Who's looking for a franchise QB this offseason?


Back in November, we took a first look at teams around the NFL destined to chase after a franchise passer this offseason.

Little did we know, prior to Turkey Day, that Nick Foles would take off in Philadelphia or Jay Cutler would ink a lucrative new pact with the Bears.

The scenery has shifted, but the bottom line hasn't: A handful of clubs still have gaping voids under center that must be addressed.

Whether that means sifting for gems in a weak class of free-agent signal-callers or using May's NFL draft on a quarterback, a bushel of squads are destined for new starters next season.

Here's our updated glance at who's set to pursue a franchise savior in 2014:

Done deal

Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders

There's intrigue in Cleveland, where the Browns remain a mystery ship after canning CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi. After months of whispers tying Lombo and friends to Johnny Manziel, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that newly installed GM Ray Farmer might not be as high on the Texas A&M product. Farmer fell hard this autumn for Marcus Mariota, who opted to stay at Oregon. Even if Cleveland passes on Johnny Football, TheMMQB's Peter King reports the Browns -- looking past Brian Hoyer -- "seem prepared to move heaven and earth" for a new gunslinger.

Armed with two first-rounders, Cleveland has the ammunition to trade up with the Texans (at No. 1) or Jaguars (at No. 3), but those teams need quarterbacks of their own. NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah wrote Tuesday that Central Florida's Blake Bortles "fits the Bill O'Brien quarterback profile" if the Texans can be pried away from adding Jadeveon Clowney to the mix. Jeremiah also suggested Jacksonville might "nab a quarterback at the top of the second round" if they fall in love with a pass rusher early.

Looking past the Browns at No. 4, we also expect the Vikings and Raiders to seek help high in the draft.

Strong possibility

Tennessee Titans

"I haven't studied him as much as I need to. I have seen good, and I have seen bad."

That's what Ken Whisenhunt told King about Jake Locker in January after taking the reins in Tennessee. There's a lot to like about Locker's athleticism, but he's started just 18 games over three seasons, and his durability remains a sticky issue.

NFL Media columnist Michael Silver reported in December that Titans decision-makers remain leery of Locker's looming $13 million, fifth-year option. After playing just 401 snaps in 2013, Locker isn't going to be handed the starting job. If Whiz does settle on Locker, the young passer will benefit from one of the game's better quarterback tutors, but look for Tennessee to add competition beyond the streaky Ryan Fitzpatrick. Whisenhunt himself called that a possibility after taking control.

Up in the air

Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Word on the street is that Bruce Arians is content to roll with Carson Palmer for another year in Arizona. Still, it only makes sense for the Cardinals to draft and embed a young passer on the roster in time for 2015 -- and, realistically, play him sooner than later if (and when) Palmer tumbles through one of his ugly streaks next fall.

Dan Hanzus and I have been talking Michael Vick-to-the-Jets for months, and it still makes plenty of sense. Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has worked wonders with Vick before and (even if they weren't on best of terms last winter) it would give Gang Green a viable option if they remain quietly concerned about Geno Smith's trajectory.

Lovie Smith praised second-year pro Mike Glennon as a "strong-armed" passer with "great pocket presence," but stopped short of naming him next season's starter. There's plenty to like about the lanky Glennon, but with only journeymen Mike Kafka and Dan Orlovsky as challengers on the roster, we expect Tampa to add bodies. Rex Grossman, anyone?

Anything's possible

Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles

With the offseason underway, Around The League explores what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | 49ers | Rams | Seahawks

Let's start in Buffalo, where the Bills are going to tell everyone on the planet that EJ Manuel is their guy. Likely fact for another year, but I dropped the Bills into this category because grabbing a veteran challenger through free agency wouldn't surprise me. Besides, Manuel's rash of knee ailments makes him a risky venture over 16 games. Maybe that ultimately translates into a long look at Thad Lewis, who played admirably in spots last season. I don't expect Buffalo to keep Kevin Kolb around.

The promotion of Hue Jackson to coordinator will usher in a more run-heavy attack in Cincy, meaning Andy Dalton is going to see a reduction from last season's 37 pass attempts per game. Dalton is better suited for a game-manager role, but we'd love to see the Bengals shake things up and draft a more versatile quarterback to battle for the job.

No reason for the Eagles to disrupt the development of Nick Foles, but with Vick set to exit stage left, Chip Kelly -- eternally preaching competition -- might draft a young quarterback for the second year in a row.

No way

Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins

A long list of mostly no-brainers. All of the above are stocked with Super Bowl-participating passers, embedded wunderkinds or quarterbacks locked into long-term, lucrative deals.

The Dolphins, Chiefs and Rams might be game to start over under center next offseason, but don't expect ground-level changes from any of these teams heading into September.

In the latest "Around The League Podcast," the guys ponder the future in both Seattle and Denver and break down the teams that intrigue them most this offseason.