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Starter QB demand double that of supply

How good are you at economics?

I ask because this post is about a fundamental principle of economics and good ol' American capitalism. This post is about the principle of supply and demand.

This post, by the way, also is about quarterbacks.

Simply, this offseason is not going to be very much different than the past couple of NFL offseasons in that there will be a number of available quarterbacks that seem on the surface to be potentially elite.

And there will be a number of NFL teams searching high and low for the available quarterbacks that seem on the surface to be potentially elite.

And the number of teams is greater than the number of candidate QBs.

That's bad if you're one of those quarterback-needy teams because someone is definitely going to be left looking beyond the draft's first round or beyond the first day of free agency for the elite quarterback they were supposed to find early in each process. Oh-oh.

Before I get into the ramifications of this, let's do the exercise.

The number of teams searching for a starting-caliber quarterback this offseason is eight by my count. Truth be told, it is probably more than that, but these are the teams most NFL people believe will be actively in the market for one of the available quarterbacks.

Those teams are Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington, Seattle, Arizona, Denver, possibly the New York Jets and, of course, the Miami Dolphins.

I did not include the Indianapolis Colts because unlike the other teams, we can be certain they will fill their QB need. They will either keep Peyton Manning (less likely) or they will draft Andrew Luck with the first overall selection (more likely).

The Colts could also do major damage to everyone's supply side economic plan by doing both, thereby taking two QBs off the market and creating a major scramble. But this is probably the least likely of the scenarios.

Beyond that, there are a number of quarterbacks seen as probable instant fixes to teams' QB issues. I'm not including QBs about to be picked late in the first round or on the second or third day of the draft because these, with few exceptions, cannot be instantly counted as immediate starters.

For our purposes, we're talking about QBs that teams will likely reach for with the expectation that they will immediately start in 2012.

And that number of quarterbacks after Luck is only four -- Peyton Manning, Green Bay free agent Matt Flynn, Heisman winner Robert Griffin III and Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

I would say even Tannehill is something of a reach as an immediate QB answer. From what I've seen, he's a project that will need a lot of work, a lot of honing, a lot of coaching to grow into an NFL starter. And even then there are questions.

Nonetheless, the grand need for start-capable guys almost forces me to put him in this group because folks at the Indianapolis Combine are talking about this kid being a top 20 pick and perhaps even higher if someone gets desperate enough.

So let's see ... the customers wanting to buy a QB will outnumber the so-called quarterback answers by about two to one.

Are you ready for a Black Friday-like scramble for the QBs? Are you ready to watch as somebody's going to be very, very disappointed?

For our purposes I'd like to eliminate the Jets from the conversation as a team wanting to draft a QB. The truth is they have what they think is a starter. And they have other needs. But because this teams is always wanting to do the back page headline grabbing thing, we cannot eliminate them as a suitor for Manning in free agency. That's the only place they probably factor.

As to how serious they will be, it must be said they can argue they're only a QB away from making a push deep into the playoffs because they made that push in 2009 and 2010. They can make the argument that there's no better place to succeed at QB than NY.

But they have salary cap issues and might have only $3-$5 million in space when the league year opens March 13. And to chase Manning, you have to convince him you're going to address your other obvious needs, thus surround him with a great chance to win now.

The Jets might not be financially able to make that argument.

That still leaves seven teams chasing four players. Let's examine those situations:

Denver? They also are only a threat in free agency. They have already stated they are going to bring in a QB to compete with Tim Tebow for the starter's job. So they are adding someone. But because they don't draft until No. 25 overall, they aren't a huge threat in the draft. They won't have the chips to move to the to top 10 to become a factor there.

The Broncos, however, are dangerous to the other teams if they chase Manning or Flynn. And that is possible. Fact is the Broncos can offer either QB perhaps the most playoff-ready team of any of the ones chasing a veteran QB. That is inarguable because not only did the Broncos go to the playoffs last season, they advanced to the divisional round after beating Pittsburgh. So they can make the case they have talent.

