Many expected it, and sure enough, the 2023 football season brought big changes for quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers now plays for the New York Jets, Derek Carr has joined the New Orleans Saints, Baker Mayfield is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Jordan Love has stepped up in Green Bay.
But in the world of football, just because you start the season in a particular position doesn’t mean you’ll keep it all year. So, let’s look at 10 quarterbacks in 2023 who might not remain the main choice for their teams.
Stafford leading the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl win and then signing a $160 million extension was the talk of the town last year. But the following season was tough for the Rams. With key players injured and a weak performance, they ended up with 12 losses. Now, Stafford has to show he still has what it takes. If he falters, newcomer Stetson Bennett, fresh from a successful college career, might be the new face for the Rams.
Jones had a tough second year, but not all was his fault. However, some believe he’s on thin ice going into his third year. There are also whispers about his attitude causing friction. Bailey Zappe, a newcomer, outperformed Jones in the few games he played. If Jones doesn’t step up, Zappe may soon take his spot, especially with new coach Bill O’Brien in charge.
Tennessee Titans are giving Tannehill another shot, but they’re also preparing for the future. They’ve recruited Will Levis, a promising quarterback, who might just jump ahead if Tannehill doesn’t deliver.
Washington Commanders are betting on Howell, but if he doesn’t step up, they have Jacoby Brissett, a reliable backup, ready to take over.
Ridder showed potential in his rookie year. But if he doesn’t consistently perform, Taylor Heinicke might be called upon, especially given his prior track record.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Mayfield and Kyle Trask in contention for the main spot. If Mayfield doesn’t show consistency, it could be Trask’s turn.
Goff proved critics wrong in 2022 with a standout performance. But if he slips, the Lions have another option in the form of young quarterback Hendon Hooker.
San Francisco 49ers’ Purdy needs to show he’s fully recovered from his injury and that his early success wasn’t just luck. If not, the 49ers have Sam Darnold as a backup.
The Las Vegas Raiders have signed Garoppolo, but there’s a catch. Due to his foot injury, they can drop him without any financial repercussions. If he’s not on top form, Brian Hoyer or rookie Aidan O’Connell might take his place.
The New Orleans Saints are putting a lot of faith in Carr with a $150 million deal. But they also have a strong backup in Jameis Winston. If Carr struggles, Winston might get his chance.
In the end, it’s all about performance. No matter the past achievements or contract figures, this season will truly test these quarterbacks.