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Breakfast: The Quarterback Domino Effect

Posted Feb 16, 2018

Late last month, the Redskins and the Chiefs agreed to a deal that will send Alex Smith to the Redskins after a Pro Bowl stint with the Chiefs.

Late last month, the Redskins and the Chiefs agreed to a deal that will send Alex Smith to the Redskins after a Pro Bowl stint with the Chiefs. The deal can’t be officially completed until the new league year starts in March but it got me thinking about the domino effect it can have on the 2018 NFL season. One move can alter franchises and seasons and this one certainly will have that impact.

So, let’s follow the chain of teams and players that get impacted.

The Redskins eventually come to the realization that they can’t franchise tag then trade Kirk Cousins, so Cousins becomes a free agent and signs with the…

...Vikings. Oh. that’s a surprise, right? Everyone talked this off season about a marriage with the Broncos but the Vikings know how close they are to winning this all and see Cousins as the final piece to the puzzle.

As such, Case Keenum doesn’t want to be a backup again and sees the Broncos as an avenue to the Super Bowl. John Elway falls in love with the gutty Keenum and hands him the keys to the Broncos offense. The Broncos sign the unrestricted free agent Keenum to a significant contract and bypass a quarterback at number five in the draft. They’ll still hold out hope that Paxton Lynch can get it together as Keenum takes over in Denver.

The Jets thought they might have a shot at Cousins or Keenum but miss out so they decide to stand pat with Josh McCown and draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, perhaps thinking of doing something big.

The Browns thought they had a shot at Alex Smith, given new GM John Dorsey’s time with Smith in Kansas City. But, lost in that race. However, the news that A.J. McCarron was ruled a free agent could give the Browns life. Hue Jackson would love McCarron after his time in Cincinnati with him but will Dorsey sign off? He eventually decides to do it. As such, the Browns sign McCarron, trade down out of the first spot in the draft for more picks and take a quarterback at number four to compete with McCarron.

The New York Giants brass wants (needs!) to win immediately so they stick with Eli Manning and decide to build around him with offensive linemen and a running back. They decide to take a mid round flyer on a quarterback and let him compete with Davis Webb while Manning starts again.

The Cardinals see former Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as risky but take a calculated risk signing him as perhaps a bridge to their future at the position. Planning to take a quarterback in this draft, the Cardinals sign Bridgewater to give him the opportunity to start, but make it clear that they’re not done in the quarterback market.

The Bills went to the playoffs with Tyrod Taylor who will play out the final year on his deal in Buffalo. That said, the Bills decide to look ardently at a future option in the first round of the draft.

So, heading into draft night, the QB situation could look like this.

Redskins - Alex Smith
Vikings - Kirk Cousins
Browns - A.J. McCarron
Jets - Josh McCown
Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes
Giants - Eli Manning
Broncos - Case Keenum
Cardinals - Teddy Bridgewater
Bills - Tyrod Taylor

Prior to Draft night, the Browns trade the first pick to the Jets for the Jets sixth overall pick, a third this year and a second next year. The Jets then take Sam Darnold from USC.

On draft night, the Cardinals trade up with the Giants to take the signal caller of their future - Josh Rosen, UCLA. The Giants move down to No. 15 but pick up additional 2nd and 3rd round picks to bolster their offensive line and running back positions.

The Bills were on the phone with the Giants but couldn’t swing a deal but found a willing partner in Indianapolis and GM Chris Ballard. The Bills have two first round picks to use as trade collateral but have to give up next year’s one as well. Ballard willingly moves out of that spot and gets No. 21 and No. 22 in the first round. The Bills move up to number three and take Josh Allen from Wyoming. The big gun slinger may not be ready immediately so he’s going to sit behind Tyrod Taylor for the time being who has one year left on his contract.

The Browns then roll the dice and take Baker Mayfield at four.

After trading down with the Cardinals, the Giants are sitting at number 15 and decide to draft Lamar Jackson of Louisville.

In the end…

Redskins - Alex Smith
Vikings - Kirk Cousins
Browns - A.J. McCarron, Baker Mayfield
Jets - Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes
Giants - Eli Manning, Lamar Jackson
Broncos - Case Keenum
Bills - Tyrod Taylor, Josh Allen
Cardinals - Teddy Bridgewater, Josh Rosen.

And, it will go down exactly like that, right? One move put that entire scenario in motion, no matter how unlikely it appears. How does it impact your Texans? It could change the landscape of the entire 2018 season.

Well, they can watch it all happen with a smile knowing that The Present and the Future is already in the building wearing number four.

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.

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