The Broncos also have a ton of cap room available, assuming they use approximately $27 million in carry over from this season. The Horsies can boast over $48 million in cap room to not only sign a QB but also address other issues that might concern a quarterback such as Manning.

Finally, the Broncos play in a division where 8-8 got them in the playoffs. That seems like a much easier assignment than say, playing in the AFC East where last season you had to win 14 games to beat out the 13-3 Patriots.

So consider the Broncos a (sorry for this) darkhorse candidate for Manning. They lurk and that is dangerous.

Cleveland is the most dangerous team on draft day. They have the No. 4 and the No. 22 overall selections in the first round of the coming draft. That means when the St. Louis Rams put their No. 2 overall pick on the block to the highest bidder, the Browns are a step ahead of everyone else in being the highest bidder if they wish.

What does that mean? It means the Cleveland Browns probably have first dibs on RG3 if they want it. They have the most chips on draft day and can offer St. Louis an immediate return in trade that no one else can match unless they throw in proven, young, outstanding players already in the league.

Overall, the most dangerous team out there seems to be Washington. They have both major salary cap space to work with -- approximately $41 million under the cap -- they have a proven Super Bowl winning coach, they have a hungry owner that isn't afraid to spend money, their revenue stream is consistent, and they also have the sixth overall pick in the draft.

So the Redskins can chase both Manning and Flynn if they want and if they fail to land either, they could offer the next most attractive package (as in having the highest pick this year) to the Rams. The Redskins are also probably the most desperate franchise searching for a signal-caller. They don't have anyone to play the position so they must add. And coach Mike Shanahan is likely soon feeling the need to produce a winner after failing to do that his first two seasons with the team.

That's not good for one of the highest-paid coaches in the league.

The Redskins are a dual threat both in free agency and the draft. They have a high pick and big cap room. And they can be portrayed as desperate enough. That makes them perhaps the most dangerous of the teams chasing a QB this offseason.

The Chiefs were flying under the radar until the Indianapolis combine because general manager Scott Pioli likes it that way. It's a smart approach. But behind the scenes they are clearly intent on bringing in quarterback competition for Matt Cassel. They said as much at the combine.

And while Pioli played coy about the possibility of adding Manning, coach Romeo Crennel opened the door to the idea. And everyone who heard him say KC would consider talent such as Manning's can see the Chiefs chase Manning.

They can make a strong case. They have nearly $48 million in cap room so they can not only fit Manning under the cap, but also add pieces to make him feel surrounded by talent and capable of competing immediately. That is probably attractive to the soon-to-be 36-year-old Manning.

The Arizona Cardinals are viewed as a team capable of attracting Manning. They can pitch the fact Larry Fitzgerald is elite and they have other offensive weapons on hand. They can pitch a domed stadium in which to play. They can pitch playing in a seemingly soft division. They can pitch the idea that adding Kurt Warner years ago got them to the Super Bowl and so a redo is possible.

But the Cardinals have only modest cap space estimated at about $10-$12 million. They have a proven offensive system already in place and might not be willing to change that all around for Manning. They're also somewhat committed to Kevin Kolb, who cost them a ton in contract money and compensation last year.

So I don't see them over-extending themselves for Manning. Chase him? Maybe. Land him? They probably are not a favorite.

As for their chase of Flynn or a draft pick, I don't see them repeating the Kolb exercise with Flynn and their No. 13 overall selection makes them a non-factor in the RG3 chase. They could factor for Tannehill.

Seattle seems a likely destination for Flynn. Their GM was in Green Bay when Flynn was drafted there. They have the feel of a franchise that wants to address the QB issue long-term rather than with a temporary bridge guy, which is what Manning seems to be.

Given that, the Seahawks could go all crazy and chase Manning and owner Paul Allen has $31 million in cap space to play with to surround Manning with talent if he desires. The Hawks also play in a winnable division. And Pete Carroll strikes me as a coach comfortable with turning over the offense to Manning where, say, a Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona doesn't.

