The quarterback that NFL teams should be trading for is not on the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, or Houston Texans. This quarterback plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars and no, it’s not C. J. Beathard. The aforementioned quarterback is Gardner Minshew.
Yes, the dude with the killer mustache and jorts should be a quarterback of interest for teams who either need a backup or want to bring in some competition.
With the additions of Trevor Lawrence* and CJ Beathard, the Jaguars’ quarterback room has no room for Minshew. The team would be doing themselves a disservice to keep Minshew as their third quarterback. The Jaguars should trade Minshew in the coming months, and according to Ian Rapoport, teams are interested.
There is a 99.9% chance the Jaguars draft Trevor Lawrence with the first pick. Let’s assume it happens.
If a team needs a starting QB, Minshew may not be as appealing as Deshaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo, or Sam Darnold. However, between his age, talent, and contract, there’s a lot to like about Minshew.
First, Minshew is entering his third season in the NFL. Minshew is 24 to turning 25. Do you want to know what other quarterbacks are 24/25? Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, Daniel Jones, and Darnold are all 24 and under. Outside of Darnold and (maybe) Jones, is Minshew on the same talent level as the other guys? I’ll go one step further and say he’s better than Haskins and Lock.
Minshew’s age might be appealing, but his contract is extremely desirable. One of the best ways to build teams in the NFL is to go all-in with a quarterback on a rookie deal and surround him with quality talent. In other words, it’s the exact opposite of what the Jets did with Darnold. With a cap hit of under $1m in each of the next two seasons, Minshew is a cheap option.
Obviously, the most important aspect of Minshew’s appeal is his play on the field. Is he a great quarterback? No. Is he a good quarterback who can produce and win games? I believe he can.
During his rookie season in 2019, Minshew went 6-6 as a starter and threw for 3271 yards, 21 TD, 6 INT with a 60.6% completion percentage. Not bad for a 6th-round pick. Last year, Minshew played most of the year with a thumb fracture and ligament strain. Still, Minshew raised his completion percentage to 66.1%. Overall, he’s thrown for 27 TDs and 11 INTs in two seasons. Keep in mind that the Jaguars traded or cut most of their “good” players in 2020.
Numbers don’t tell the entire story with Minshew. He’s deceptively mobile, especially in the pocket. Minshew became the leader of the team once the organization chose him over Nick Foles, who was traded to the Bears. Likability isn’t towards the top of important characteristics I’d want in a quarterback, but how can you not root for a guy like Minshew that shows up and gives it his all each week?
To acquire Minshew, teams would most likely have to trade at least a fourth-round pick. Would you rather take a flyer on a Day 3 quarterback or trade for Minshew? I’ll go one set further and say Minshew is better than any QB you’ll find on Day 3. Swapping a fourth for a cheap, proven commodity seems like a no-brainer.
There are quite a few teams with quarterback issues. Either these teams signed uninspiring options in the offseason or they might run out someone with more questions than answers.
I’m going to name some teams and their quarterback situations. Tell me which option you’d rather have.
Chicago Bears: 33-year-old Andy Dalton, who signed for $10 million, and Nick Foles, who was traded to Chicago from Jacksonville, or Minshew?
Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, who had a 57.3% completion percentage and 15 INTs in 2020, or Minshew?
New England Patriots: Cam Newton, who threw for 8 TD and 10 INT in 15 games last season, and Jared Stidham, who can’t even get on the field, or Minshew? Jim Nagy, the director of the Senior Bowl and former NFL scout, also believes the Pats should trade for Minshew.
Washington Football Team: Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed for $10 million, and Taylor Heinicke or Minshew? Before Fitzpatrick signed, FanSided analyst Matt Verderame said, “Gardner Minshew, if I’m Washington, I’m calling them every day, ‘You want a third-round pick? We’ll give you a third-round pick.'”
If you’re like me, you answered Minshew in every option. Minshew produced and won games for an awful team. Imagine what he could do in the right system.
Is Gardner Minshew a franchise quarterback? Probably not. But if a team needs an effective backup to compete with the starter, why not take a chance on Minshew?