There’s been a ton of quarterback chatter lately following Jameis Winston signing with the Saints for just $1.1 million on Wednesday and the Bengals releasing Andy Dalton on Thursday. Beyond that Cam Newton remains a free agent.
Let me begin by saying that I cannot believe Winston fetched so little. Sure, he’s frustratingly turnover prone and hasn’t come close to living up to his hype as the No. 1 overall pick in 2015, but you could do so much worse at quarterback. You’d also be hard pressed to find better in terms of a backup. That makes Winston’s contract puzzling even through the lens of No. 2 jobs.
Remember we’re less than two months removed from A.J. McCarron signing a $4 million deal to be Houston’s backup. I am not sure you’ll find anyone who would take McCarron over Winston for even money, let alone quadruple the price.
Which leads me to the point of this story, one that is pretty straightforward: If Winston’s deal is an indication of how far the backup quarterback market has plummeted, the Seahawks owe it to themselves to try and sign Newton or Dalton to a similar deal.
The Seahawks recently signed Washington State’s Anthony Gordon as an undrafted free agent, but is Seattle really comfortable giving him the backup job as a rookie? The harsh reality for almost every NFL contender is that its season hinges on the health of a franchise quarterback.
Seattle, knock on wood, has been remarkably lucky given Russell Wilson’s durability as he is yet to miss a game in his eight-season career. But that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a greater-than-zero percent chance of him getting hurt in 2020. Gordon may be an exciting rookie, one who PFF ranked as the second-best UDFA signing, but Seattle’s season would be over if Wilson went down all the same.
That might not be the case with Dalton or Newton, and given the lack of starting jobs out there (shockingly, New England is the only real exception), it’s possible that the Seahawks could get one of those two guys for cheap. Upon signing with Seattle, those guys would be obviously aware that there is no competition to be had and that any potential role would be in emergency-only situations. That fact removes any fear of tensions in the locker room.
As always, there’s zero harm in picking up the phone and making a call. There’s no doubt that Dalton and Newton would prefer big money and a chance to start, but given what just happened with Winston, that market isn’t likely to be there for one of them, let alone both.
Newton is a former NFL MVP and Dalton is a three-time Pro Bowler. No offense to Gordon, but if I’m the Seahawks, I’m picking one of those veterans as my backup ten times out of ten. And the beautiful reality for Seattle is that obtaining one might cost next to nothing. Sounds like a win, win to me.