3 Backup QB Options for Saints in 2020
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater led the New Orleans Saints to a 5-0 record during the absence of Drew Brees during the 2019 season, earning him a 3-year, $63 Million contract to become the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers in 2020. Following the departure of Bridgewater to the division rival Panthers, the Saints have a hole to fill at the backup quarterback position. New Orleans has one quarterback under contract for next season, 41-year-old Drew Brees. Brees signed a 2-year, $50 million contract to return to New Orleans at the beginning of the new league year on March 18th.
The third quarterback on the Saints’ 2019 roster Taysom Hill is a restricted free agent (RFA) with a 1st round tender that New Orleans placed on Hill prior to free agency opening. Though Hill has not signed a new contract with New Orleans, New Orleans believe that the 30-year-old BYU product will agree to a new deal soon.
Hill earned nicknames throughout the 2019 season for his do it all style of play but when Drew Brees went down in week 2 to a thumb injury, Hill’s production went down as he became the “emergency” quarterback. Over the five games that Teddy Bridgewater steered the ship for the Saints Hill found himself in a true backup quarterback role and less on the field catching passes, blocking punts, and running the read option. If Sean Payton’s plan is to continue to use Hill in his “Jack of all Saints” role, a true number two quarterback is needed to play behind Drew Brees.
Trevor Siemian, 28, New York Jets (UFA)
The Denver Broncos selected Siemian in the Seventh Round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Northwestern. Siemian saw action in one game in his rookie campaign that won the Broncos a Super Bowl title, defeating the Carolina Panthers in Peyton Manning’s final game. Following the retirement of Manning and the departure of Brock Osweiler, Siemian became the Broncos starting quarterback in 2016, going 8-6 and throwing for 3,400 yards and 18 touchdowns. The NFL named Siemian an alternate to the 2017 Pro-Bowl but declined to recover from surgery a few weeks prior.
After a promising first season as an NFL starter the Broncos hired HC Vance Joseph, and Siemian and the Broncos struggled. Joseph started three different quarterbacks, including Siemian, during the season. After re-earning the starting job late into the season, Sieman’s year ended because of injury and he was traded in the offseason to the Vikings.
Over the past two seasons with the Vikings and Jets, Siemian has attempted only 6 passes and was lost for the season in 2019 due to torn ligaments within his ankle. At only 28 years old Siemian offers experience as a starting quarterback in the NFL and a young option that could be groomed into one of the better backup QBs in the NFL.
Joe Flacco, 35, Denver Broncos (UFA)
The Baltimore Ravens took a chance on a quarterback from FCS school Delaware with the 18th overall selection of the 2008 NFL Draft and landed a future Super Bowl MVP in Joe Flacco. In 2008, as a rookie, Flacco won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year Honors and led his team to the AFC championship game. Flacco became only the third rookie in the history of the NFL to win his first playoff start.
Four years later, in 2012, Flacco and the Ravens made a magical run to Super XLVII hosted in New Orleans. During the playoff run the Ravens defeated the Colts, Broncos (Mile High Miracle), and Patriots before taking down the San Francisco 49ers in the Superdome where he earned the game’s MVP honors. Flacco ended the 2012 season on one of the greatest individual playoff runs in sports history throwing for 1,140 yards, 11 Touchdowns (NFL Record) and 0 interceptions (NFL Record) over the 4 games. The Ravens rewarded Flacco’s efforts making him the highest-paid QB in NFL history the following summer.
Since 2012, Flacco has started 91 games, including 8 for the Denver Broncos last season. Flacco was benched for rookie QB Drew Lock during the 2019 season and has not found the magic from early in his career. For the former first-round pick the window for a playing career is closing but he can still offer veteran leadership and has proven he knows what it takes to stand at the mountaintop of the NFL.
Andy Dalton, 32, Cincinnati Bengals (Under Contract Though 2021)
"The Red Rifle" led TCU to the 2011 Rose Bowl title in his final collegiate game with the Horned Frogs. In April 2011, the Bengals selected Dalton in the second round of the draft and announced he would be the 2011 starter following the pre-season. Dalton was named a Pro-Bowl Alternate after his rookie season, where he threw over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Dalton led the Bengals to four consecutive playoff appearances from 2011 to 2014, never advancing from the Wild-Card game. The lack of playoff success became an asterisk next to Dalton’s early career success although he was named to the Pro-Bowl three times within a five-year span.
Since entering the league, Dalton has started every game his has appeared in (133 games). The TCU product has thrown for at least 3,000 yards in 8 of his 9 NFL seasons and at least 20 passing touchdowns in 6 of 9 NFL seasons. Dalton’s contract runs through the 2021 season carrying a cap-hit of $17.7 million per spotrac.com.
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