Seattle owns the 12th pick in the draft. They'll have a hard time competing for RG3. They probably can chase Tannehill if they decide to go that direction. But again, this team seems like a good fit for Flynn.

And then, of course, there's the Dolphins. I'd put them down as a triple-threat kind of team. They don't have the most ammunition to get Manning because they are expected to have only approximately $15 million or so in cap space and while it is not so much about using that space on Manning, it would be necessary to use it on other players with whom to surround Manning with talent.

Miami is also a darkhorse team in a trade-up possibility for RG3 because they love the kid, general manager Jeff Ireland is well familiar with his abilities, and believes he has inside information on the kid. The Dolphins, owners of the No. 8 overall pick, have already spoken with the Rams about a potential trade-up to No. 2, according to one NFL source.

If the Dolphins do not land Manning or Flynn, I see a strong, strong push for RG3.

But let's face it, Miami's priority is Manning. Has been. Will continue to be. And it is probably solidified by the fact other teams now are viewing Manning as a good possibility. That mob mentality suggests the Dolphins are not failing to see something on Manning other teams are seeing.

No, both the Dolphins and other teams think Manning will continue to be a stud (I don't) so the Miami resolve may be strengthened. The fact both Ireland and new coach Joe Philbin said at the combine they are not tied to a 23, 29 or 33-year-old quarterback (Philbin's words) opens the door for the Manning chase.

The Dolphins don't mind going after the bridge QB. They're basically preparing you for that.

Miami loves its chances because Manning loves it in South Florida. As I reported first last week, he was working out in South Florida and as I reported first during Super Bowl week, he owns a condo here. The Dolphins see all that as an advantage.

The weather is also an advantage. The fact the defense was decent last year is a plus. The fact Miami has relatively high picks to use on players to surround Manning with talent is another advantage.

But the cap situation is not optimal. Competing against the Patriots every year is not a major plus. And even competing against Rex Ryan, who for all his faults is a good defensive coach, is also not a plus.

The Dolphins will be all in on Manning. If they fail there, that is a major, major setback. Where they go from there, I cannot tell you. The Dolphins haven't said how they feel about Flynn which would be the next chip to fall.

So that's it overall.

Later today I'll break down for you which players are most likely pointing to which teams. Obviously, the Dolphins are most pointed toward Manning. They are tilting the demand for the former Pro Bowl player heavily in a supply-poor environment.


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I don't see that the Browns will have a huge advantage over us in any trade for RGIII. Their roster isn't as good as ours and the 4th and 22nd this year can be trumped by us with an 8th this year plus our first next year (which is likely to be higher than 22nd). This idea that the Browns are in the driver's seat is some made up media creation. They have LOTS of holes to fill still.

Missed copying the full post:

If the Browns were smart, they would continue to build and invest in Colt McCoy. IMO, its far too early for them to give up on him.

Should the Browns win the RG3 sweepstakes it may be to our benifit to look into acquiring McCoy. But Im sure Ireland's not proactive enough to do that. LOL

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | February 28, 2012 at 04:17 PM

You are a clown.

I think Peyton Manning will be both Ireland's and Philbin's Alamo.

YG, you are right. The Mustache Man (Jeff Fisher) is a *coward*.

It's like the comparison of Lebron vs Jordan.
Fisher--one takes the easy path. One made the team great by himself (Manning is the Jordan of the NFL except with only 1 championship).


First of all, I like our Matt Moore option far better than any option we have drafting a qb outside of Luck and RG3. Of course I would love to get RG3, even if we didnt, I just wanna see Ireland make a serious try. even if we get, say, say Peyton Manning in fa.

