Gardner Minshew

Poll: How Will Broncos Address QB Need?

The only two starting quarterbacks to retire after winning Super Bowls played for the same franchise. While the Broncos made the playoffs multiple times in the five years following John Elway‘s retirement — with the likes of Brian Griese and Jake Plummer operating as the team’s primary starters — they have hovered off the contention radar for most of their post-Peyton Manning stretch. No team has started more quarterbacks than Denver’s 10 (counting the Kendall Hinton game) since 2016.

This stretch has placed the Broncos back on the quarterback radar. Although their last foray into the first-round market careened off course quickly (Paxton Lynch in 2016), the Broncos’ three subsequent QB investments — Case Keenum, Joe Flacco and Drew Lock — largely struggled. Will this run of futility at the NFL’s premier position force the Broncos to acquire one of this year’s top QB prospects?

New GM George Paton has said multiple times this offseason the Broncos will acquire a quarterback to push Lock, but it is not certain that will be a rookie. Denver brass, however, did extensive work on this year’s top passer crop. Paton was at Justin Fields and Trey Lance‘s initial pro days, while offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur trekked to the second workouts held by the Ohio State and North Dakota State QBs. Other teams have viewed Denver as a stealth quarterback seeker as well.

Only two of the draft’s top five passing prospects will be available to teams picking after No. 3, with the 49ers moving up for a quarterback. Considering the needs of some teams picking outside the top 10 — the Patriots, Washington and Bears have been linked to trade-up maneuvers — and the not-impossible prospect of the Lions (No. 7) or Panthers (No. 8) jumping into the fray, it is possible the Broncos will be left out if they stand pat at No. 9. They are believed to have inquired about trading up, though Paton denied this. The Falcons (No. 4), Dolphins (No. 6), Lions and Panthers are all open to trades, creating opportunities for the Broncos and teams eager to trade in front of them.

Given the Broncos’ above-average defense and bevy of skill-position weapons, going into another season with Lock (29th in 2020 QBR) could lower the team’s ceiling — in a hot-seat year for Vic Fangio. But Fangio’s status could also push the team to trade for a veteran instead of hoping this year’s fourth- or fifth-best QB prospect can make an impact right away. Although the Broncos sat out the free agent market and passed on trades for Carson Wentz and Sam Darnold — after falling short for Matthew Stafford — veteran arms remain available.

Paton was with the Vikings when they drafted Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 first round; Carolina has since given Bridgewater permission to seek a trade. Given Paton’s history with the 28-year-old QB, it would make sense if the Broncos were one of the teams interestedGardner Minshew figures to be available — even though Urban Meyer denied it. The 49ers are holding out for a big offer to part with now-lame-duck starter Jimmy Garoppolo.

Lock has not been blessed with great circumstances, despite Denver drafting Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler in the first and second rounds last year. The pandemic nixed the young passer’s first offseason with Shurmur, and No. 1 receiver Courtland Sutton went down in Week 2 last year. But the 2022 quarterback class, as of now, has received far less hype than the past two drafts’ QB crops generated. The Broncos not making a move for Fields, Lance or Mac Jones next week could limit their options going forward.

How do you think the Broncos will play this? Will they prioritize acquiring another quarterback by trading up or hope one falls to No. 9? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts on this situation in the comments section.

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PFR Poll: Which QB Will Be Traded Next?

The NFL’s quarterback carousel continued earlier this week when the Jets finally traded former third-overall pick Sam Darnold to the Panthers. The 23-year-old became the fifth quarterback to switch teams via trade this offseason:

While teams have already shifted focus from veteran acquisitions to the draft, that doesn’t mean we won’t see another QB trade. Sure, it takes two to tango, and a number of teams already have already solidified their quarterback situation (or they will in the upcoming draft). Still, teams like the Patriots, Broncos, Bears, Saints, and Washington could be in the market for a signal-caller depending on what happens with the draft.

So who could be available? We know one name is definitively on the block: Teddy Bridgewater. Following the Panthers’ acquisition of Darnold, the front ofice gave the 2020 starter permission to seek a trade. It seems like a trade is inevitable, with reports indicating that multiple teams have reached out to Carolina about the veteran. Many of these teams are apparently eyeing Bridgewater as a backup, which could complicate a trade if the veteran is hunting for a suitor who will let hm start. Further, interested teams would also like to rework Bridgewater’s contract, adding another hurdle to negotiations.

It was widely assumed that Jimmy Garoppolo would be on the trade block after the 49ers made a blockbuster trade for the No. 3 pick. However, the organization appears to be playing hard ball. After declaring that the veteran would be sticking around San Francisco for the 2021 season, the 49ers are reportedly seeking a first-rounder for Jimmy G. This could obviously just be leveraging via the media, and the 49ers will be hard pressed to find a team that will give up that type of draft capital and inherit Garoppolo’s hefty deal. Either way, the rumors will surely persist, especially if Garoppolo’s former team, the Patriots, roll into the regular season with Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham as their top quarterbacks.

