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Published: March 31, 2015 at 02:24 p.m.
Updated: March 31, 2015 at 02:55 p.m.

Farewell campaign? QBs destined for 2016 relocation

We're a month away from the 2015 NFL Draft, five months shy of the 2015 season. Naturally, it's time to start thinking about 2016. Allow me to explain...

Have you noticed how many big-name quarterbacks have been in the news this offseason? Potential trades, contract talks and general drama -- it's all been in play for some of the most notable figures in the game. And even though the dust is beginning to settle in terms of the immediate future, the bigger picture appears increasingly muddled.

Anyone can look into the crystal ball for 2015. Let's dive deep, with an eye on 2016. And hey, what's the fun in future-casting if it's not bold? So, yes, let me preface this by admitting that I'm forecasting here -- and as your local weatherman can attest, forecasting is not an exact science.

OK, enough with the precautionary preamble. Here are nine prominent quarterbacks who won't be with their respective clubs for next season. Plan accordingly.

9 Photos Total

  • You have to believe that the all-time great will call it a career following the 2015 campaign. After injuries marred the last few months of his 2014 season, Manning paused before announcing he was returning for another year. And who could blame him? Peyton's play in December and during <a href="http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2015011101/2014/POST19/colts@broncos">the home playoff loss to Indianapolis</a> equaled one of the worst stretches in his legendary career. Now, Manning still posted 4,727 passing yards and 39 touchdowns in 2014. He had a fine year. But, on the whole, it wasn't vintage Peyton. I envision the same -- and quite possibly worse, considering the players Denver lost in free agency -- in 2015.
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By this time next year, Manning will be 40 years old. I bet the future Hall of Famer retires before he begins to resemble Willie Mays stumbling around the outfield in Shea Stadium. 9

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

    You have to believe that the all-time great will call it a career following the 2015 campaign. After injuries marred the last few months of his 2014 season, Manning paused before announcing he was returning for another year. And who could blame him? Peyton's play in December and during the home playoff loss to Indianapolis equaled one of the worst stretches in his legendary career. Now, Manning still posted 4,727 passing yards and 39 touchdowns in 2014. He had a fine year. But, on the whole, it wasn't vintage Peyton. I envision the same -- and quite possibly worse, considering the players Denver lost in free agency -- in 2015.

    By this time next year, Manning will be 40 years old. I bet the future Hall of Famer retires before he begins to resemble Willie Mays stumbling around the outfield in Shea Stadium.

  • OK, if the Saints make the playoffs, then all bets are off -- and Brees probably stays put. But if Sean Payton and Co. -- who <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000479174/article/new-orleans-saints-undergoing-extreme-offseason-makeover">have undergone an extreme makeover this offseason</a> -- swing and miss in Cecil Fielder fashion, why would they keep an aging quarterback with <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82a89c68/article/drew-brees-contract-what-the-new-orleans-saints-owe">a $27.4 million cap hit in 2016</a>? The answer is, they wouldn't. 8

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

    OK, if the Saints make the playoffs, then all bets are off -- and Brees probably stays put. But if Sean Payton and Co. -- who have undergone an extreme makeover this offseason -- swing and miss in Cecil Fielder fashion, why would they keep an aging quarterback with a $27.4 million cap hit in 2016? The answer is, they wouldn't.

  • Rivers is in a contract year, and the quarterback has decided against negotiating an extension this offseason. One factor weighing heavily on Rivers' mind, <a href="http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/17/philip-rivers-extension-la-chargers-acee/?#article-copy" target="_blank">according to an interview with U-T San Diego</a>, is the Chargers' potential relocation to Los Angeles -- something the outspoken quarterback doesn't seem too enthused about.
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On the other hand, the club will want to see how Rivers plays in his age 33 season. Can he stay healthy after a balky back caused a drop in performance down the stretch in 2014?
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From a team perspective, you can only switch quarterbacks if you find one who's an upgrade. But this might not be up to the team. Rivers could hit the open market and sign one last lucrative deal elsewhere. 7

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

    Rivers is in a contract year, and the quarterback has decided against negotiating an extension this offseason. One factor weighing heavily on Rivers' mind, according to an interview with U-T San Diego, is the Chargers' potential relocation to Los Angeles -- something the outspoken quarterback doesn't seem too enthused about.

