The Jacksonville Jaguars have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. With fair assumption, that first pick of the Urban Meyer era will be former Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence (barring any unseen circumstances). If the Jaguars decide to make Lawrence the future of their franchise, then they would most likely end up signing a veteran backup QB to serve as mentor for the young QB..
If that’s the case, that would make Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew expendable, allowing them to explore a trade to possibly get a pretty decent return of draft capital for him. That is what appears to be happening now, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport (@RapSheet) who reports that they have been receiving calls from teams inquiring about Minshew.
If you’re a franchise that is searching to add a quarterback, but don’t have a lot of cap flexibility, or a high draft pick, you should look at acquiring Minshew. There is so much potential value acquiring the former 2019 6th-round pick. He has exceeded all expectations going 6-6 as a rookie starter, and has proved he’s more than capable of handling adversity.
In his two seasons so far in the NFL, in 20 combined starts he has thrown for 5,530 YDS, 37 TD-11 INT. With the recent free agent signings of veteran QBs such as; Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and Tyrod Taylor all earning more than $5M, it would be such a bargain to acquire a QB that that has starting experience and will be only 25-years old next season.. It would not cost much money at all to acquire him, as he would make $850k in ’21 and $765k in ’22 if a team acquired him via trade.
Of course, if you want to acquire Gardner it would cost draft capital, but when you look around the league at the amount that other teams have had to give up to acquire a caliber starting QB is a hefty amount (Matt Stafford, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff are recent examples).
One quarterback that continues to be brought up in trade rumors is New York Jets QB Sam Darnold, because they are in pretty much the same situation – as they select No. 2 overall. When you compare Minshew & Darnold, there is a lot more value acquiring Minshew.
Teams won’t have to give up as much in draft capital, compared to Darnold. Also, you don’t have to make a decision to financially commit long-term to Minshew; opposed to Darnold would be a free agent if he’s not offered a 5th-year option.
Darnold might be the bigger name because of his draft pick, but he has not done anything on the field to demonstrate that he’s clearly a better QB than Minshew.. Darnold has thrown 28 more career interceptions than Minshew, while only throwing 8 more touchdowns in his career so far than Minshew. Minshew notably has thrown more touchdowns than Daniel Jones, who was drafted 1st-round in the same draft.
A team like the San Francisco 49ers who have Jimmy Garoppolo should look to acquire Minshew. Garoppolo is about 5 years older than Minshew and only has 14 more career passing touchdowns, despite already earning over $86M in his career so far (according to OverTheCap).
Another team that would make sense would be the New England Patriots, as Minshew would be able to compete with Cam Newton, who has only thrown 8 touchdowns since 2018 (17 games).
Stay tuned and follow @OffTheGridiron_ on Twitter for the latest updates regarding Minshew and around the rest of the league.