NFL quarterback is the most complex and prestigious position in team sports. He must have mastery of the entire offensive playbook, a strong strategic sense to maneuver his teammates in the right position, as well as the ability to make snap judgment decisions. Having the ability to throw from the pocket has always been important. However, there are a few NFL quarterbacks that have proven that the ability to move out of the pocket is equally important.
Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott, Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson, Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson, and Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes are great examples of quarterbacks that are prolific in and out of the pocket. Prescott, Watson, Jackson, and Mahomes provide stability at quarterback, considering they were each rated within the top 15 quarterbacks based on 2019 quarterback rating.
The aforementioned quarterbacks are reaching the end of their rookie contracts, and are looking forward to signing lucrative contract extensions. Prescott and Mahomes are currently in negotiation with their respective teams. Early indications are that neither Prescott nor Mahomes are willing to sign salary cap friendly deals so that the Cowboys and Chiefs can sign other key players. Nor should they.
Prescott has amassed a 40-24 record in his first four years in Dallas, including one playoff win. Mahomes has a league MVP award, a Super Bowl title, and a Super Bowl MVP award in only two years. It’s not their responsibility to construct and maintain a Super Bowl contender. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has that responsibility, and if he can’t handle it, it’s his fault. Same with Chiefs’ general manager Brett Veach. He’ll have to find ways to either resign key players, or replace them with players willing to make less money while maintaining team success.
Watson and Jackson will be due for contract extensions after the 2020 season. They shouldn’t give any hometown discounts either, despite their recent playoff struggles. Watson and the Texans reached the divisional round in last year’s playoffs, relinquishing a 24 point lead before losing to the Chiefs 51-31. Jackson’s Ravens crumbled under lofty expectations in 2019 as Baltimore, the AFC’s top seed, lost in the divisional round to the Tennessee Titans 28-12.
Jackson, the league MVP in 2019, struggled to move the Ravens’ potent offense after running roughshod over the NFL in 2019. He threw for 36 touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing for an NFL record 1,206 yards at the quarterback position. During Jackson’s rookie season in 2018, the Ravens lost a home wildcard playoff game to the Los Angeles Chargers. Ravens’ fans figured Jackson and his teammates would come into 2019 stronger than ever.
Unfortunately, Jackson now possesses an 0-2 playoff record, with the Titans’ loss crushing whatever Super Bowl aspirations the Ravens had. Jackson’s game is ascending, as Baltimore is considered one of the favorites, along with Kansas City, to reach Super Bowl LV. That sure ensure that he, along with Watson, will be able to sign the most lucrative deals they can get.