Franchise quarterbacks are gold in the NFL.
Few teams have one. Every team wants one. And most teams need one in order to be successful, as an offense can only go so far without the right man under center.
Finding one can prove difficult, though, which is evident in the number of quarterback changes we’ve seen in recent years. As such, predicting each team’s quarterback three years out is an incredibly difficult exercise. There’s just too much uncertainty in the NFL week to week, let alone year to year.
But ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano apparently doesn’t care. He recently predicted who each team’s starting quarterback will be in 2020 — in other words, not next season or the season after but the season after that — for an article published on ESPN.com.
By 2020, Tom Brady will be 43 years old. And according to Graziano, he’ll still be leading the charge for the New England Patriots.
Brady, of course, has said he wants to play into his mid-40s, and based on how well he’s played this season at age 40, it’d be foolish to doubt the five-time Super Bowl champion. Plus, the Patriots just traded backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers, suggesting the organization is confident that Brady still has plenty left in the tank.
Here’s Graziano’s explanation for predicting Brady still will be New England’s starting QB in three years:
“Brady told everybody he’d play until 45. He even wrote books about it. Sure enough, by 2020, the threat of Jimmy Garoppolo is a distant memory and no one has risen to challenge Brady. And he’s still, improbably, slinging it at age 43.”
Speaking of Garoppolo, one of Graziano’s boldest predictions for 2020 involves Jimmy G, who could hit free agency as soon as this offseason. The 49ers likely view Garoppolo as their quarterback of the future, but Graziano suggests the former second-round pick will wind up with the Jaguars, who he believes will be stationed in London by 2020.
Here’s Graziano’s explanation regarding Garoppolo and the Jags:
“His late-2017 audition with the 49ers didn’t work out the way they’d hoped, and San Francisco turned its attention elsewhere in the 2018 free-agent market. That allowed the QB-needy Jaguars to pounce and throw a pile of money at Jimmy G.”
As we continue down the well, Graziano predicts the 49ers will sign Kirk Cousins this offseason to be their franchise quarterback. The Washington Redskins, tasked with replacing Cousins, will draft Wyoming product Josh Allen, who will become the team’s starting QB by 2020.