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Quarterback questions ahead of the new NFL season

The NFL offseason is never to be without quarterback drama. What are the most pressing questions heading into the new season?

With new faces on new teams in new cities, record-breaking contracts being signed, and underperforming and rookie QBs needing to prove themselves, there are whole host of storylines as we approach the new NFL season.

Will Aaron Rodgers make it in New York?

The biggest trade of the offseason saw four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers swap Green Bay for New York in a marriage of convenience between two parties desperately seeking Super Bowl glory. 

Rodgers and the Jets have one Super Bowl win apiece, which is far too few given their histories.

Rodgers' switch to Gang Green saw their Super Bowl odds jump to +1400, but he arrives off the back of a down year and with questions over whether he's in decline. 

The 39-year-old had his fewest passing yards having played 16 games or more in a season since 2014 and threw for just 26 touchdowns. He also posted 12 interceptions, the second-highest total of his career for a season.

Rodgers will point to a lack of talent at wide receiver in Green Bay and a broken thumb as mitigating factors for his disappointing year, but that won't silence the doubters. 

With an excellent array of offensive weapons and an improved offensive line in New York, there's no room for excuses from Rodgers this season.

Will Deshaun Watson rediscover his mojo?

Another quarterback looking to prove he can still be a top-tier player is Deshaun Watson, who returned to action towards the end of last season following nearly two years on the sidelines.

While serving his suspension, Watson was traded from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns, who handed him the biggest guaranteed contract in NFL history.

But when Watson finally took to the field for the final six games of the 2022 campaign, the Browns may have had buyers regret.

Watson posted the lowest completion percentage of his career (58.2) as the Browns went to finish the year 3-3 and there were few visible signs of him improving as time went on. 

Once an NFL MVP candidate, Cleveland remain hopeful Watson can get back to his best and have tried to improve the team around him this off-season. It's now down to Watson to prove he isn't washed up with the 27-year-old +250 to post over 4000 regular season passing yards.

Which rookie QB will make the biggest impact?

Three quarterbacks were selected in the top four picks of this year's draft so naturally there's plenty of debate as to which of them will be the quickest to adapt to the NFL.

The Carolina Panthers took Bryce Young number one overall off the back of a Heisman Trophy-winning college career. Young is highly talented and is +425 to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year this season, but there are serious doubts about his durability at 6ft and 194 pounds.

CJ Stroud was tagged as the most NFL-ready of the QBs coming into the draft but there's a fear he doesn't have much room for improvement with the Houston Texans, while some of his test results raised alarm. 

Finally, Anthony Richardson was viewed as the biggest boom or bust prospect. The Florida graduate has the size and athleticism that fits the bill of a modern-day quarterback but his passing skills leave a lot to be desired in college.

Given recent trends for only a select few quarterbacks to make the grade, there's a real worry at least one of the trio won't stand up to the NFL.

Were the Ravens and Giants right to pay Lamar Jackson and Daniel Jones?

Some big-money contracts were handed out in the offseason with two of the biggest going to Giants QB Daniel Jones and Lamar Jackson of the Ravens

Jones got a four-year, $160 million contract from Big Blue after a career year in which he surpassed his previous record for passing yards and TDs, while setting a franchise record for rushing yards for a quarterback. 

He thrived in head coach Brian Daboll's offense on a play-off team but given his previous issues passing the ball, his injury-prone body and his struggles against top defenses, it remains a risk committing so much money to Jones.

The same could be said of Jackson, now the NFL's highest-earning player after protracted negotiations ended with him signing a five-year, $260 million extension. 

Jackson's health is a real issue with no quarterback having taken more hits than Baltimore's signal caller since he entered the league. He's failed to finish the last two seasons due to injury and didn't garner much attention when he requested a trade due in part to his health issues.

When he's fit and firing, Jackson is a special player, one that collected the MVP award in 2019 and holds the NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season. 

He and the Ravens, a +2000 shot for the Super Bowl, could do special things, but a lot rests on how his body holds up going forward.

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