Secondly, outside of the obvious, Luck and RG3. OVERALL, I like the 2011 class of qb's much better than this 2012 class. So I believe teaqms drafting from last year's class giving up on them so soon in order to get RG3 is far too premature. Sure RG# will be very exciting but the chance he wins or appears in more than 2 sb's is extremely slim. So these teams need to heavily weigh this too.

Lastly, unless you have a clearly identified qb problem, qb hopping has a chance to ultimately set you a little further back than moving your franchise foward. Not matter how suttle the move back may seem.

YG is nothing but a chuckling fool. Contradicts himself daily. Him and his usual response that new facts made him change his mind, nonsense. He is a seesaw. The thing is, first he laughs at those that disagree with him, then he changes his mind 180 2 days later.

YG is a chuckling awipe fool.

YG now wants Colt McCoy. LOL!

What an idiot.

I don't know how Cleveland gets into this qb mix. McCoy played well last year and they have other major concerns. I think they stand pat with the qb situation and draft other positions to help the current qb.

Yesterday's gone is 100 percent right about McCoy.

I would sign a decent castoff or development qb if Manning is not available and get a hole bunch of pass rushers (sack machines) and lineman. Matt Moore did well last year with a very dysfunctional coach. 6-3 is not bad. And after watching that Superbowl, Brady had a tough time with the New York defense. Maybe Wheeden would be the man. Then again, he could be another John Beck

We should sign Ronnie Brown off of waivers and then offer him plus Hartline to Indy for their number 1 so we can draft Luck.

Here is how good RGIII is: if they were smart, the Colts would surprise everyone and pick RGIII, not Luck. But Indy is a pure *garbage* organization, so that won't happen.

God I wish we could get RGIII. He is not Vick. He will be a star for years and win super bowls. But alas we lack the ammo. We won't be able to get him.

The first step to winning a super bowl is building a team that can consistently get into the playoffs!

Definition of Acorn:

Tweeking your roster to uncover a major contributor.

To bad Ireland's definition of "acorn" is using them to build a roster. Folks you dont win titles nor even consistenly make playoffs with "acorns" as your major building plan.

Do you hear that Jeff Ireland?

Ireland = Rocky the Squirrel(Acorns)
Sporano = Bullwinkle

My question is in hiring Joe Philbin did Ireland just hire his next "bullwinkle"?

Posted by: YG Blows | February 28, 2012 at 04:48 PM

Having a demented follower is the greatest form of flattery! LOL

Very true about ridiculing Yesterday's Gone.Unbelievable that he would want McCoy in a Dolphins' uniform if the Browns were to part with him.That is very worthy of scorn.

YG Blows, YG is a Dork,

You're both like the "ugly girl" in town who now thinks she's popular because she turned her first gangbang! LOL

we can get griffin, just offer more than the browns or skins are

we know the skins are offering this years and next years number ones plus 2 other mid round picks. we up the offer griffin is ours


Colt McCoy would come far cheaper than Matt Flynn. Plus, even Colt McCoy has just as much upside as the qb's available in the 2nd rd.

After Luck and RG3, there's nothing available but a bunch of "colt mccoys"! Glad at least I'm smart enough to see that!

There's rumors that the Browns will go after Matt Flynn.Use their draft picks to fill the many holes in their roster.Cleveland plays in the AFC Central.Where perennial Super Bowl Steelers have a cartel.The always tough and competitive Ravens perch.And the up and coming Bengals made the playoffs.So the Browns will stay pat.
Let's NOT pay the overpriced demand for RG3.We must be smarter than that.

browns have made an offer to rams also. nfl season starts on a wednesday this year

Sign Manning. Draft a qb 4th-6th rd if we cant get RG3. Matt Moore has just as much if not more upside of any qb available after Luck and RG3.