    On the other hand, the club will want to see how Rivers plays in his age 33 season. Can he stay healthy after a balky back caused a drop in performance down the stretch in 2014?

    From a team perspective, you can only switch quarterbacks if you find one who's an upgrade. But this might not be up to the team. Rivers could hit the open market and sign one last lucrative deal elsewhere.

  • Griffin has yet to enjoy a completely healthy season at the NFL level -- and he blew out his knee in college, as well. Success in the NFL doesn't just boil down to ability; availability plays a definitive role. And let's be honest: RGIII's ability as an NFL quarterback is anything but pronounced. Injuries have sapped him of the transcendent athleticism he displayed as a rookie, and his transformation into more of a pro-style quarterback hasn't gone smoothly. Are we really that confident the light will suddenly go on in 2015? Lastly, and most importantly, it's pretty clear Jay Gruden doesn't have much patience for Griffin's act on or off the field.
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RGIII's contract is up after this season, and I don't see the Redskins doubling down on <a href="http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/09000d5d8278079f/article/redskins-acquire-second-overall-pick-in-deal-with-rams">this costly investment</a>. 6

    Richard Lipski/Associated Press

    Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

    Griffin has yet to enjoy a completely healthy season at the NFL level -- and he blew out his knee in college, as well. Success in the NFL doesn't just boil down to ability; availability plays a definitive role. And let's be honest: RGIII's ability as an NFL quarterback is anything but pronounced. Injuries have sapped him of the transcendent athleticism he displayed as a rookie, and his transformation into more of a pro-style quarterback hasn't gone smoothly. Are we really that confident the light will suddenly go on in 2015? Lastly, and most importantly, it's pretty clear Jay Gruden doesn't have much patience for Griffin's act on or off the field.

    RGIII's contract is up after this season, and I don't see the Redskins doubling down on this costly investment.

  • There are three guarantees in life: death, taxes and Andy Dalton flopping on the big stage.
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The Bengals quarterback is 0-4 in the playoffs with a 1:6 TD-to-INT ratio. He routinely struggles in prime-time games during the regular season. (Remember the "Thursday Night Football" debacle against Cleveland? I'm talkin' 2.0 QB rating, folks.) Dalton, quite clearly, is holding back a talented roster, wasting a solid core of players in Cincy.
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At some point, the Bengals have to wake up, right? Actually, to their credit, team execs did wise up with the construction of his contract last August. While the deal was reported as a bloated six-year, $96 million pact, it's essentially a year-to-year situation. And while Marvin Lewis and friends continue to pump up their quarterback to the media, the Bengals can hit the escape hatch on the Red Rocket after the 2015 season. If we predictably experience another season of big-stage blowups, will there be any other choice? 5

    Todd Rosenberg/NFL

    Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

    There are three guarantees in life: death, taxes and Andy Dalton flopping on the big stage.

    The Bengals quarterback is 0-4 in the playoffs with a 1:6 TD-to-INT ratio. He routinely struggles in prime-time games during the regular season. (Remember the "Thursday Night Football" debacle against Cleveland? I'm talkin' 2.0 QB rating, folks.) Dalton, quite clearly, is holding back a talented roster, wasting a solid core of players in Cincy.

    At some point, the Bengals have to wake up, right? Actually, to their credit, team execs did wise up with the construction of his contract last August. While the deal was reported as a bloated six-year, $96 million pact, it's essentially a year-to-year situation. And while Marvin Lewis and friends continue to pump up their quarterback to the media, the Bengals can hit the escape hatch on the Red Rocket after the 2015 season. If we predictably experience another season of big-stage blowups, will there be any other choice?