What about Gardner Minshew? The former sixth-rounder took a step back from a team-record perspective in 2020, but he still proved to be a capable game manager, connecting on 66.1-percent of his passes and tossing 16 touchdowns vs. only five interceptions. The Jaguars will presumably take Trevor Lawrence will the first-overall pick in the upcoming draft, relegating Minshew to a backup role. Minshew has a low salary and plenty of upside, so Jacksonville won’t just give him away. However, if a team is willing to pony up for the mustached quarterback, the Jaguars will probably listen. For what it’s worth, we heard back in March that the Jaguars weren’t shopping Minshew “at this point” in time.

Those three quarterbacks appear to be the most realistic trade targets, but there are plenty of additional quarterbacks who have lingered in trade rumors. Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson were the biggest names thrown around this offseason, but it’s unlikely either player is dealt any time soon (Wilson because he’s a franchise quarterback and the Seahawks aren’t dumb, Watson because of the ongoing sexual misconduct allegations against him (and the Texans prior refusal to trade him despite demands)). Some less sexy names include Nick Foles, who could be displaced in Chicago after the Bears signed Andy Dalton. Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, and Drew Lock have also been tossed around, but it’s unlikely any of those players switch teams.

So that leads to our question: who will be the next quarterback to be traded? Let us know if we forgot anyone in the comments.

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Latest On Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew, C.J. Beathard

C.J. Beathard‘s new Jaguars deal includes $2.75MM in guaranteed money, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. As Rapoport notes, it’s a strong indicator that the quarterback will make the Jaguars’ final 53-man cut. By the same token, it’s a sign that one-time rising star Gardner Minshew won’t be on the roster.

Of course, the Jaguars are expected to draft Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick. Up until the Beathard signing, there was at least a chance of Minshew staying on board as the bridge/QB2 for the Clemson star. That spot now seems reserved for Beathard, so the Jaguars will probably start taking those Minshew trade inquiries seriously. Just last week, head coach Urban Meyer said that he wasn’t looking to move the Washington State product.

At this point, no,” Meyer said. “At this point, I know Gardner a little bit. He came in yesterday. We had a good visit. That’s the second time I’ve spent time with him. This is all kind of new to me. I’m used to spending about five, six hours a day with our quarterbacks — that’s January, February, to get your quarterback ready to go, and you can’t do that in the NFL.”

Despite 2020’s struggles, Minshew is just one year removed from setting franchise records in yards (3,271) and touchdowns (21) for rookie QBs. He’s still on that rookie deal, so any team acquiring him would have him at bargain-basement salaries of $850K and $965K.

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Jaguars Not Shopping Gardner Minshew “At This Point”

The Jaguars are widely expected to draft Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick, which would take Gardner Minshew out of the starting lineup. Minshew is reportedly drawing trade interest, but head coach Urban Meyer says he’s not looking to deal the quarterback — at least, not right now (via NFL.com). 

At this point, no,” Meyer responded. “At this point, I know Gardner a little bit. He came in yesterday. We had a good visit. That’s the second time I’ve spent time with him. This is all kind of new to me. I’m used to spending about five, six hours a day with our quarterbacks — that’s January, February, to get your quarterback ready to go, and you can’t do that in the NFL.”

But there is a lot of anticipation about the first pick, and I understand there is a lot of conversation out there. But there has been no decisions made. Gardner has done some very good things here in Jacksonville. And he’s a competitive maniac, which I really appreciate that about him. So there have been no decisions made. Yesterday was the first lengthy meeting we’ve had, and we’re going to continue that here for the next few weeks.”

In 2019, Minshew went 6-6 as the Jaguars’ starter while setting franchise records in yards (3,271) and touchdowns (21) for rookie QBs. Last year, he flip-flopped with Mike Glennon amidst the Jags’ 15-game losing streak. All in all, he was 1-7 in his starts with 2,259 yards and 16 touchdowns against five interceptions. Of course, the Jaguars’ woes cannot be pinned solely on Minshew and he still has a 37-11 TD-INT ratio for his career. With the better QB2s already off the board, it stands to reason that teams will be willing to give up decent draft capital for Minshew. Meanwhile, with Lawrence likely en route to Jacksonville, it would be surprising to see him stay.

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Gardner Minshew Drawing Trade Interest

The Jaguars are fielding calls on Gardner Minshew. Expected to be replaced by presumptive No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars’ primary starting quarterback over the past two seasons has drawn interest, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

A run of bridge QBs/high-end backups have signed already. Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston and Jacoby Brissett agreed to deals recently. Minshew profiles as a player who could start for a team while it figures out a longer-term strategy.

