Who would you rather have?
If you were starting an NFL franchise today and could build around any current NFC quarterback, who would you rather have than Carson Wentz?
It’s interesting to look at because most of the NFC starters fall into three categories: Aging Hall of Famers, unproven youngsters and veterans in their 30s who’ve never won anything.
Who does that leave?
Let’s take a look:
Aging Hall of Famers: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan have all reached at least one Super Bowl — only Ryan hasn’t won one - and all are among the top-10 in NFL history in passer rating. Brady, Brees and Rodgers are Hall of Fame locks and it might take Ryan a little longer, but he'll get in too.
But Brady and Brees are in their 40s and Rodgers and Ryan are at least 35. If you’re going to build for the future, it won’t be around these guys.
Unproven Youngsters: Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins fall into this category. All got significant playing time as rookies and each did some good things. Murray completed 64 percent of his passes, threw for 3,722 yards and ran for over 500 yards. Jones had three games with 4 or more TDs and no interceptions. Haskins was sharp late in the season, including the late-season game against the Eagles. But all three remain projects, unproven going into their second seasons.
Veterans Who’ve Never Won Anything: Teddy Bridgewater played well enough in five starts with the Saints last year to earn a whopping three-year, $63 million contract with the Panthers. But as talented as Bridgewater is, he’s thrown 38 touchdowns in 35 career starts. Mitch Trubisky had a decent 2018 season, but there’s a reason the Bears signed Nick Foles. Foles? As much as we all love him, he’s 31 now, with his sixth team in seven years if you count the Eagles twice, and 5-6 since the Super Bowl. Matt Stafford is 32, has no playoff wins in 10 years and is 10 games under .500 in his career. Kirk Cousins is 31, two games over .500 and has one career playoff win.
Five guys left: That leaves us with Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo and Carson Wentz.
Wilson is a future Hall of Famer and a Super Bowl winner, and he’s still terrific, but he’s going into his ninth year, and he’ll be 32 by the middle of the upcoming season. Not washed up by any means, but is he the guy at this point you’d want to grow with? Probably not.
Goff came back to Earth in his fourth season, was 4th in the NFL in interceptions and has been a poor postseason quarterback. He hasn’t come up big in big games.
Garoppolo? There’s a reason the 49ers threw the ball almost twice as much last year in the playoffs (111 times) as they threw the ball (58 times).
It comes down to Prescott and Wentz. Like it always does.
And, honestly, Prescott is a good player, but if you compare their first four seasons and take into consideration who they’ve been throwing to, it’s no contest.
Wentz last year had more touchdowns and fewer interceptions than Prescott throwing to an ineffective Alshon Jeffery, a non-existent Mack Hollins and a slumping Nelson Agholor than Prescott did throwing to Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb.
Head-to-head? Prescott has 8 TDs and 7 INTs and an 83.5 passer rating vs. the Eagles. Wentz has 12 TDs and 2 INTs and a 99.4 passer rating against the Cowboys.
Wentz goes into his fifth NFL season with one glaring question mark, and that’s his health. And we’ve been talking about that for a few years.
But healthy? There isn’t a quarterback in the NFC I’d rather have for the long haul.
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