Dan Hanzus takes questions from you, the readers, in his latest mailbag. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. I will never trade you.
Yes, the years since Denver's Super Bowl 50 conquest have not been kind to John Elway's reputation as a front-office magician. What remains surprising is how much Elway has struggled in recognizing talent at the quarterback position. I mean, this is a Hall of Fame passer who was famous enough to have his own (very bad) Nintendo game! And yet, he can't get it right behind center for the Broncos in the post-Peyton era.
A quick rundown of Denver's quarterback misfires under Elway: In 2016, they offered Brock Osweiler a beefy contract extension (luckily, outbid by the Texans). After Osweiler walked, the Broncos used a first-round draft pick on Paxton Lynch, who made four starts in Denver and spent last season out of football. In 2017, he ducked out of the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes (wise), then signed journeyman Case Keenum to a short-term deal that included $25 million in guaranteed money (not so wise).
Now Joe Flacco is in the building, and you have to wonder if Elway's job is riding on Flacco's ability to a) stay healthy and b) turn back the clock. The Flacco trade shows Elway remains in a win-now mindset: He believes he has a team -- specifically a defense -- that can make the Broncos a contender again, if they can just score some damn points. Is Flacco the guy to lead the charge? I have my doubts, and recent history suggests Broncos fans are right to be worried about Elway's latest QB solution.
Russell Wilsonending up on the Giants -- or any other team besides the Seahawks -- does have at least a speculative jumping-off point to get behind, beyond the totally plausible "BUT CIARA LOVES NEW YORK, GUYS" narrative. Per ProFootballTalk, the Wilson camp is inclined to go in a year-to-year basis contract-wise, a scenario that would have the Seahawks placing the franchise tag on their franchise quarterback in 2020. If the two sides don't do business on a long-term deal after that, Seattle will have a very difficult decision to make as Wilson's franchise cash and cap charge jump to exorbitant rates in 2021 and 2022.
Could Wilson essentially force his way out of Seattle by going the Kirk Cousins route? It's possible. But any serious speculation seems hyper premature at this stage.
I'm glad you asked:
So yeah, the Steelers will undoubtedly miss their Killer Bs, but I imagine they will remain potent on offense. But wouldn't it be better if everyone stayed together for the kids ... er, Lombardi? It's the NFL equivalent of "What if KD and Harden never left Oklahoma City?"
I think Bell will be lucky to get one-sixth of the guaranteed money that Bryce Harper is about to get from the Phillies. Think about that.
If I'm a GM, and I don't think I am, I'd be wildly concerned by some of the antics of Mr. Big Chest, a.k.a. Antonio Brown. He's been kind of a mess since Week 17. Also, my mother taught me never to trust a man with a bleached mustache, so that must be factored in as well. That said, Brown is the most productive wide receiver since Jerry Rice, and the Packers are in desperate need of another playmaker. It would be a gamble, but the Packers are in a place where they should be rolling the dice. Imagine what Aaron Rodgers could do with both Brown andDavante Adams at his disposal? Crazy thought.
I mean, it's fine. I respect the guy. But it's on my radar that Glazer's trying to steal some of my mailbag shine with that Odell trade prediction thing. Speaking of trades, sources are telling me that the Patriots and Packers are seriously discussing a 1-for-1 swap that includes Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Beat that.
Sure, why not. No disrespect to Jacoby Brissett, but Kaepernick has much higher upside, even after two years of inactivity. There are probably 20 teams in the league that would be better at the quarterback position by adding Kaepernick to the depth chart. And yet ...
I want to be careful here, because Matthew Stafford is a good/very good/great quarterback (you decide) who doesn't deserve the blame for Detroit's descent into chronic mediocrity. But I think most Lions fans would agree this is a franchise that could use a shot of adrenaline. This has become a boring team in the years since Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh left town; the arrival of Kyler Murray would unquestionably bring the juice.
The average total for NFL rushing champions over the past five years is 1,544 yards. Michael Vick holds the NFL single-season quarterback rushing record with 1,039 yards in 2006 with the Falcons. The Ravens may believe the injury risks associated with a running quarterback are "a little overrated," but there is simply no way Lamar Jackson -- or any quarterback -- would survive an NFL season if given the workload necessary to approach 1,500 rushing yards. But could Jackson threaten Vick's QB mark? That feels like a possibility.