Now that we know the 15 or so names that could be available this offseason, it only makes sense to play matchmaker and try to put names with teams with most of the season finished.
Going back to our original six teams, here are my best guesses (I’m also going to assume Tom Brady stays in New England).
1. Chicago Bears: Trade/sign Cam Newton. Keep Trubisky as the backup.
The rumors are buzzing that Newton to the Bears makes sense for everyone and Trubisky can be their backup for a reasonable price that they are going to be paying either way I believe.
2. Tennessee Titans: Re-sign Ryan Tannehill, trade up and draft Tua Tagovailoa.
Tannehill has done enough during his time in Tennessee to earn a job as a starter in 2020 for as long as he can perform like this. I may have undersold that, but the fact is that you can win 10+ games in the NFL with a QB playing at the level that Tannehill is playing right now.
Behind him, I think Jon Robinson will see the opportunity to draft Tua similarly to the way he saw Jeffery Simmons this past year except with more upside. Think back to the 2017 NFL Draft and look at the Kansas City Chiefs trade up for Patrick Mahomes.
It only took a future 1st and a 2017 3rd round pick to move from 27 all the way up to 10th. Last year, the Steelers traded up to get Devin Bush at 10 and they gave up their 1st (20th), their 2nd (52nd) and a 2020 3rd round pick.
If you use those two trades as an outline, those are prices I would easily pay to take a chance on a guy with the immense talent that Tua has and what he can and should be in the NFL if he does fall out of the top-10.
With no immediate need for Tua and with a very capable starter in Tannehill, all you need is an OC worth his salt and a new OL coach and the Titans could be well on their way to an exceptional offense.
3. Cincinnati Bengals: Draft Joe Burrow, sign Case Keenum.
The first half of this is a no-brainer and then you back it up by signing a QB that can do well in a ZBS/PA offense which is what first-year Bengals HC, Zac Taylor used during his time with the L.A. Rams.
Burrow doesn’t have to start immediately, but he will.
4. Miami Dolphins: Draft Justin Herbert, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the backup.
The infatuation is there and the stars have aligned for the Dolphins to go after the guy they have wanted for nearly two years at this point. Back him up with the QB that won you two games when everyone thought you were destined for a winless season and you have a guy who can give you some energy until Herbert needs to take over.
5. Carolina Panthers: Sign Philip Rivers, choose between Will Grier and Kyle Allen at backup.
The Panthers have weapons on offense, but what they lack is an offensive line and a guy that can consistently get them the ball. Ron Rivera was a DC with the Chargers and surely has a lot of respect for Rivers and what he can do presnap and with trash around him on the offensive line.
If things have gotten so bad with Cam Newton that a move will be made (which is what it looks like), use that compensation to do everything you can to put a good offensive line in front of Rivers.
6. L.A. Chargers: Draft Jordan Love, keep Tyrod Taylor.
Tyrod Taylor is actually a really solid starter to have as a bridge guy. He did it last year with Baker Mayfield and that extra time and preparation may be why we didn’t see the struggling version of Mayfield that we are seeing now.
Love is incredibly raw like I said and he needs to go somewhere with a QB that can win games while he waits. The Chargers have some great pieces on defense, but close losses and injuries have submarined their season, making that 15 consecutive seasons for the snake bitten franchise.
If you can get Love to play up to his highlights and cut out some of the dumb decision making issues, you could have a fun offense with he, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Evans and an exciting rookie WR from an incredible class.