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2023 NFL offseason: Projecting performances of quarterbacks who changed teams

The first stage in the offseason quarterback carousel is mainly settled.

The ever-present Lamar Jackson question continues to loom over everything, but the key free agents have found their landing spots for the most part.

The next phase is the 2023 NFL Draft, where anywhere from two to four QBs could go off the board in the top 10. How that selection process shakes out will affect incumbents and newly signed veterans.

As we wait to see which rookie lands where, let's take a gander at how 10 quarterbacks who changed teams in 2023 might fare with their new squads compared to their 2022 production.

NOTE: Acquisitions are split into groups, and players within those groups are arranged based on reported average per year on contracts, per Over The Cap. Ages listed are as of Sept. 7, 2023, when the next NFL season is set to kick off.


Derek Carr
Year 10 · Age: 32

Average salary: $37.5 million

With Raiders in 2022: 15 games | 60.8 pct | 3,522 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 24 pass TD | 14 INT | 102 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: BETTER

Carr has his foibles, as do most non-superhero signal-callers, but he's proven capable of leading an offense and putting up numbers in the right situation. The 32-year-old was clearly the best option for a Saints squad making a run at a winnable NFC South division in 2023. While I have my quibbles with what play-caller Pete Carmichael displayed in New Orleans' first post-Sean Payton season, the offense does have weapons to be explosive if everything lines up. That's a big IF come September, but on paper, it looks promising. If Michael Thomas finally stays healthy, he can win one-on-one matchups. Chris Olave proved as a rookie he's dynamic and should only improve. And Rashid Shaheed owns the speed to burn, forming a nice trio. With Carr's deep-ball ability, we could see some explosive action in 2023. Add in Alvin Kamara's dynamic ability catching out of the backfield -- his availability in 2023 is, of course, dependent on how his legal issues unfold in July. All in all, things look promising for Carr to get back to his 4,000-yard seasons. In a winnable NFC South, it's easy to envision Carr driving the Saints back to the postseason.

Jimmy Garoppolo
Year 10 · Age: 31

Average salary: $24.25 million

With 49ers in 2022: 11 games | 67.2 pct | 2,437 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 16 pass TD | 4 INT | 33 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: BETTER

The Raiders are betting Garoppolo will make a smooth transition back into a Josh McDaniels system he should know well enough. Vegas has the weapons in go-to target Davante Adams, newly acquired Jakobi Meyers and slot maven Hunter Renfrow who mesh well with Jimmy G's skill set. The biggest gamble will be Garoppolo staying healthy for 17 weeks behind a questionable offensive line. Assuming he makes more than the 10 starts he did a season ago in San Francisco, his yardage and touchdowns figure to improve. The biggest questions are: Can he stay on the field? And will his play be as efficient outside the cushy Shanahan system? We'll assume both answers are "yes" for this exercise, making his first year in a Raiders jersey statistically better -- though the win-loss results in the AFC West aren't as promising.


Average salary: $8 million

With Browns in 2022: 16 games | 64.0 pct | 2,608 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 6 INT | 243 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: WORSE

I like this signing for Washington. Brissett is an underrated veteran quarterback who can run an offense proficiently, doesn't get rattled and avoids disastrous mistakes. Basically, he's the opposite of Carson Wentz. Last season in Cleveland, Brissett proved he could move an offense and joins a Commanders club with a nice assortment of weapons in star Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel. Given Ron Rivera's preferred ground-and-pound offense, Brissett projects as an ideal sturdy quarterback. What he lacks in upside, he makes up with smarts. Having typed all that, my assessment that he'll have worse numbers than last season is based on everything we've heard emanating from D.C. about the Commanders wanting to see Sam Howell take the QB1 gig after impressing in his lone start last season. Brissett might only enter the fray if Howell falters. The question will be how long a leash Rivera will have for the young signal-caller, particularly with Brissett waiting in the wings.  

Average salary: $4 million

With Panthers/Rams in 2022: 14 games | 60.5 pct | 3,010 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 17 pass TD | 13 INT | 134 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 6 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: BETTER

At this point in his career, we know what Baker is. He exudes moxie and can throw a pretty deep ball against man coverage. It's when the blocking falters that Mayfield's cerebrum gets scrambled, and he makes boneheaded flings. Given how much Tom Brady got hit last season, and with even more O-line questions in Tampa, it's not an ideal combo. However, Mayfield will be playing with the best receiver trio he's had to date in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage -- and far better than either situation he was in last season. There is potential if he can get some semblance of protection. Of course, first, he has to win the job against third-year pro Kyle Trask, who has a whole three completions on nine attempts for 23 yards in his career. In the one outing last season, Trask looked lost. So unless he improves by leaps and bounds this offseason, I expect Mayfield to win the job out of camp. Assuming he does and stays somewhat healthy, I'd expect better than the piddling 180.3 yards per game he tossed for during his time between Carolina and L.A. last season.


Andy Dalton
Year 13 · Age: 35

Average salary: $5 million

With Saints in 2022: 14 games | 66.7 pct | 2,871 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 18 pass TD | 9 INT | 54 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: WORSE

Dalton continues to be the Mendoza line of NFL quarterbacks, capable of not sinking the ship but isn't going to steer through a hurricane to find calm waters. The Panthers didn't sell the farm for the No. 1 overall pick for that rookie not to start. That's simply not how the NFL works nowadays. Debate between Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis until your heart's content leading up to April 27. Whoever is on the Panthers' card will be the starter in 2023. In recent years, Carolina has gone through QBs like they're matching on Hinge. The move to No. 1 was meant to stop that cycle of endless dating with no marriage. Regardless of who is picked, Dalton is in Carolina to be a mentor and spot starter if needed. He's not there to start 14 games.

