The NFC South was the worst division in football this season, and a couple of days ago, it got even worse as Tom Brady announced his retirement. We’ll see how long that lasts; I’m still skeptical he actually decides to hang it up, but regardless, I don’t see him returning to Tampa Bay. The Bucs are in dire need of a quarterback, but so is everybody else in the division, which begs the question — who the hell has the best signal caller in the NFC South right now?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Let’s begin with the team that’s in the worst position, the Bucs. The only rostered quarterback on Tampa Bay right now is Kyle Trask, who has appeared in one game — Week 18 against the Falcons — completing three of his nine attempts for 33 yards. The only positive of his NFL debut was that he didn’t throw an interception. I was a fan of Trask coming out of college and still think he could eventually be an NFL quarterback, but right now, he’s nowhere close. The Buccaneers have to find a solution this offseason, even if they decide to tear things down and completely rebuild.
Nobody is talking about the Carolina Panthers, but they finished strong under Steve Wilks and probably have the best roster all around. The problem is they have no idea what they are going to do at quarterback right now. The only options they have rostered are Matt Corral and Jacob Eason. Like Trask, I liked both of them in college… but neither should be starting in the NFL next season, and they likely won’t. Given the current construction of the roster, look for the Panthers to be aggressive this offseason in finding new head coach Frank Reich a competent signal caller for next year and beyond.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints are another team without an inspiring signal caller heading into 2023. If the season started tomorrow, Jameis Winston would probably win the job over Taysom Hill. And he still might not be the best quarterback in the division. That’s how weird things look heading into the offseason. Surely, the Saints will add to the position, but they don’t have a ton of options, given their cap situation and lack of draft capital, even after trading Sean Payton to the Broncos.
That brings us to the Atlanta Falcons, and as crazy as it sounds, they might have the best quarterback situation going into the offseason. Ridder may not have lit the world on fire in his first four starts or as experienced as Winston, but he was somewhat competent and improved with each outing. That’s more than you can say about every other currently rostered NFC South quarterback outside of Winston. What’s even crazier is Ridder may not even be the starter for the Falcons next year. There are plenty of ways Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith could choose to upgrade the position. This will be a wild offseason for the division as they all search for the answer at the most important position in sports.
Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire