The offseason unofficially ended with the 2023 NFL Draft, and it’s finally safe to assume each team has its 2023-2024 starting quarterback on the roster. A look at the best QBs, the question marks, and those jobs still up for grabs.
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Predicting each team’s starting quarterback for the 2023-2024 NFL season is an exercise of varying difficulty. Everyone wants answers ahead of their NFL Fantasy drafts and pre-season futures bets.
With most teams, it’s just a matter of filling in the obvious name. With others, you’re required to predict the outcome of a training camp competition or a contract negotiation.
And sadly, a few teams really don’t have any good options for a starting quarterback.
We separate the respective NFL starting quarterbacks into these groups in naming the 2023-2024 starters, in rough order from the surest things to the biggest question marks.
2023 Starting Quarterbacks: Set in Stone
When it comes to predicting starting QBs for the 2023-2024 season, there are quite a few names that are certainties to fill the position in Week 1. Here they are.
Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes’ current deal with the Chiefs expires in 2032. Check back around that time, because there’s no way Kansas City will voluntarily move on from the two-time Super Bowl MVP.
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow
2023 is the last year on Burrow’s rookie deal, with the Bengals holding an option for 2024. Chances are they’ll look to get a long-term deal completed with the former Heisman Trophy winner in the next 12 months.
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Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts
Hurts’ long-term deal is complete as of this month, ensuring he’ll be the top guy for the NFC Champion Eagles in 2023 – and well beyond.
Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen
The big-money portion of Allen’s extension starts to kick in this season. 2023 will be a big year for the Bills’ QB to take the next step in leading Bills Mafia to the promised land, but he’s in no danger of being replaced. Allen is the projected and certain starting QB for Buffalo this season.
Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert
An identical situation to Burrow’s, where next year’s option would cost the Chargers close to $30 million with the threat of unrestricted free agency looming. Look for an extension soon.
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson
It looked iffy at times, but maybe the biggest news of draft day was Jackson’s five-year contract extension. The extension not only removed his franchise tag, but ensured he’ll be the Ravens starting QB for 2023 and for years to come.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence
Lawrence’s year two breakout confirmed what we already knew – he’s the future of the position for the Jaguars, suddenly the prohibitive favorites in the AFC South.
New York Jets: Aaron Rodgers
Maybe you heard about a trade involving Rodgers? The 39-year-old QB immediately takes over the reigns in the Big Apple and pushes the Jets into the “contender” category for the AFC East and beyond.
Rodgers will be the Jets starting QB for 2023-2024. That still sounds weird.
Detroit Lions: Jared Goff
We’re at the point where Goff, often maligned during his time with the Rams, can be considered one of the league’s underrated QBs. The Lions selected Hendon Hooker in the 3rd round of the draft, but he’s no threat to former No. 1 pick Goff’s status in 2023.
Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott
Time flies – Prescott turns 30 before this season and is suddenly the longest-tenured NFL starting QB (with one team). He’ll look to cement his place in Cowboys history in 2023 – what happens next is anyone’s guess.
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Seattle Seahawks: Geno Smith
“They wrote me off, but I didn’t write back”.
Smith’s quote defined his 2022 resurgence, and the Seahawks validated the performance with a three-year extension this offseason. However, the deal allows Seattle for an easy out after the 2023 campaign if things go wrong. For now, though, it’s Smith’s job.
New York Giants: Daniel Jones
A ten-win season and playoff win was enough for the Giants to make Jones their guy for the next four years. His $160 million extension is sweet revenge for a QB who’s been questioned since New York drafted him No. 6 overall in 2019.
Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins
It’s the last year on Cousins’ contract. And it was somewhat surprising to see Minnesota wait until Round 5 to address the QB position through the Draft.
After one more year of Cousins, QBs looking for a home after the 2023 NFL season would be wise to check out Minneapolis.
Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray
Arizona fired coach Kliff Kingsbury, and spent their first-round pick on a potential franchise left tackle in Paris Johnson Jr. It’s clear the Cardinals are committed to building around Murray for the foreseeable future. Kyler Murray will be Arizona’s starting QB for the 2023-2024 season.
Denver Broncos: Russell Wilson
Everyone in Denver would rather forget the entire 2022 season, Russ’ first in Denver. But after the investment of players and draft picks the Mile High franchise made in Wilson, new coach Sean Payton has no choice but to hope for a better outcome in 2023.
Chicago Bears: Justin Fields
Fields’ 2022 season has optimistic Bears fans looking at their QB as this season’s version of Jalen Hurts – young, dual-threat QB with something to prove. Approaching Hurts’ 2022 is a tall task, but the Bears have given their young QB a vastly improved roster.
Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson
It’s time for Watson to put his nightmarish departure from Houston in the past. With his suspension complete, the 27-year-old can focus on becoming Cleveland’s first established starting QB since the franchise’s return back in 1999.
New England Patriots: Mac Jones
He’s got the hardest job in football – following Tom Brady in New England. No one realistically expects Jones to replace the future Hall of Famer, but can he convince the Patriots to commit to him long-term?
For the 2023-2024 season, expect Jones to fill the Patriots quarterback position.
Los Angeles Rams: Matthew Stafford
Stafford won the Super Bowl in his first season with the Rams in 2021. But since that moment, the team’s future seems to change day to day. He’s got three more years on his deal, but I get the feeling Stafford could opt to call it a career at any point.
New Orleans Saints: Derek Carr
The Saints invested big money on the veteran this offseason. And, with Tom Brady’s retirement, he’s easily the most proven QB in the NFC South. He’s durable, reliable, and a proven leader – and that’s more than enough in a division filled with question marks.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett
Pickett emerged late in 2022, grading out as the league’s top passer over the final five weeks of the season. He’s earned the right to be Pittsburgh’s unquestioned starting quarterback in 2023.
Green Bay Packers: Jordan Love
Given recent news, lots of people will now want an answer as to who will be the Green Bay Packers starting QB for 2023/2024?
The long-awaited Aaron Rodgers trade clears the way for Love. He’s already in his fourth season – to take his place behind center in Green Bay. The Packers will be under plenty of pressure to make a quick decision on next year’s option for their new signal caller.
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2023 Starting Quarterbacks: Current Leaders
Now it’s time to assess the teams with a likely – but not definitive answer – to their quarterback situation for the upcoming season.
Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa
In a perfect world, Tua would be in the previous section with fellow 2020 draftees Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. But the unfortunate reality of football is that injuries are part of the game. And Tua’s concussion history gives just enough pause.
I still expect him to start the season for Miami, just not as confidently as the other top young quarterbacks.
Las Vegas Raiders: Jimmy Garoppolo
No QBs in the Draft for Las Vegas, so it looks like smooth sailing for Jimmy G with his new team.
Still, this is one spot where you might see a veteran QB land via trade or a late signing, if the Raiders aren’t happy with what they see from the former 49er in training camp.
Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Ridder
Last year’s handful of starts yielded acceptable results. And the expectation is the Dirty Birds will ride with the 2022 draft pick this season.
But the Falcons did sign former Commanders QB Taylor Heinicke this offseason. And he’ll be eager to prove himself all over again in his new home. The Falcons’ starting QB is definitely not set in stone yet.
Tennessee Titans: Ryan Tannehill
Try as they might, the Titans just can’t supplant Tannehill.
They’ve drafted Malik Willis and Will Levis in consecutive years, but neither appears to be an option to start at the beginning of 2023. So it’s back to the veteran Tannehill for what has to be his last season in Tennessee… right?
Carolina Panthers: Andy Dalton
Yes, they just took Bryce Young No. 1 overall, and he’ll be given every chance to win the job in training camp.
But with the Panthers still a couple years from contending, I’m betting the veteran Dalton will start at least the first several games of the 2023 season for Carolina.
Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud
On the other hand, Davis Mills hasn’t wowed anyone in his two years as the Texans’ starter. Therefore, it makes the most sense that Houston will immediately hand the reigns to the first-round pick out of Ohio State.
C.J. Stroud will most likely begin his NFL career as the Houston Texans’ starting quarterback.
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2023 Starting Quarterbacks: The Toss-Ups
Now we’re getting into the tough ones. These predicted starting QBs are just that – predictions.
Indianapolis Colts: Gardner Minshew
It makes sense to get first-round pick Anthony Richardson as many reps as possible, but Richardson’s age (won’t be 21 until later this month) and relative inexperience make it unlikely that new coach Shane Steichen declares him the opening-day starter.
Luckily, between Minshew and former Super Bowl champion Nick Foles, there are a couple of solid choices to mentor Richardson until the heir apparent gets the nod. Right now, Minshew looks like the best candidate for the (temporary) job.
San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance
Perhaps the most interesting QB situation in the league – Lance, the former 2021 first-round pick and Purdy, the 2022 Mr. Irrelevant, the nickname given to the final pick of each year’s NFL Draft.
Purdy came in last season after both Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo went down with season-ending injuries, and undeniably earned the job with a 5-0 finish plus two playoff wins before everything came crashing down in Philadelphia. Not only did the 49ers lose the NFC Championship to the Eagles, Purdy sustained a devastating UCL injury to his throwing elbow.
The guess is here is Purdy won’t be quite ready by September, and Lance will get one more (final?) chance to regain the starting job, if only temporarily.
One thing’s for sure – when the 49ers decide on a permanent starter between these two, the odd man out will be a leading candidate for one of our next two teams.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Baker Mayfield
Tom Brady’s retirement means it’s time to start over in Tampa Bay. And who needs a fresh start more than Mayfield, the former No. 1 overall draft pick?
You’d have to expect Tampa Bay to be at the top of the list to draft, sign, or trade for a franchise QB next offseason. But, for now, it’s a chance for Mayfield to revitalize his career.
Washington Commanders: Sam Howell
Taylor Heinicke’s in Atlanta now. Carson Wentz remains unsigned, but it’s safe to say he won’t be back in Washington.
So it’s down to Howell and journeyman Jacoby Brissett, and if the Commanders are ever going to learn what they have in Howell, now is the time. Nobody knows much of anything other than Howell was a third-round draft pick out of North Carolina a year ago. But that’s never stopped Washington before.