If we sign Manning, in 2-3yrs, Matt More will be just as capable of being our starting qb as any qb after Luck/RG3. That's why I say if we sign Manning why waste a 1st or 2nd rd pick on a qb who's upside's not visibluy better than Matt Moore. Geesh! LOL

matt moore is a backup, nothing more. manning cant even throw. u trade up

Everyone's aware that recent SB winners in the NFL had elite quarterbacks and everyone wants one. The problem is that there isn't that many teams that have that guy. Brady, Brees and Rodgers are certainly elite. Eli has probably made it. Stafford looks to be elite. Newton has a chance and Rivers, though without a SB still might be. Rothlisberger's stats aren't necessarily elite but winning SB's puts him there. So who else?? Nobody. Lot's of hopefuls but nobody. So you have 3/4 of the NFL either grooming what they hope to be their elite QB or looking for that guy. To further complicate the issue, half of the aforementioned QB's were not drafted in the top ten.


If youve noticed, my scenario is if moving up to get RG3 fails. Heck, after Luck and RG3, I dont see a qb in this draft guaranteed to be better than Matt Moore.

Moore's numerous 100 plus qb ratings suggests to me that Moore could at least be a top 10 starting qb if he cleans up a few things. Moore had at least 4-5 game with a qb rating of 90 or higher. You dont do that with smoke and mirrors.

Hopefully this new coaching staff can identify what Moore needs to clean up in his game and can coach those things out of him. Should this happen Matt Moore would be a definite top 10 nfl starting qb.

insane, matt moore is nothing above a decent backup qb. please do not accept this mediocre qb , we have been doing it since 2000

Lest we forget,Matt Moore is a back up qb folks.He was chump chad henne's back up.He didn't earn the starting job.The ineffectual henne got unfortunately injured and Matt Moore was throw in.He's a journeyman.Matt Moore is the back up folks.A BACK UP!

yeah no way mediocre moore is the answer. can we finally get a real qb

Unfortunately ineffectual henne WAS injured. Cause if chump chad would have played the entire dam n season We MOST certainly be drafting higher.Probably would have had a chance to draft RG3 without givin up anything.Dam n you chad chump, why didn't you have some balls and played hurt.

Ozkar...Moore was 6 and 6 as a starter with an 87.1 QB rating which paced him in the top ten. I agree that he's not elite but he's certainly at least an average NFL QB and a valued commodity as a stopgap if we draft a young QB or as a backup that has the ability to win when the starter goes down, which is often in the NFL. He's young enough to argue that in the right system he could take a team deep into the plaoffs.


Look its simple, there are 4 teams that really, really, really NEED a quarterback: Indianapolis Colts, Washington, Seattle, the Miami Dolphins.

There are 4 blue-chip prospects as far as quarterbacks: Payton Manning, Flynn, Luck and RG3.

Taking Indianapolis and Luck off the table, Washington has the motivation, money and history to edge out Miami and Seattle as in a bidding war over Manning, and Flynn and has the draft position to land RG3.

However, Washington has been a blackhole in terms of overpaid talent acquisition. How many big names have disappeared into obscurity after being lured by a huge contract offer by the Redskins? Joining the Washington organization means the kiss-of-death for most careers. So I don't expect Manning to go there. Flynn could be enticed with big money and RG3 might not have a choice.

I see Manning going to Miami, Flynn going to Seattle and poor RG3 going to the Redskins in a draft trade.

Mojo, Miami doesn't really, realy need a QB any more then at least half the league needs one as Moore had a better QB rating then half 2/3 of the other QB's. What I hope Miami see's is that you need an elite QB to win SB's and a good backup like Moore to win when the starter eventually goes down.

Dolphins passing has not worked for years.Go for power running game and solid defense.BALL CONTROL!

My BEST Fits and WHY

Matt Flynn: With all do respect Mando he's a better fit in Cleveland than he is in Seattle. The Offense in G.B.(West Coast S.F.) is one that was installed by M.Holgrem since way back in the early-90's everybody who's coached the Pack since has kept it while adding there own wrinkles. McCarthy is more vertical given his unique pieces but don't forget the 96 Pack was as well when they had Andre Rison to go with R.Brooks and Freemen at WR and Keith Jackson, Mark Chumura at TE also Dorsey Levens was a better threat in the pass than run game. Holgrem took his system with him to Seattle and traded for M.Hassalbeck who flourished in it having learned it while a back up to Favre.

