Predicting the 2016 QB depth charts for every team

NFL Nation reporters predict what all 32 quarterback depth charts will look like entering next season. Each depth chart is listed in sequential order (starter, then second-string, then third-string -- if applicable).


Buffalo Bills

Tyrod Taylor, EJ Manuel, 2016 draft selection

I wouldn't entirely discount the possibility of the Bills bringing aboard Robert Griffin III or another veteran, but the overwhelmingly likely option is that they will find a quarterback in the draft and groom him as their No. 3. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill, Logan Thomas

Tannehill signed a $96 million extension last year, and this will be a huge season to determine if he is the long-term solution. Thomas is a backup project the team likes. The Dolphins probably won't keep three quarterbacks unless they select one in the early or middle rounds of the NFL draft. -- James Walker

New England Patriots

Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo

The only question for the Patriots is who they potentially add as a No. 3 option for offseason camps and into the 2016 preseason. They usually only keep two QBs on the active roster during the season, but it couldn't hurt to develop a signal-caller on the practice squad. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty

Same as last season. Expect the Jets to re-sign Fitzpatrick, a pending free agent, to a multi-year contract. They will give Petty an opportunity to win the No. 2 job -- they want him to win it -- but they will ultimately stick with Smith, whose cap figure ($1.6 million) isn't outrageous for a quarterback with starting experience. If they draft a quarterback on the first or second day, Smith probably would be the odd-man out. He'd be trade bait. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett

The plan is for Flacco to be the starter and Mallett to be the primary backup when the 2016 season begins. Of course, that hinges on Flacco being fully recovered from a season-ending knee injury and Mallett avoiding behavioral issues that led to his release in Houston. The only other quarterback currently signed is Jerrod Johnson, who has been with four NFL teams and has never made a regular-season roster. If the Ravens have any concerns with Flacco's health, it wouldn't be surprising to see Baltimore re-sign Jimmy Clausen, who started two games for the team last season. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton, AJ McCarron

Cincinnati will enter the 2016 season at quarterback the exact same way it entered the 2015 season: with Dalton starting over McCarron. Former Bengals offensive coordinator and new Browns coach Hue Jackson could try to lure McCarron away in a possible trade this offseason, but what would Cleveland be able to offer the Bengals in return? Not to mention, what incentive would the Bengals to trade McCarron within the division after such solid play at the end of last season? None. Cincinnati is quite pleased with its quarterback situation; one that certainly is one of the best in football. It'll remain the same. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns

Josh McCown, Jared Goff, Austin Davis

The Browns' QB depth chart is the definition of a moving target. The team seems committed to bringing back Josh McCown and moving on from Johnny Manziel. That makes McCown the starter by default. The backup will likely come from the draft. I've penciled in Goff, who starred at Cal and is Mel Kiper's No. 1 QB. He could certainly be around when the Browns pick second overall. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, 2016 draft selection

After Roethlisberger, things get tricky. Jones will return on the fourth and final year of a rookie deal. And though he's no lock to secure the No. 2 job, he's in competition for it and will likely be the backup for offseason workouts. Signing a high-level backup in free agency would cost at least $4 million, which is a lot for a team that would prefer to spend elsewhere. Mike Vick and Bruce Gradkowski are both free agents. It's possible both won't return. Expect the No. 3 job to go to a mid- to late-round draft pick. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

Tom Savage/2016 draft selection, Brian Hoyer, Savage/2016 draft selection

What we don't know about the Texans' 2016 quarterback room far outweighs what we do know. Savage, who was a fourth-round pick in 2014, is intent on winning the starting job. Texans owner Bob McNair wants the team to draft and develop a good young quarterback who can be the team's starter of the future. The best guess at this point is that Savage and TBD Rookie will compete for the starting job, with the loser being relegated to third string. The thought process there? Hoyer wasn't dependable as a starter, but he has played really well as a backup for the Texans previously. He'd have the experience edge over the loser of the Savage/Rookie competition. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck, Josh Freeman, Stephen Morris

The Colts hope to sign Luck to a nine-figure contract extension during the offseason. Freeman, who is 12 years younger than last season's backup and free-agent-to-be Matt Hasselbeck, helped his case by throwing for 149 yards just days after signing with the Colts in Week 17. Morris is more of a long-term project for the Colts. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Blake Bortles, Chad Henne

Bortles is the only quarterback who is under contract for the 2016 season. The Jaguars and Henne have both expressed a desire for him to return, and if the Jaguars can work out a deal, he'd be the No. 2. The Jaguars will bring in a couple camp arms but may opt to carry only two QBs, as they did in 2015. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota, Zach Mettenberger

