Every team wants a great backup quarterback. The problem in the NFL is that backups want to be starters.
Nevertheless, former starting QB’s who are demoted to the backup role for one reason or another are always prepared when their number is called.
After Matthew Stafford was put on the shelf for the last eight games of the 2019 season due to broken bones in his back, the Detroit Lions had to turn to two QBs without much experience.
That has to change in 2020.
Marcus Mariota on the radar?
Jeff Driskel and David Blough were put under the gun last season in Detroit. For their lack of experience, they did okay.
Now that Driskel is a free agent, his return to Detroit is questionable. Blough is still under contract with the Lions until 2022.
He has a strong arm and was one of the best passers in the Big Ten during his time with Purdue.
However, his lack of experience shows that Detroit needs a solid No. 2 guy.
How to solve that problem? Sign Marcus Mariota.
A QB roster featuring Matt Stafford, Marcus Mariota, and David Blough sounds like it has a lot of potential for the 2020 season.
Mariota will join the free-agent market on Wednesday – along with a lot more stars as this season’s list of free agents is one of the best in a long time.
Don’t be fooled by Mariota’s 2019 season. This kid can play.
In his brief five-year career, Mariota has thrown for 13,207 yards and 76 touchdowns. He also has the skills to run with the ball when needed.
At the age of 26, he will get a lot of looks this offseason. With the demand for a starting QB low around the league, Mariota will most likely have to sign with a team as the No. 2 guy.
As we have seen all too often in Detroit, every QB is just one play away from getting his chance to become the starter.
The Lions reportedly have an interest in Mariota, now the question is, does he have an interest in the Lions?
Teddy Bridgewater back to the NFC North?
Like Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater is a proven starter. The former starter for the Minnesota Vikings shined last season when he filled in for Drew Brees down in New Orleans.
While Bridgewater wants to have a starting job once again, he would definitely sign with a team like the Lions to play the No. 2 role, but it would come with certain conditions.
As pointed out by The Athletic, Bridgewater will most likely fetch $8 million or more on the open market this season — even as a backup.
He also wants a multi-year deal.
I’m not Bob Quinn, however, after freeing up more cap space with the release of Rick Wagner, bringing on Teddy Bridgewater sounds like a great move to me.
Last season Lions fans saw what Jeff Driskel looked like running the RPO (run, pass, option) in offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s system.
It brings a great dimension to the offense.
Bridgewater, along with Mariota, both run the RPO very well. While Stafford will still be the starter, a backup like Bridgewater can go a lot further than just coming into the game if Stafford is hurt.
Bridgewater (or Mariota) could come in on plenty of occasions like 3rd and short, two-point conversions, etc.
Plus, let’s not forget, just like Mariota, Bridgewater is young and most likely has 5-6 good years ahead of him.
Matthew Stafford is a fan favorite in Motown, but let’s be honest, is he going to be here in 2023 as the starting QB? Odds are probably not.
The 32-year old Stafford is in the twilight of his career and may only play two to three more seasons.
Stafford still has a cannon for an arm and is tough as nails, however, Detroit has a ton of talent on this roster. If he did happen to get hurt again in 2020, the Lions can’t just have another “throw away ” season.