In Flynn Holgrem knows what he gets and keeps his picks in a deep draft to address needs across the board. He knows how to use the draft and build teams and can see him going this route rather than mortgaging his team into 2014. Everybody forgets that if not for horrible phantom calls in S.B. XL Holgrem would have been the 1st H.C. to win S.B.'s with 2 different teams and he maybe the one Team Exec. out there who isn't exactly looking for an RG3 but more his type of cerebral signal caller having gone the other route with Seneca Wallace whom he drafted in Rd.4 in 03 while at Seattle instead opting for a trigger man to run his W.C. Offense, early in Favre's career his improv. style caused clashes with the controlled tempo Holgrem prefers in his W.C. Offense.

Peyton Manning: Seattle may actually be the front runner for P.Manning if not for the fact they essentially play for a European type plane ride (8 to 12 Hrs. from the Gulf Coast moving down South) on the other side of the Country in the Pacific Northwest near Vancouver, Canada. They have the H.C. who would let Manning do it his way (He often did with his Vet. QB's at USC) and some real nice pieces on O with Z.Miller, Sydney Rice and Marshawn (BEAST MODE) Lynch at R.B.

Anybody who has seen Peyton play knows he is at his most dangerous when he has solid play out of his T.E. and WR along with some balance at RB freezing LB's looking draw or screen keeping him from pressing and allowing him to dictate the pace.

Washington: They may have alot of CAP space but they have NO R.B. or WR's (PLURAL) to speak of except a bunch of declining old vets and Chris Cooley is always hurt as well as their "PREMIER" LT Trent Williams who is also another failed drug test away from a 1 Yr. suspension after being the 4th overall pick 2010. You then factor that the interior of their OL is a MESS and I don't see Manning going there. I will give you that Shanahan now more repentant than ever in taking that job would love to get Manning in an attempt to go out on top but don't see Peyton buying what they're selling.

The Cardinals: They are more or less in the same boat as Seattle in terms of distance because I don't think Manning will want to move his family across the Country. I think the BRONCOS and Chiefs are probably our biggest rivals in the Peyton sweepstakes derby because they do offer a Div. that even a 75% Peyton would dominate and have enough talent that he could challenge career nemesis Brady right away, these are the teams we should definitely fear!

The Jets: They blew their window in 2009-2010 and are declining in age. They aren't that big a contender and have all of Miami's same flaws with the exception we are a young nucleus while they're an older team across the board. The dysfunction that the group Rex built brings with their larger than life drama will be a huge turn off for the ALL BUSINESS Manning.

In the RG3 sweepstakes everybody will be in play it will just come down to who wants him more and yes Minnesota included who would be shopping Ponder if that situation would arise IMHO!

I think your supply and demand theory is flawed. The math is not so simple. There may be 8 teams in the hunt for a potentially ELITE quarterback, but less teams will be interested in an uncertain future or potential flop. Perhaps all 8 teams might be interested in RG3 (but the price will be steep and not all will reach for him), perhaps much fewer in Manning, and maybe half or less for Flynn or Tannehill depending on where they fall. Still other teams might want to pick in the second round.

Let's face it do you really think KC, Arizona,Cleveland, and Denver are going to reach for Tannehill or Flynn. Maybe but they have quarterbacks at this point that may be of more value.

In my opinion only three teams will make a strong offer for one of these 4 guys and land them: Washington, Miami, Seattle, and maybe Cleveland. This means we can most likely get Flynn or Tannehill if we want them. RG3 is anybodys game. And we will see what happens to Manning.

So you math is dependent upon which Quarterback vs how needy/desperate the team is that we are talking about!

Hunting dolphins is a good think or not?

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