The Titans didn't carry a third quarterback at the start of 2015 and could easily decide to take the same course in 2016. Mariota is locked in as their starter and protecting him is a top priority, so they are hopeful he plays for 16 games in his second season. Mettenberger did not take advantage of his opportunities in his second season. The team is now 0-10 when he plays. Perhaps he will be more suited for the system Mike Mularkey and Terry Robiskie will install. But his stock is way down. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos

Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, 2016 draft selection

At the moment, the Broncos don't exactly have a QB depth chart. Peyton Manning is trying to decide whether or not to retire, and even if he wants to come back, the team will want to address his $21.5 million salary cap hit for 2016 -- the last year of his contract. Osweiler is an unrestricted free agent. The Broncos want to keep him and have worked hard to make him an enticing offer. He knows the Broncos, they know him and the starting for a team with more Super Bowl appearances than losing seasons over the last three-plus decades is a powerful lure, even against non-playoff teams looking to make a splash in free agency. So, I'll go with Osweiler as the starter, provided the money is close enough to compete with other offers. If, for whatever reason, the Broncos can't tie a bow on a deal for Osweiler, Siemian, a seventh-round draft pick in 2015, will almost certainly be joined by one -- possibly two -- quarterbacks to be named later. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith, Aaron Murray, Tyler Bray

Chase Daniel, the No. 2 quarterback for the past three seasons, is set to be an unrestricted free agent in March. The Chiefs have groomed Murray and Bray for this occasion and one of them will step into the job. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr, Matt McGloin

No mystery here. Carr is the franchise quarterback the team has been searching for since Rich Gannon retired. After Carr, who passed for 3,987 yards and 32 TDs last year with 13 interceptions, Matt McGloin is a restricted free agent who has been a serviceable second-stringer, having backed up Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn, Matt Schaub and Carr since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2013. -- Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers, Brad Sorensen, 2016 draft selection

Rivers is the unquestioned starter for the Chargers. He hasn't missed a game in a decade, and is the most talented quarterback in the AFC West heading into the 2016 season. Sorensen, a third-year pro, is the only other signal-caller on San Diego's roster. The Chargers could look to bring back veteran quarterback Kellen Clemens in free agency, or select a developmental prospect in the draft. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo, Kellen Moore, 2016 draft selection

The debate will rage about whether the Cowboys should use the fourth overall pick on a quarterback, but the feeling now is they will look at another spot and take a QB later in the draft as a possible future starter. There is no doubting Romo's spot atop the depth chart, and the Cowboys will ride with him for the next three or four years. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is a big fan of Moore and believes he can be a viable No. 2. Depending on where (or when) the Cowboys draft a quarterback, the job could be Moore's. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib

Manning hasn't missed a game since he got the job as the Giants' starting quarterback in 2004. Nassib is entering the final year of his rookie deal, but he has proven to be a capable backup and reliable scout-team QB, which is all the Giants look for in their No. 2. It's not crazy to think they could draft a developmental QB with Nassib entering his final year, but they hated carrying three QBs when Nassib was a rookie in 2013, and I'd be surprised to see them do so in 2016. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles

Sam Bradford, Paxton Lynch, Mike Kafka

This could be completely wrong. But the assumption is the Eagles will find a way to keep Bradford, while still drafting a quarterback they can develop. By the time Lynch is ready, they'll know if Bradford is the guy or not. With Mark Sanchez released for cap space, Kafka is a veteran who worked with coach Doug Pederson in 2011. He won't cost much and will be familiar with the offense. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins

Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

Cousins will be the No. 1 quarterback, but after him it's a little tricky. The best guess is they will re-sign McCoy to serve as the No. 2. There's a good chance they'd keep only two QBs on the roster. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler, David Fales, 2016 draft selection

Barring a surprise move, Cutler is likely the Bears' starting quarterback again in 2016. Cutler is already guaranteed $10 next season; with another $6 million guaranteed scheduled to kick in on March 11. The club thinks highly of Fales, who spent part of 2015 as Cutler's primary backup. Fales is expected to be in the mix for a backup role, along with Matt Blanchard. After that, it's a mystery. The Bears badly need to find Cutler's eventual replacement. Don't be surprised if general manager Ryan Pace selects a quarterback at some point in this draft. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford, free-agent/trade pick-up, 2016 draft selection