Average salary: $3.5 million

With Eagles in 2022: 7 games | 57.9 pct | 663 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 3 pass TD | 3 INT | 1 rush yd | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: BETTER

The Colts certainly hope Minshew's numbers are worse. But with the Panthers and Texans ahead of them in the draft pecking order, Indy currently projects to get the third choice of quarterback. That's before we consider the possibility of another club leapfrogging the Colts into the No. 3 slot where the Cardinals currently reside. Barring a surprise move, say for Lamar Jackson, I fully expect GM Chris Ballard to use a high selection on a quarterback. The question is whether Indy believes that player will be ready to start Week 1. New Colts coach Shane Steichen knows Minshew well from their time together in Philly and might trust him to hold the fort to open the season. Minshew is a solid quarterback who can avoid pressure and move an offense -- he showed as much throwing for 355 yards against Dallas last season. He might not be an everyday NFL starter, but you could do worse with a backup. Given that he threw for fewer than 675 yards last season, if he opens the season as a starter or makes a couple of spot appearances, his line would project over his 2022 stats. Make no mistake, it's finally time for the Colts to look to the draft for their future, but Minshew is a respectable fallback option.


Taylor Heinicke
Year 8 · Age: 30

Average salary: $7 million

With Commanders in 2022: 9 games | 62.2 pct | 1,859 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 12 pass TD | 6 INT | 96 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 7 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: WORSE

Falcons brass has repeatedly said they believe in Desmond Ridder as QB1 in 2023. Barring a sharp left during the draft process, that should be the case. But Atlanta added Heinicke on an incentive-laden deal as a contingency plan. The former undrafted quarterback showed in three years in Washington he's a fearless gunslinger who can make some jaw-dropping throws but is also loose with the football. He guided a run-first offense in D.C., similar to what Arthur Smith employs. The 30-year-old Heinicke is a fine backup option with experience who can make starts in a pinch. But I don't expect Smith to have a short hook on Ridder -- remember, he kept Marcus Mariota in the lineup far longer than most expected last year. So barring a Ridder injury or implosion, Heinicke shouldn't see the field as much as he did in 2022.

Jarrett Stidham
Year 5 · Age: 27

Average salary: $5 million

With Raiders in 2022: 5 games | 63.9 pct | 656 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 4 pass TD | 3 INT | 84 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: BETTER

This answer won't make Russell Wilson fans happy, but Stidham has been on the radar since signing in Denver. Sean Payton and the rest of the brass have talked up the former New England Patriots fourth-round pick as a key addition this season. Much like he was in Las Vegas, Stidham could be a fallback option if the coaching staff doesn't like how things are going with Wilson. Then there is Wilson's recent injury history. After an iron man streak from 2012-2020, Wilson missed three games in 2021 and two last season due to injury. He also had offseason surgery to clean up an old injury. Turning 35 this season, were the last two seasons a blip or a sign he'll be a QB who misses a couple of games a season? Stidham was up-and-down in his two starts with the Raiders, flashing some positives and some inconsistencies in the pocket. The question of how his 2023 campaign will unfold rests with how Wilson's transition in Payton's offense shakes out after last year's disastrous first campaign in Denver. My bet is Stidham sees the field at some point this campaign.

Mike White
Year 5 · Age: 28

Average salary: $4 million

With Jets in 2022: 4 games | 58.9 pct | 1,192 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 3 pass TD | 4 INT | 9 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: BETTER

The Miami Dolphins are counting on Tua Tagovailoa to stay healthy, but it's something he hasn't been able to do the past two seasons. He missed four games in 2021 due to fractured ribs and a fractured finger. Last year, the starter again missed four contests -- plus the team's playoff game in Buffalo -- after sustaining multiple concussions. The Dolphins can't assume Tua will make it through 17 games unscathed. White proved to be a good distributor in New York and is fearless standing in the pocket. If the 28-year-old can put up nearly 1,200 yards with a struggling Jets offense, imagine what he could do in Mike McDaniel's scheme throwing to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. It's tough to gauge White's numbers in 2023, but the backup job in Miami has proven critical of late to the Dolphins' AFC East hopes. It could again this season.


Aaron Rodgers
Year 19 · Age: 39

Average salary: $50.27 million (could be reworked upon trade)

With Packers in 2022: 17 games | 64.6 pct | 3,695 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 26 pass TD | 12 INT | 94 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 8 fumbles

2023 numbers will be: BETTER

No, the deal isn't done yet. It might not get done for weeks or months as the Jets and Packers iron out their trade differences. But let's assume -- in Rodgers' words, that he intends to play for Gang Green in 2023 -- ultimately, he'll wind up in Florham Park. The Jets boast intriguing weapons for the four-time MVP to utilize. Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson has all the traits of a go-to target. Allen Lazard's familiarity with Rodgers is a boon. And Mecole Hardman brings speed and gadget playmaking to the corps. Assuming Breece Hall returns to form after missing a majority of his rookie season with a torn ACL, that's another weapon for Rodgers to use in the passing game. Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah are solid tight-end targets. The offensive line is the biggest question, but Rodgers has managed through worse situations than the one he walks into in New Jersey. 

I'm also making this projection betting on Rodgers' desire to stick it to everyone who has ever slighted him (perceived or otherwise). Never underestimate a Hall of Famer scorned. Rodgers will use this campaign to prove to everyone he's still THAT GUY. As he said this offseason, he believes he can still win another MVP. He'll be hell-bent on proving it in New York. Oh, and since the parallels with Brett Favre are so strong, here is Brett's line in his only season with the Jets: 16 starts, 3,472 yards, 22 TDs, 22 INTs, 65.7 completion percentage (all worse than his previous season with Green Bay). Maybe that's how Rodgers proves he's not on the Farvian path: be better than his final season as a Packer.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter.

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