With opening week of the 2022 NFL season upon us, the dust is settling around some of the league's quarterback situations. With that in mind, let's take a look at teams whose signal-caller rooms garnered much of our attention this offseason:
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco became Trey Lance's team early in the offseason, with coach Kyle Shanahan and the rest of the team's brass making it publicly clear. While some quarterbacks with prominent or interesting backups face a short leash, Lance doesn't have one, sources informed of the team's QB plans say. This is his team, and he is the starting quarterback.
The plan was always to trade or release Jimmy Garoppolo, but keeping him as the backup became a business transaction too good to pass up. The best insurance policy money can buy, given his experience, pedigree and revised $6.5 million salary. The contract also makes a midseason trade more attractive, and that is very much in play. At worst, the 49ers didn't have to cut him, so a compensatory pick likely awaits.
For now, Garoppolo is the backup, as the Niners are fully behind Lance.
Mitchell Trubisky was the favorite to win the starting QB job when he signed a two-year contract in March, and he did nothing to make head coach Mike Tomlin think otherwise. He earned the title of captain, won over the locker room and took to stellar coaching in a system that fits him perfectly. Sources informed of the team's QB plans say Trubisky will be given a long look as the starter despite the impressive performance of Kenny Pickett during the preseason.
Pickett is the team's future, and he's been even better than Pittsburgh expected when it drafted him 20th overall. His time will come. The hope is that his situation will mimic that of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs during his rookie season when Alex Smith started -- that Trubisky will play the whole season and Pickett will take over next year. Time will tell if that's the case.
For now, Trubisky is already leading, as he held a skill-position players meeting on Friday to go over plays and review parts of the game plan. Other QBs were there, but he led it. It's a promising sign for Pittsburgh as it heads into the season.
Entering his 11th NFL season, Tannehill is in great shape. He's regimented in his diet and puts in overtime in the weight room. He's had an excellent camp on the field. Last season ended in a disappointing loss to the Bengals in the Divisional Round, but it shouldn't be overlooked that Tennessee went 12-5 despite star running back Derrick Henry missing nine games with a foot injury. Tannehill had a big hand in that. And now with Henry back healthy, the Titans can get back to playing their foundation on offense.
There's no question Willis is talented, but there are reasons he fell to the third round of April's draft. Yes, he has produced highlights -- usually scrambling and freestyling -- but that's a lot different than playing a full game as an NFL starter. Tannehill has one year left on his contract beyond this one (he's due $27 million non-guaranteed in 2023). So, perhaps this is a conversation in a year. But the Titans fully expect Tannehill to play well in 2022.