Stafford is the clear starter. Dan Orlovsky is a pending free agent, but with Jim Caldwell and Jim Bob Cooter returning to the Lions, there's a chance the Lions will bring him back as an experienced No. 2. With that said, it would not be surprising to see Detroit draft a quarterback in the middle rounds to groom as a developmental backup to Stafford. That was how the Patriots often handled the backup quarterback situation (Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Matt Cassel and Jimmy Garoppolo), so with former New England director of pro scouting Bob Quinn now running the show, don't be surprised if Detroit takes one on the third day of the draft. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley, 2016 late-round draft selection

The Packers would love to have both backup quarterbacks, Scott Tolzien and Hundley, behind Rodgers again next season. But with Tolzien headed toward free agency and the potential Hundley showed last summer in the preseason, the Packers might end up elevating Hundley to No. 2. If that's the case, then they'll probably sign a free agent quarterback or use a late-round pick one to fill out the No. 3 spot, whether that's on the roster or practice squad. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill, Taylor Heinicke

Hill is signed for the 2016 season at $3.25 million, and he figures to back-up Bridgewater again at age 36. But Heinicke, an undrafted who was on the roster as the third QB in 2015, could push Hill for the No. 2 spot. It's unlikely the Vikings would go without a veteran backup for Bridgewater, but with another strong training camp and preseason, Heinicke could make things interesting. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan, free-agent/trade pick-up/2016 draft selection

Falcons owner Arthur Blank told me Ryan "absolutely" is the quarterback to lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl, so don't expect any type of change at the top of the depth chart at quarterback. Behind Ryan, I could see the Falcons pursuing a veteran free agent. Matt Schaub is a name to keep an eye on if he has a desire to continue his career. Although Schaub didn't fare well with the Ravens this past season, he thrived in Kyle Shanahan's offense back in Houston and could be a reliable backup if the two were reunited. The Falcons had just two quarterbacks on the roster last season, so I don't see that changing. The upgrade at the backup spot would leave Sean Renfree, the No. 2 in 2015, out of the mix. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton, Derek Anderson, Joe Webb

Newton and Anderson are under contract, and management likely will re-sign Webb to another one-year deal. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees, Luke McCown, Garrett Grayson

The Saints have generally preferred an experienced veteran backup, and McCown did a great job replacing Brees for one game last year. So I expect McCown to be re-signed as a free agent as long as he is fully recovered from November back surgery. Grayson will be the most fascinating backup to watch this summer, after he essentially redshirted as a third-round draft choice in 2015. There's a chance Grayson could push for the No. 2 job this year. And it will be interesting to see if he shows the potential to develop into a future replacement for Brees. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston, Mike Glennon, Ryan Griffin

Winston arguably should have been the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and he's the Bucs' unquestioned starter. They're in good shape behind him, with Glennon and Griffin both under contract in 2016. Glennon has started 18 games with the Bucs, including 13 in 2013, and has thrown 29 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions, which makes him one of the more accomplished backups in the league. -- Mike DiRocco


Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, 2016 draft selection

Obviously, Palmer will remain the starter as long as he's physically able to. Even though Stanton is preparing to not be a Cardinal in 2016, I think the Cards will reach a deal with the backup because stability behind Palmer is crucial. But I don't expect Matt Barkley to return. Instead, the Cardinals will draft a quarterback who has a legitimate opportunity to replace Palmer as the starter when he retires. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Case Keenum, free-agent/trade pick-up/2016 draft selection, Sean Mannion

It's difficult to project how this will look so far out, but we'll operate under the assumption that the Rams will bring in at least one quarterback either via the draft or free agency. But it's still hard to envision them getting one who we can safely project to be the starter here in February. So for now, we'll go with Case Keenum, TBD New Quarterback and Sean Mannion as the Rams' top three. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, 2016 draft selection

Oh boy. This already-murky QB situation got even more unpredictable after new coach Chip Kelly offered a lukewarm endorsement of Kaepernick, while praising Gabbert. But the odds are still in favor of Kaepernick getting the start Week 1, provided he buys in to Kelly's program and is fully recovered from surgeries to his left knee, right thumb and left shoulder. A few wild cards: The 49ers have the seventh overall pick in the draft. If Kelly's QB of choice falls that far, might he pull the trigger? And what about free-agent-to-be Sam Bradford, who played under Kelly in Philadelphia last season? If Kelly moves on from Kaepernick altogether, Bradford could be an option too. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson

Wilson has proven to be one of the most durable quarterbacks in the NFL. He has not missed a game or even a practice in four seasons. But the Seahawks still need to get their backup situation in order. Jackson is an unrestricted free agent and could see if he has more of an opportunity to play elsewhere. If he signs with another team, the Seahawks will likely look to sign a quarterback of similar talent and ability. -- Sheil Kapadia