NFL

Ranking Which NFL Teams Are Most In Love With Their Quarterbacks

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Happy Valentine’s Day to our NFL family!  Some relationships are based on true love by both parties and others might be based more on one party being afraid the other will leave.  In the true spirit of love, we’re going to rank which teams are most in love with their quarterbacks, and thus which quarterbacks have the most job security.

  1. Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck- Luck is about to receive a nine-figure contact extension and he deserves it, somewhat, because that’s the way the market works.  The Colts took him first-overall in 2012 and they are married to him, and most of the marriage has been a happy one.
  2. Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton- It just keeps getting better, right?  Newton just led the Panthers to the Super Bowl after winning his first NFL MVP award.  Would Panthers owner Jerry Richardson rather have a quieter, less flamboyant version of Newton?  Probably, but he’ll take one of the most elite talents ever to play the game.
  3. Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson- The relationship between Wilson and the Seahawks has been ultra-fruitful and it’s doubtful that the team would trade him for anyone.  RW3 has taken his game to another level and Seattle will be contenders as long as he’s healthy and under center.
  4. Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers- When you have Aaron Rodgers under center you can win any game, anywhere.  Unfortunately that’s only resulted in one Lombardi trophy to this point.  Rodgers had a bit of a down year, but he’s still one of the greatest to ever take snaps.
  5. New England Patriots and Tom Brady- This relationship has stood the test of time and has been ultra productive.  Six Super Bowls and four titles later, Patriots fans can’t envision anyone else under center.  The only thing that keeps Brady from being No. 1 is that there’s always the danger of the team trading him in for a younger model as Touchdown Tom only has a few years left.
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger- After a pair of Super Bowl titles, the love is strong between the Steelers and their embattled quarterback.  Ben is on the back-nine of his career and has had issues staying on the field, but when he plays the Steelers can win any game.
  7. New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees- Drew Brees is a sure-fire future Hall of Famer and the greatest player in Saints history.  He’s more beloved in his city than any other player in the NFL, maybe NFL history.  So why isn’t he higher on the list?  He’s entering the twilight of his career and the team hasn’t had much success in recent years.
  8. Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco- Joe Flacco put himself squarely in the Top 10 with his 2012 postseason which saw him lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl title.  Although he hasn’t been as impressive since, he doesn’t have a lot of weapons around him and he’s still only 31 years old.
  9. New York Giants and Eli Manning- After two Super Bowl titles, you’d think that Eli would be higher on the list.  Still, the team hasn’t had much success of late and New York has the toughest fans and media in the NFL.
  10. Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones loves Romo and he does Jones.  With that said, the talented veteran hasn’t been able to stay healthy and we all know about his lack of postseason success.  Romo figures to be the Cowboys quarterback for the next few years at least, but injuries could change that.
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jameis Winston- Winston had a nice rookie season and the Bucs clearly believe that they’ve found their man.  They have a huge investment in him and he will be the quarterback for the duration of his contract.  The Bucs believe so much in Winston that they hired his offensive coordinator to be head coach.
  12. Tennessee Titans and Marcus Mariota- Mariota played very well as a rookie and the Titans have a large investment in him.  They fully believe in his abilities and to keep continuity they even hired interim head coach Mike Mularkey.
  13. Jacksonville Jaguars and Blake Bortles- After a rough rookie year, Bortles had a great sophomore campaign and justified the belief in him that caused the Jaguars to select him third-overall in 2014.  Nobody in the Jacksonville front office has wavered on the pick, even when things didn’t look good.
  14. Oakland Raiders and Derek Carr- Carr had a really nice season in 2015 and the Raiders fully believe that they found their franchise quarterback.  The only reason Carr isn’t above Bortles is that Oakland has less of an investment in him considering he was a second round pick.
  15. San Diego Chargers and Philip Rivers- The Chargers had opportunities to trade Rivers last season but it never got serious.  San Diego believes in Rivers abilities as a franchise quarterback despite never making it to a Super Bowl.  He’s been betrayed by poor personnel people.
