The first NFL offseason of the new decade may alter the landscape of the league as we've known it for the past 15 years. Some of the biggest names in the sport's most important position are up for grabs, including the one who many consider the greatest ever to play the game.
10. Eli Manning
Aside from one playoff appearance in 2016, the latter part of the decade for the Giants has been failure after failure, and those two Super Bowl MVPs must seem like a lifetime ago for the younger Manning brother. While he did help end the Giants' ghastly losing streak last season in an emotional home win, there are better free agent options out there.
9. Case Keenum
The 2019 Washington Redskins were stacked wall-to-wall with problems, but Case Keenum was among the least of them. His play wasn't exceptional by any means, but 11 touchdown passes with only 6 interceptions is nothing to sneeze at. Keenum would fit in well on a team that already has its supporting cast in place.
8. Marcus Mariota
It might sting Mariota a little bit that the Titans' push to the AFC Championship Game came only after head coach Mike Vrabel benched him for Ryan Tannehill in week six. His time in Tennessee will probably be up after the season, no matter how the Titans fare this week. Despite how poorly this season went for Mariota in terms of wins and losses, past seasons have proven that there is still a talented quarterback left in him that can be harnessed if he can make his way into an offense that uses his talents to their fullest (and if he can stay healthy).
7. Jameis Winston
Winston may be the most frustrating quarterback for an NFL coach to have, capable of making the most brilliant throws and the most bone-headed decisions mere minutes apart. This is reflected in how Winston became the first quarterback to throw for both 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season in 2019. While he has shown marked improvement over prior years - he did lead the NFL in passing yardage, after all - it's clear that he is still a work in progress after five seasons, and it's a project that Bruce Arians may have given up on.
6. Philip Rivers
Rivers made headlines today by telling Chris Mortenson that he and his family were leaving their San Diego home and moving to Florida. While this doesn't confirm that his days as a Charger are over, a bitterly disappointing season for both the team (a 5-11 record) and Rivers himself (23 TDs, 20 INTs), as well as a deteriorating relationship with head coach Anthony Lynn, may mean that the bridge has been burnt. Rivers' 2018 season shows he likely still has something left in the tank if he lands in the right spot.
5. Teddy Bridgewater
We've seen tantalizing glimpses of what Bridgewater can do early in his NFL career, but nothing more, due to injuries and bad timing. Thanks to Drew Brees' own hand injury, Bridgewater had his chance to shine, and led the Saints to five straight wins in Brees' absence. His 2019 season served as a great audition tape for the rest of the NFL.
4. Tom Brady
The Patriots' loss in the AFC Wild Card Game put Brady in a position he has never been before - a free agent looking to shop himself. While Brady has been linked to several teams, including the Chargers and Raiders, it seems as though the least likely place left is the team he's played for his entire career, as he's taken great effort to expunge his connections to the Patriots. Even though Brady played like a shadow of a former self in 2019 and may only have one or two years left in the tank (if that), just the name "Tom Brady" should be enough to attract attention from teams that once feared him.
3. Ryan Tannehill
If the Titans do make it all the way to the Super Bowl and win, Ryan Tannehill might be remembered in the same breath as Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien, or Jim Hostetler - so-so quarterbacks on great teams who did just well enough to win the big game. And that's fine. The fact of the matter is that the Titans' season turned around the second Tannehill entered the starting lineup. His stats aren't impressive, but he has a knack for making the perfect throw at the perfect time, as he did on his third down completion to Anthony Firkser against the Patriots when the Titans needed to run out the clock late. Quite simply, the Titans wouldn't be here without Tannehill, and they would be wise to reward him for it during the off-season. But if they don't, Tannehill has proved he's a starter in this league.
2. Dak Prescott
The failure of the Cowboys to reach a deal with Dak Prescott hung over the team throughout the 2019 season. Dallas could not get out of their own way and finished with a .500 record, but that was through little to no fault of Prescott, who threw for nearly 5,000 yards and set career highs in nearly every passing category. The most likely scenario is that the Cowboys will apply their franchise tag to Prescott, and the addition of new head coach Mike McCarthy could help advance negotiations.
1. Drew Brees
Despite the best efforts of television networks to lure him into the broadcast booth, all indications are that Drew Brees will most likely play in 2020. That one Super Bowl ring is getting pretty lonely, after all. Should he leave New Orleans, it's anyone's guess as to where he'd end up. After missing significant time with a hand injury, he still found time to smash records in 2019, including his dominant performance on Monday Night Football against the Colts. Another playoff failure will certainly motivate Brees.