Who are the most valuable quarterbacks in 2019? To answer that question, I looked at both performance (or projected performance) and the salary commitment for the team. Getting great play out of a quarterback with the highest salary in the league is good. Getting great play out of a quarterback who is paid like many backups is way better. Here are my choices for the best quarterback values based on both contract and performance.
10) Philip Rivers, Chargers
Philip Rivers is getting just over $20 million per year with the Chargers. The four guys just in front of him in annual salary average are Alex Smith, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, and Nick Foles. That list of names is a good illustration of why Rivers makes this list. Even at 37, he’s still among the best eight or so quarterbacks in the league and has consistently been an underrated performer in the league. Last season he passed for 32 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions while leading the Chargers to a 12-4 season.
We all love anonymous scout opinions, where people that refuse to put their name on something dish on a young man. Sometimes, though, the concerns and issues pointed out by someone in confidence prove to be accurate. I thought I would take a look back at some recent past quarterbacks who have played enough for us to make an evaluation, and see if the scouting comments proved prescient or problematic.
Bob McGinn, who used to write for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel compiled scout comments on the draft for years, and so I am looking at what he relayed for the 2011 to 2014 drafts.
2011, of course, was the year of the lockout and also the year that Cam Newton was entering the league. That entire spring was full of negative comments about Newton, most notably with the controversy involving Nolan Nawrocki’s assessment of Newton.
I could not find a recap that went down each QB individually, like some future editions, but McGinn did go in depth on Newton.
Let’s start of with this fire assessment from one scout. “I don’t like any of them, really. There’s no Sam Bradfords. There’s no Josh Freeman. I think they’re all second- or third rounders.” That one does not stand up well to history. Freeman flamed out soon after and Bradford never became a star, while Cam Newton won an MVP award, Colin Kaepernick appeared in a Super Bowl, and Andy Dalton has started for almost a decade.
Bill Polian was quoted as saying there was a big dropoff after Cam Newton, but of the 24 personnel people interviewed by McGinn, most thought Newton would be a bust. Sixteen of them had Blaine Gabbert as the best quarterback in the class, and only two thought Newton would be a perennial pro bowler.
Some scouts did favor Newton, though. One said, “our coaches just ripped his (expletive), but I’d take him top-10. This guy is so talented, so much a winner, such a force.”
That scout has largely been proven right.
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There are many, many parody Twitter accounts on the internet, but the one known as “Capt. Andrew Luck” is easily one of the best. And as you might expect, the real Andrew Luck is aware of its existence.
During an interview at the Pro Bowl over the weekend, Luck shared his thoughts on the account, which now has 500,000 followers despite sometimes not producing content for long stretches of time. The brilliance is in the simplicity, and that is not lost on the Indianapolis Colts quarterback.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 25, 2019
“It’s definitely not me. I’m not clever enough to write that,” Luck said. “It’s pretty cool. I’m glad people find enjoyment in it when some things on the internet can be a little meaner.”
The Capt. Andrew Luck account treats Luck as though he were a Civil War hero writing letters to his mother. Here’s the latest tweet that was sent after the Colts were eliminated in the playoffs by the Kansas City Chiefs:
Dearest mother —
It is with a heavy heart I inform you our campaign has ended. Our unit fell to the Chiefs on a snowy battlefield. While disappointed, I am extremely proud of all our accomplishments week after week, day after day, fight after fight. I shall see you soon.
— Capt. Andrew Luck (@CaptAndrewLuck) January 13, 2019
Luck may not know the person behind the parody account, but at least he hasn’t been shut out like another prominent football figure was. We’ll be looking forward to the next update from Capt. Andrew Luck.
- Andrew Luck
It wasn’t the greatest divisional round for competitive games, nor was it the finest weekend for some players, either. The four games offered a lot of memorable moments, but there are some who factored into the four results who will want to put this weekend’s action behind them as quickly as possible.
Here are ten of the biggest disappointments from the divisional round of the playoffs.
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
The weather seemed to effect Luck more than anyone else on the field in Kansas City on Saturday. It wasn’t entirely his fault — his protection was not up to standard — but he had several passes tipped at the line and avoided a number of interceptions that Kansas City defenders just dropped. His 203 yards were lower than usual, and it’s impossible to look at this as anything but a disappointment, especially against a Kansas City defense that seemed vulnerable.
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It was a weekend for upsets in the NFL during Wild Card weekend, with three division champions losing — including both higher seeds losing in the AFC in rather uncompetitive fashion. It sets up an intriguing slate of games for next weekend, but before we get there, we have to remember the action of this weekend.
Many players did themselves justice when it mattered most and can hold their heads high, both in victory and defeat. Here are 10 standouts from Wild Card weekend.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
When Elliott is on, the Cowboys can give him the ball, ride him, and win games that way. That’s roughly what they did on Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks. He was handed the ball 26 times on Saturday, and he took that for 137 yards and a touchdown as the Seattle defense didn’t seem to have much of an answer for him. Tack on a modest 32 receiving yards and you have well over 150 yards of total offense and one of the most dangerous weapons in the game.
With two weeks to go in the NFL season, the MVP race has heated up, and we have a pretty clear idea of who may take home the prestigious award. While there are a number of worthy candidates, two names have really risen above and beyond the rest to make themselves favorites for the award, leaving the chasing pack behind. The race between them will be one of the key subplots of the final two weeks of the regular season. Beyond those two, several other players deserve recognition for the seasons they’re enjoying.
Here are the ten leading candidates for the NFL MVP award.
10. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
Wilson has essentially hauled the Seahawks into the playoffs in what many people expected would be a down year for the team. The remarkable quarterback has thrown 31 touchdowns to just six interceptions, and at least through Week 15 is posting the best QBR of his entire career. Wilson’s problem is his numbers just don’t compare to the quarterbacks nearer the top of the list, and losses to teams like San Francisco will do little to bolster his chances. A worthy candidate, but to call him a longshot would probably be generous.
Jalen Ramsey caught Andrew Luck with one of those old “sike!” moves.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback pretended like he was going to help up the Indianapolis Colts quarterback off the ground after a scramble in the second quarter, but then he quickly pulled back his hand.
Jalen Ramsey punks Andrew Luck middle school style pic.twitter.com/D48CfFWkmL
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 2, 2018
Punk move by Ramsey, though not something that should catch any of us by surprise. The Jags cornerback is no fan of quarterbacks throughout the league.