  16. Minnesota Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater- Bridgewater is the only starting quarterback drafted in the last three years to lead his team to the postseason.  Still, the former first-round pick wasn’t asked to do much other than hand the ball to Adrian Peterson and there are some questions about his ability as a passer.
  17. Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan- Ryan would have been much higher on the list at this time last year but he had a miserable 2015 campaign.  His job is not in jeopardy at this point, but Ryan isn’t earning the money he’s being paid as a franchise quarterback.
  18. Kansas City Chiefs and Alex Smith- Smith has played consistent, mistake-free football for the Chiefs and it appears that they realize that they’re not going to find anyone better.  He is good enough to win with, even if he can’t carry a team on his own.
  19. Washington Redskins and Kirk Cousins- Cousins went from backup quarterback to on the verge of a major payday next month.  He was great for more than half of last season and saved head coach Jay Gruden’s job in the process.  The exact amount of confidence the Redskins have in Cousins will be determined by his next contract, but the team is all in with him for 2016.
  20. Detroit Lions and Matt Stafford- The Lions have a huge investment in Stafford, both monetarily and being that they used a former No. 1 overall pick on him.  With that said, he hasn’t delivered to the expectations of Lions fans and they appear to be in some version of “quarterback purgatory,” as they have a huge investment but can’t find anyone better that’s available.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals and Andy Dalton- Dalton had an opportunity to change the narrative on his career in 2015 and was headed in that direction as he had a tremendous regular season.  Unfortunately, the broken thumb he suffered late in the season caused him to miss the playoffs and the chance to erase the “demons” that plagued him in the postseason.  One more playoff meltdown could make the Bengals look hard at going in a different direction.
  22. Arizona Cardinals and Carson Palmer- The good news about Palmer is that he just completed an MVP-worthy 2015 season.  The bad news is that he’s 36 years old and he had an atrocious postseason. Arizona won’t be looking to upgrade this offseason, but they have to get younger at the position.
  23. Miami Dolphins and Ryan Tannehill- Miami inked Tannehill to a new deal, but there are major question marks about his leadership and his overall abilities.  He will be the quarterback when the team breaks camp in 2016, but if he can’t significantly improve under Adam Gase, he will be on the outs.
  24. Buffalo Bills and Tyrod Taylor- Taylor won the starting quarterback job and had a great year for the Bills.  He would be higher on the list but he doesn’t have a long-term contract and appears to be betting on himself to put together another great year to really get paid.  If things go south for him it would be easy for Buffalo to move on.
  25. Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler- For better or worse, the Bears are still married to Cutler.  He hasn’t played up to expectations and Chicago hasn’t been particularly good lately, and Jay has been just good enough to keep his job.  He still has to play well in 2016 or Chicago will go in a different direction.
  26. Denver Broncos and Brock Osweiler- Osweiler is an impending free agent and Denver will likely try to sign him in the offseason and move away from Peyton Manning, who just managed them to a Super Bowl.  The Broncos could go in a different direction, but likely will not.
  27. New York Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick- Fitzpatrick had a solid season for the Jets, but as his career suggests, he imploded late and couldn’t lead the team to the postseason.  Fitz is a free agent and all signs point to him being tendered an offer by the Jets.
  28. Philadelphia Eagles and Sam Bradford- It’s anyone’s guess whether Bradford will be a member of the Eagles in 2016.  The team has a second-round pick invested in him (via trade) but with a new coaching staff it’s unclear what direction they’ll go.
  29. Cleveland Browns and Josh McCown- McCown did an admirable job in the face of scrutiny last season but it’s clear that Cleveland has to find a younger answer at the position, and likely in the draft.
  30. Houston Texans and Brian Hoyer- Hoyer clearly wasn’t the guy that head coach Bill O’Brien wanted as evidenced by his multiple benchings.  Still, he helped the Texans to the postseason before imploding against Kansas City.  Owner Bob McNair has expressed his wishes for the team to select a quarterback in the draft so it appears that Hoyer is about to be dumped.
  31. Los Angeles Rams and Case Keenum- The Rams will likely do whatever they have to to try and upgrade the quarterback position in 2016.  Keenum played reasonably well in relief of Nick Foles, but he lacks the arm talent to win in the postseason.
  32. San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick- We don’t know if Kaep will even be on the roster during training camp, mainly because new head coach Chip Kelly hasn’t committed to him in the slightest way.  The 49ers seem to be in the market for a new signal caller and they have a very high draft pick to grab one.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.