Sunday, April 25, 2010
The NFL QB domino effect
Quarterbacks were a hot topic all weekend -- from Sam Bradford being selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft, to Tim Tebow going in the first round, to Jimmy Clausen waiting until the second round, to Colt McCoy going in the third, to the Raiders filling their hole at the position by trading for Jason Campbell, the erstwhile Redskin.
So hot, in fact, that when the NFL kicks off the 2010 regular season, no less than eight teams -- one-quarter of the league -- will be opening the campaign with new signal-callers. The biggest name that will go under center in a different uniform is Donovan McNabb, who was dealt from the Eagles to the Redskins in a rare trade between division rivals April 4. But there will be similar scenarios all over the league's landscape next season, with each move causing its own countermove -- a domino effect of sorts.
When Washington acquired McNabb, Campbell suddenly became expendable, and he was thus shipped to the Raiders on Saturday, ending the brief and pathetic JaMarcus Russell era (or is that error?) in Oakland. Campbell is also expected to start ahead of Derek Anderson, who signed with the Raiders as a free agent after finishing last season with the Browns.
Cleveland, in turn, drafted McCoy in the eighth round this weekend, but the Browns were quick to state McCoy will not start in his rookie season; that duty is expected to be performed by Jake Delhomme, who was beset by injuries and poor play with the Panthers next season.
Carolina took advantage of an opportunity by selecting Clausen in the second round of the draft. The Panthers, who finished last season with Matt Moore at QB, aren't tipping their hand, but with head coach John Fox in the final year of his contract, there will be plenty of pressure from Charlotte fans and media to give Clausen a shot.
In St. Louis, the Rams are trying not to put similar pressure on Bradford, but it would be shocking if he is not behind center on the opening play from scrimmage Sept. 12 against Arizona. The immortal Keith Null was the Rams QB in their final game last season. As for the Cardinals, Kurt Warner's retirement opens the door for Matt Leinart, known more for his playboy reputation off the field than for his performance on it.
And the Lions will turn their reins back to Matthew Stafford, whose rookie season was hampered by knee and shoulder injuries. Veteran Daunte Culpepper, who played out the string last year, is an unsigned free agent.
Here's a closer look at the NFL QB carousel:
Team / Starter, Week 17, 2009 / Projected starter, 2010
Arizona / Kurt Warner / Matt Leinart
Carolina / Matt Moore / Jimmy Clausen
Cleveland / Derek Anderson / Jake Delhomme
Detroit / Daunte Culpepper / Matthew Stafford
Oakland / JaMarcus Russell / Jason Campbell
Philadelphia / Donovan McNabb / Kevin Kolb
St. Louis / Keith Null / Sam Bradford
Washington / Jason Campbell / Donovan McNabb