While the popular sixth-round pick was at the helm for part of Jacksonville’s 15-game losing streak last season, he has flashed since becoming an unexpected starter as a rookie. Minshew has thrown 37 touchdown passes compared to 11 interceptions. Despite the Jags having given Nick Foles a lucrative deal in 2019, Minshew has been the team’s most productive QB over the past two years.

Two years remain on Minshew’s rookie contract. A team that acquires the former Washington State standout would have him under contract on base salaries of $850K and $965K. That would be quite the bargain, given what the other bridge-type quarterbacks have signed for thus far this week.

Minshew could also serve as Lawrence’s backup, but the Jags do have Jake Luton on the team as well. Urban Meyer also could seek to bring in his own QB2, and Minshew may well fetch a price better than the sixth-round cost the Jaguars initially paid.

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Jaguars To Start Gardner Minshew

It’s the return of Minshew Mania in Jacksonville. On Monday, Doug Marrone named Gardner Minshew as his starting quarterback moving forward. 

Marrone gave Mike Glennon the hook in the third quarter of their loss to the Titans. It was too-little-too-late, as the Jags went on to lose 31-10, but Minshew made an early statement with a touchdown on his first drive and 178 passing yards to close out the game. Still, Marrone was hesitant to anoint Minshew as the No. 1 QB in the immediate aftermath.

As far as moving forward, I haven’t spoken to both guys so just out of respect for them, obviously I have in my mind what I want to do but I’m actually going to make sure I speak to them first, before I do something through the media,” Marrone said (via ESPN.com). “[Glennon] threw some good balls and we left some plays out there and he had some drops. I think it’s not on one person. I mean, I think everyone can see that.

Minshew — who is now fully or mostly recovered from his injured thumb — will be fighting for his future. The Jaguars may look to draft a passer in the first round, though they’re also second in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes.

Jaguars To Keep Mike Glennon As Starter

Despite Gardner Minshew beating out Mike Glennon for the Jaguars’ starting quarterback job this summer, Doug Marrone has changed his tune — for Week 13, at least.

Marrone said Wednesday that Minshew has recovered from the thumb injury that shook up Jacksonville’s quarterback situation in the first place. But Glennon — the third Jags QB to start this season — will remain the team’s starter, Marrone said (via the Florida Times-Union’s Gene Frenette, on Twitter).

Although this is a promotion for Glennon, Marrone cautioned the Jaguars’ quarterback depth chart may fluctuate further down the stretch, per ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco (on Twitter). A benching like this, however, is a bad sign for Minshew’s future as Jacksonville’s quarterback. That said, the team was long believed to be in the mix for a passer in the 2021 first round. The Jags are in second in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes, having lost 10 straight. Minshew profiled as a stopgap, even though the Jaguars passed on several notable veterans this offseason to keep him as their starter.

A 2013 third-round pick who has bounced around since his 2017 Bears agreement, Glennon started for the first time since 2017 last week. He threw for 235 yards, two touchdowns — with no interceptions — and had the team a failed two-point conversion away from forging a tie with the Browns late in Sunday’s game.

The Jaguars signed Glennon in May, cut him four months later but brought him back on the practice squad ahead of Week 1. The former Buccaneer, Bear, Cardinal and Raider followed rookie Jake Luton in the progression of Jaguar QB1s this season.

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Jaguars To Start Mike Glennon

The Jaguars will start Mike Glennon on Sunday against the Browns, head coach Doug Marrone announced. Glennon will take over for Jake Luton, who been serving as the starting quarterback in place of Gardner Minshew.

Many expected Glennon to get the call when Minshew was first sidelined with a strained ligament and fractures in his right thumb. Instead, they went with the sixth-round rookie out of Oregon State over the 30-year-old vet with 22 career starts under his belt.

It’s worth noting that Glennon has attempted just 31 passes over the past two-plus seasons. Luton, who impressed in practice and managed to complete 68% of his throws in his debut against the Texans, has struggled across his last two games. In his last time out against the Jaguars, Luton went 16-for-37 on his attempts with four interceptions and zero touchdowns.

With that, Glennon is set for his first start since 2017. Meanwhile, Marrone says that Minshew is on the path to recovery. With a full week of practice, Minshew may be ready to go against the Vikings on Dec. 6.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

QB Injury Updates: Brees, Darnold, Minshew, Lock, Dalton

There have been a lot of short-term quarterback injuries recently, and we’ve got a batch of updates to pass along. We heard earlier Monday that Drew Brees is dealing with several cracked ribs as well as a collapsed lung, and now we have a better idea how long he’ll be sidelined. 2-3 weeks is apparently the “most optimistic recovery time” for the veteran, a source told Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Graziano said there’s emphasis on the optimistic part there, indicating it could be quite a bit longer than that.

