Welcome back to a new edition! Today we are talking about the NFC South. Here's the link to my previous article: http://cfbhc.com/index.php?/topic/12426-2018-nfc-south-qb-situation/
Let's get into it.
QB A.J. Jefferson 6-3 194 4 North Carolina [Pocket] 87
AJJ, Touchdown Jesus, Interception Jesus, The False Prophet. He's been in the spotlight since he was a Senior in High School. He went to North Carolina and lit the world on fire. Afterwards, he was surprisingly drafted by the reigning NFLHC Superbowl Champs, the Atlanta Falcons. But, he just hasn't had the same success as he once had in college. And this season is no different. Out of the Top 29 QBs in Attempts (and Erasmus McCready) he is 23rd in Attempts, 24th in Yards, 25th in Completion %, 25th in Touchdowns, 24th in QB Rating, 25th in TD %, and 21st in INT %. He has been below average in every measure possible. He has dealt with injuries in the past, but that isn't an excuse for him this season. He's just been bad. I see his time in Atlanta coming to an end sooner rather than later.
QB Matteo Rook 6-1 231 R Virginia [Pocket] 76
QB Greg Shipp 6-1 185 2 Iowa [Hybrid] 81
QB Kevin White 6-2 218 1 Dartmouth [Pocket] 73
Matteo Rook is obviously the future Franchise QB of the Atlanta Falcons and take them to many Superbowl Wins before being enshrined in the NFLHC HOF upon retirement. But on a serious side, I think his ceiling is that of a traveling QB backup. I don't ever see him being a starter, which is fine, but he isn't going to lead this team into the playoffs ever. I'm not a fan of Greg Shipp, but I'm also not sure why he's behind Rook. Kevin White is on the Practice Squad, maybe he can be a reliable backup someday. Who knows?
AJ Jefferson is making $14.5 Million ($7.25 MM GTD) in 2021 and is then a Free Agent.
Matteo Rook is making 500K each season through 2024.
Greg Shipp makes 750K in both 2021 and 2022 and is then a Free Agent.
Kevin White is making 500K in 2021 and is then a Free Agent.
AJ Jefferson had his fifth year option picked up. I understand that, he probably would have wanted much more than $14.5 MM in an extension. Also, you would have been tied to him for 3-4 seasons most likely. What I like about the rest of the QB corps, is they are completely non-guaranteed. So you can waive anyone at any point without taking a hit to your cap at all.
1. Transition Tag AJ Jefferson after 2021. If someone wants to give you 2 1sts for him, let them. This gives him one last chance to prove himself to the franchise and earn an extension. If he doesn't, do a sign + trade and move on.
2. Extend Kevin White for two more seasons, non-guaranteed at the League Minimum. It's a free Practice Squad player, why not?
3. Consider drafting a QB in the 3rd Round this draft. You're going to need a new starter, and with how loaded this class is, you can find someone in the mid rounds.
QB Christian Skaggs 6-1 214 7 Florida State [Pocket] 99
SKAGGS. SKAGGS. SKAGGS. What can I say about him that hasn't been said? He's in the discussion for best QB in the league (Brian Brown being the other contender). He's having another good season, although his Completion % leaves a lot to be desired. He's in the Top 5 in Attempts, Yards, and Touchdowns as is to be expected. Although his efficiency stats aren't elite, they don't hurt him too bad. The only issue I can point out is he as 8 Turnovers on the season already, but he throws the ball so much that even with 7 Interceptions, he is 17th in INT %.
QB Justin Hunter 6-0 210 3 Mississippi State [Pocket] 78
QB Sean Hamilton 6-2 207 1 Nebraska [Pocket] 82
I really liked Justin Hunter out of college as a career backup. I thought he would game manage well and fill in nicely if the starter went out. Fortunately for the Panthers, Skaggs has been healthy his whole career, so they haven't really seen much of Hunter. So who know what he really brings? I also liked Hamilton out of college too, but as a guy to develop for 2-3 seasons and then throw him on the field as a starter.
Christian Skaggs is making $22.5 Million ($11.25 MM GTD) each season through 2023.
Justin Hunter is making 500K (250K GTD) in 2021 and is then a Free Agent.
Sean Hamilton is making $1.75 Million (875K GTD) each season through 2023.
Skaggs is actually a steal at $22.5 in the current QB market. I don't see him holding out, but he's going to want near $30 Million in his next contract most likely. However, he'll be nearing 33 by then, I don't know if he should get that much money at that age. But, to be fair, we don't know how age affects QBs, so he could play into his 40's like Tom Brady.
