The fun that is underway in Green Bay interests me in a different manner than most. The Packers in 2020 decided that their QB was approaching the end of the road. When it last happened they decided to use a late first round choice on a QB of the future. It worked great as they replaced Favre (HOF) with Rodgers (future HOF).
Fortunately for them Rodgers now doesn’t appear to be near the end of the road. Unfortunately for them Love doesn’t appear ready to assume the position. Now, with Rodgers under contract for three more seasons and with two years of significant dead money they have an unhappy superstar demanding an exit.
If they can find a way out of this self-inflicted mess for 2021 they will still have to deal with the same issues in 2022. So they have a 37 year old QB with a huge cap number demanding to move….with a no trade clause that allows him to veto potential trade partners. What will the return on the trade be? In addition they will have to deal with filling the QB position and is Love an adequate solution? Finally the next best player on the team is Adams and will he want to resign without a quality QB?
Obviously a failed strategy by the front office. If we assume that Baker Mayfield is our long term QB by 2032 he will be 37 years old just like Rodgers in 2020. How should the Browns plan to transition to a new QB? Obviously not like the Packers.
I would suggest that the Packers decision to sacrifice a first round draft choice for the future QB in 2020 was correct. Drafting a QB, which started the clock running on his rookie 5 year deal and upsetting the starter wasn’t a productive use of that draft choice.
Instead, the Browns could sacrifice the 2032 first round draft choice in trade for a 2033 first round pick and probably a second day choice in 2032, 2033 or 2034. In 2033 if Baker is still under contract and playing well then once again move one of the two first round picks for a 2034 first and another current or future second day choice. As long as Baker continues to be under contract and effective, rinse and repeat. This plan of piling up draft capital will eventually be used for a new QB.
A secondary advantage of this strategy is that there is always the possibility that a future first round pick is from a team that has an unexpected poor season and thus yielding a top 10 draft pick.
I think that the Eagles have a form of this strategy in place as they could have as many as 3 first round picks in the 2022 draft and if Hurts hasn’t shown himself to be the QB they can make a substantial move.
If we assume, as I did above, that Baker will be the Browns QB for another decade it isn’t unreasonable to wonder what will be his ceiling and floor as a QB. I think that using retired QBs is a good way to bring context to those estimates.
Ceiling: Many people have thought Baker could be another Brees due to his height and accuracy. I wonder if Favre isn’t a better comparison as the ceiling due to his gunslinger approach and cannon arm? I actually think that the best estimation of a ceiling comparable for Baker is Montana. An emotional leader of the team with a great tactical approach and focused on winning with the resources available be it rushing, short passing or long strikes.
Floor: Is more difficult. A QB that lasts for another ten years is a good player who will pile up statistics but might not be able to ever elevate the team beyond the surrounding talent. A player who will not make many pro-bowls or lead lesser teams to the playoffs. I think that Dave Krieg is a proper comparable as Baker’s floor.