He also added “there is hope he’s back in time for playoffs,” which doesn’t paint the prettiest picture. It sounds like it’ll be Jameis Winston and/or Taysom Hill for the foreseeable future. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported earlier the Saints weren’t immediately planning on placing Brees on injured reserve, confirming there is some hope he won’t even have to miss three full games. Graziano says it’ll all come down to when they feel like he can take a hit without risk of re-injury. New Orleans will take on the Falcons this weekend, and head coach Sean Payton has already said he won’t name a starting quarterback until closer to kickoff.

Here’s more on the health status of various passers:

  • The Jets will be looking for their first win of the season with Joe Flacco yet again. Sam Darnold will not be able to return this week, they announced Monday. This will be Flacco’s fourth start of the season after Darnold briefly returned before re-injuring his shoulder and hitting the shelf again. Head coach Adam Gase said he could possibly play in Week 12, but that doesn’t sound overly likely at the moment. Darnold himself spoke to the media, and made it sound like the team is going to be very cautious and not play him until he’s 100 percent. He did say he was “very confident” he would play again this season, but we could be looking at another couple of games at least with Flacco under center.
  • Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew also won’t be ready to return this week, head coach Doug Marrone said Monday, meaning sixth-round rookie Jake Luton will get his third-straight start. It does sound like Minshew is getting closer though, as Marrone said he’ll start throwing routes again in practice this week, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Drew Lock melted down against the Raiders on Sunday with four interceptions, but he apparently wasn’t 100 percent healthy. Lock has a muscle strain around his ribs, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Head coach Vic Fangio acknowledged that his status for this weekend’s game against the Dolphins is in doubt. He also reiterated that he’s not considering benching the second-year pro assuming he’s healthy, even though he’s been struggling mightily recently. If he isn’t able to suit up Brett Rypien is currently the number two, although the team also has veteran Blake Bortles on the practice squad.
  • In better news, it looks like the Cowboys won’t have quite as chaotic a situation any more under center. Coach Mike McCarthy announced Monday that Andy Dalton had been cleared to fully return to practice, and he should start this Sunday against the Vikings. Dalton has missed the past two games after suffering a concussion and then testing positive for COVID-19. Seventh-round rookie Ben DiNucci and former undrafted AAF star Garrett Gilbert started in his place.

Injury Updates: McCaffrey, Minshew, Biadasz

Christian McCaffrey finally made his highly anticipated return from his ankle injury yesterday against the Chiefs, but unfortunately the Panthers superstar picked up another minor ailment toward the end of the game. McCaffrey hurt his shoulder on the final drive of the game, and head coach Matt Rhule is labeling him day to day moving forward. But McCaffrey is apparently in a great deal of pain and his status for this Sunday’s game against the Bucs is “very much in doubt,” reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link). It doesn’t sound like anything long-term, but this could once again become Mike Davis‘ backfield, at least for this weekend.

Here are more health updates from around the league:

  • The Jaguars nearly picked up an upset win over the Texans in Jake Luton‘s NFL debut, and he’ll get another crack at it in Week 10. Head coach Doug Marrone told the media that Gardner Minshew is unlikely to be available this weekend due to his thumb injury, and that Luton will likely start once again. Luton had a pretty impressive debut for a sixth-round rookie, passing for 304 yards and a touchdown with an interception while coming very close to leading a comeback. It’s no guarantee Minshew gets his job back even when he’s healthy.
  • Speaking of the Jaguars, they at least did get some good news back on rookie receiver Laviska Shenault. Shenault left yesterday’s game with a hamstring injury and was ruled out, but Rapoport tweets that he received good news from his MRI, and a source told him Shenault has a good chance to play this week against the Packers. The 42nd overall pick of April’s draft has been a consistent contributor, with at least three catches in every game that he’s finished.
  • The Cowboys on the other hand weren’t quite as fortunate. Rookie center Tyler Biadasz hurt his hamstring during pregame warmups, and EVP Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan this morning that he’ll be out 2-3 weeks with the injury. It’s another brutal blow to a Dallas offensive line that has been decimated by injuries. The fourth-round pick from Wisconsin had been the Cowboys’ center for the past 5.5 games. Joe Looney started the first few games, and he’ll now get his starting job back for the time being.
  • Colts tight end Jack Doyle is in the concussion protocol and likely won’t be able to be cleared in time for Indy’s Thursday Night Football AFC South showdown with the Titans, head coach Frank Reich announced Monday. Doyle had touchdowns in back to back weeks before going down on Sunday, and his absence will limit Indy’s ability to run the multi-tight end sets they like so much with Mo Alie-Cox and Trey Burton.