I don't think there is any real reason to not extend Hunter unless he regresses a couple points. And Hamilton could make for some nice trade bait in 2022/2023.
1. Extend Hunter as long as he doesn't regress. Keep him at the League Minimum.
2. Trade Sean Hamilton in 2022 or 2023. If he progresses to 86/87 by then, he should bring in at least a 2nd I'd imagine. It's not a lot, but you don't really need a QB like him on the bench. You might as well get something out of him.
QB Aaron Devereaux 6-6 204 5 LSU [Pocket] 94
Aaron "Empty Stats" Deveraux is having a pretty good season. He's 4th in Attempts, 6th in Yards, 8th in Touchdowns, 8th in INT %, and 11th in Turnovers. That individual success hasn't lead to overall success for the team, but I think that's more of a reflection of the lack of talent around him rather than a reflection of Devy himself. In my previous article, I said it was time to move past Devy. I was wrong. I think he's the guy for New Orleans, they just need to build around him. The main issue with the team is Defense, I think Offensively they're fine. If they could just put an average Defense on the field, the Saints could contend for the Playoffs.
QB Nicholas Garland 5-10 210 R Stanford [Pocket] 78
QB Jaiden Grant 6-3 239 1 Florida [Pocket] 75
I really didn't like Garland coming out of college. I thought he was far too inconsistent and was prone to just mind boggling turnovers. But, playing behind Devy could help him develop into a nice, reliable backup. Jaiden Grant is on the Practice Squad, so he's essentially a free player, but I'd like to have a 3rd QB on the Active Roster instead of having Jaiden Grant on the Practice Squad to be honest.
Devereaux is making $10.4 Million (fully guaranteed) in 2021 and is then a Free Agent.
Garland is making 500K each season though 2024, fully non-guaranteed.
Grant is making 500K, fully non-guaranteed, this season and is then a Free Agent.
Devy is about to get paid, and I think he's worth it. He's going to want $25+ per season, but I would attempt to scale his Guaranteed money down season by season. i.e. give him more GTD money in 2022 and less in 2024. Just to give yourself an easier out if you need it. Garland is fine as is. I would let Grant walk.
1. Extend Devy.
2. Let Grant walk,
3. Draft/Sign a QB3 (someone you can keep on the Active Roster).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Taylor Heiden 6-3 197 5 Arkansas [Hybrid] 92
Heiden has had an odd career. It took this current Front Office a while to find the right scheme for him, but boy have they found it. Heiden has absolutely outplayed Skaggs this season. He is 9th in Attempts, 5th in Yards, 1st in Comletions % (71.96%!), 5th in Touchdowns, 3rd in YPA, 3rd in QB Rating, 2nd in Touchdown %. Add on to that his 108 rushing yards on 6.35 YPC and 1 TD on the ground and you have an almost complete performance by one player. The only know I'd give him is that he has thrown a few interceptions (although he has thrown fewer than Skaggs). Other than that, he has been outstanding and has absolutely put himself in the middle of the MVP discussion.
QB Devin Conroy 5-10 218 1 Colorado State [Pocket] 81
QB Dylan Bishop 6-4 188 1 Syracuse [Scrambling] 72
I liked Conroy out of college, but I feel like he's a bad fit for the Bucs. He might be a guy they end up trading for a 4th down the line. I don't see Dylan Bishop being anything other than a fringe QB3 in his career.
Heiden is making $15 Million ($7.5 MM GTD) in 2021 and is then a Free Agent.
Conroy is making $1.75 Million (875K GTD) through 2023.
Bishop is making 750K (non-guaranteed) through 2023.
Heiden is gonna want some major money based on his performance so far. He's been a Buc so far, and I think he needs to stay that way going forward. He's definitely going to want as much if not more money than Devy. So get ready for that. Conroy is fairly cheap, and could make for an easier trade piece in 2023. Bishop should be at the Minimum, but since you drafted him too high, he makes more than he should. However, he isn't guaranteed any money, so you could waive him easily and bring someone else in.
1. Extend Heiden, give the man his damn money.
2. Trade Conroy in 2022/2023. This will only be possible if he progresses to the 85 area. If not, you're stuck with him.
3. Waive Bishop and draft someone else. This draft is loaded at QB (I think I've said that 20 times in 3 articles by now). Grab someone better.
2. Tampa Bay
3. New Orleans