  • New Bears GM Ryan Pace recently said the team is "moving forward with Jay as our starting quarterback." A ringing endorsement this was not. I think we all know what really happened here: There were no takers in the trade market. Not surprising, considering the money owed to this annual underachiever. Unlike the Bengals' contract with Dalton, the Bears' recent deal with Cutler was undoubtedly <i>player</i>-friendly. Of course, that contract was not constructed by Chicago's current regime ...
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John Fox has enjoyed much success and built a fine reputation in the NFL through boundless energy and effort. Cutler, with his play and demeanor, will suck the life out of Fox's Bears. Like a top-flight freshman in college hoops, the Cutler-Fox marriage is bound to be one-and-done. After biting the bullet on an unwieldy contract for 2015, Fox will either find a trade partner next offseason or just eat a bunch of dead money. I just can't see this relationship lasting beyond next winter. 4

    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

    New Bears GM Ryan Pace recently said the team is "moving forward with Jay as our starting quarterback." A ringing endorsement this was not. I think we all know what really happened here: There were no takers in the trade market. Not surprising, considering the money owed to this annual underachiever. Unlike the Bengals' contract with Dalton, the Bears' recent deal with Cutler was undoubtedly player-friendly. Of course, that contract was not constructed by Chicago's current regime ...

    John Fox has enjoyed much success and built a fine reputation in the NFL through boundless energy and effort. Cutler, with his play and demeanor, will suck the life out of Fox's Bears. Like a top-flight freshman in college hoops, the Cutler-Fox marriage is bound to be one-and-done. After biting the bullet on an unwieldy contract for 2015, Fox will either find a trade partner next offseason or just eat a bunch of dead money. I just can't see this relationship lasting beyond next winter.

  • With Manziel currently in rehab, the Browns wisely brought in Josh McCown as another option at QB. And in addition to serious questions off the field, Manziel faces legit concerns on it, as well. He looked completely lost during the preseason and in limited regular-season action. Can the former Heisman winner adapt to the NFL game? Can he lead a group of men?
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It goes noted that Cleveland apparently <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000479517/article/browns-offered-a-firstround-pick-for-sam-bradford">offered a first-round pick for Sam Bradford</a>. And the Browns -- who hold a pair of top-20 picks (and thus, the capability to trade up) -- have been linked to Marcus Mariota.
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I bet even the homeless man who told Jimmy Haslam to draft Manziel -- <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/espn-reporter-homeless-man-convinced-browns-manziel-article-1.1785508" target="_blank">Sal Paolantonio's draft-day report was fantastic</a> -- has changed his tune. 3

    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns

    With Manziel currently in rehab, the Browns wisely brought in Josh McCown as another option at QB. And in addition to serious questions off the field, Manziel faces legit concerns on it, as well. He looked completely lost during the preseason and in limited regular-season action. Can the former Heisman winner adapt to the NFL game? Can he lead a group of men?

    It goes noted that Cleveland apparently offered a first-round pick for Sam Bradford. And the Browns -- who hold a pair of top-20 picks (and thus, the capability to trade up) -- have been linked to Marcus Mariota.

    I bet even the homeless man who told Jimmy Haslam to draft Manziel -- Sal Paolantonio's draft-day report was fantastic -- has changed his tune.

  • My friend Phil Simms told me on my SiriusXM Radio show, "Schein on Sports," that he loves how Bradford fits in Chip Kelly's system. I respect his opinion and don't entirely disagree with him, but I remain truly skeptical that Bradford will ever remain healthy. Remember, this guy has missed 31 games in the last four seasons.
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Could the Eagles go shopping for a quarterback again next offseason? Have you met Chip Kelly? 2

    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles

    My friend Phil Simms told me on my SiriusXM Radio show, "Schein on Sports," that he loves how Bradford fits in Chip Kelly's system. I respect his opinion and don't entirely disagree with him, but I remain truly skeptical that Bradford will ever remain healthy. Remember, this guy has missed 31 games in the last four seasons.

    Could the Eagles go shopping for a quarterback again next offseason? Have you met Chip Kelly?

  • Is it hard to imagine the Bills jettisoning every single gunslinger from the current roster next offseason? Well, I think it's more than fair to call Cassel, EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor replaceable. <i>Very</i> replaceable. 1

    Gary Wiepert/Associated Press

    Matt Cassel, Buffalo Bills

    Is it hard to imagine the Bills jettisoning every single gunslinger from the current roster next offseason? Well, I think it's more than fair to call Cassel, EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor replaceable. Very replaceable.