “win now” when they have talented QBs on rookie deals; as evidenced by the current situations in LA and Philadelphia, investing in quarterbacks can sometimes come at too high of a cost.

Maybe even more often than “sometimes.”

Cam Newton quarterbacked the Patriots for only $1.5 million. Jameis Winston accepted a $1 million offer to backup Drew Brees and Taysom Hill. The Cowboys used every bit of the $3 million they spent on Andy Dalton.

Not to discredit whatever transpires with Wolford, but the Rams don’t want to get in the same situation at QB as what happened with their kicking competition in 2020. They could actually grab a player worth grabbing from the onset, rather than when it became an emergency situation.

It used to seem like maybe only one or two QB names of note would ever hit the NFL free agent or trade market. I’ve listed 22 names below and while many of them make no sense for the Rams, I wanted to be comprehensive.

Repeat: This is not a list of QBs who I think the Rams should go get. This is just a list of QBs who could be available to most every team this year.

Free Agents

Dak Prescott

Mitchell Trubisky

Jameis Winston

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Philip Rivers

Jacoby Brissett

Tyrod Taylor

Cam Newton

Andy Dalton

Marcus Mariota

Josh Rosen

Dwayne Haskins

Trade Candidates

Sam Darnold, NY Jets

Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars

Daniel Jones, NY Giants

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

There is some speculation that with the number three pick and a highly-respected quarterback class, Miami could look to part with Tagovailoa after a rookie season in which he was benched multiple times for Fitzpatrick. The same could go for the Jets and Giants. Matt Ryan isn’t on this list because I am guessing that even if the Falcons draft a QB, they’ll want to compete for the NFC South next season.

Veterans on the move?

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Jimmy Garoppolo, SF 49ers

Derek Carr, LV Raiders

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Nick Foles, Chicago Bears

Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers