Gardner Minshew has proven he's one of the best backup quarterbacks in football, to say the absolute least. He's certainly done enough to deserve a chance to compete for a starting gig in 2021, but it's unlikely that happens with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are probably giving Trevor Lawrence the keys to the franchise, and frankly, anything else he wants come April.
That makes Minshew expendable. And if he does actually hit the trade block, expect the smart organizations to start blowing up Jacksonville's phone. Minshew is more than just a mustache. He's actually one of just four QBs in NFL history that attempted at least 450 passes as a rookie and posted an adjusted yards per attempt mark (AY/A) above 7.20.
The other three names to do so are legit, no-doubt franchise QBs in: Dak Prescott (8.60), Justin Herbert (7.57) and Baker Mayfield (7.48).
If Jacksonville makes the Mississippi Mustache available, here are the three most likely trade destinations for the Jaguars' QB.
3. New England Patriots
Personality wise, a marriage between the New England Patriots and the player affectionately known as the Jock Strap King would be a pretty strange fit. He's certainly not the buttoned-up, workman-like player Bill Belichick has tended to target over the years. But just looking at what he's put on tape, this fit actually makes a ton of sense. Aside from the fumbling issues, Minshew largely played mistake-free football as a rookie. Making 12 appearances in 2019, he tossed 21 touchdowns to 6 INTs, and it's not like he was working with much talent in Jacksonville. His numbers took a dive in 2020, but he was considerably better before breaking his thumb (and playing through it) in Week 5. Minshew's lightning-quick, precise passes would make him an excellent fit in New England. And his ability to make off-script plays would be a huge help to an offense that's otherwise bereft of talent.
2. Denver Broncos
After what they saw from Drew Lock in 2020, there's no way the Denver Broncos can be 100% committed to the Missouri product as the future of this franchise. That doesn't mean they'll definitely move on from him, but bringing in some legitimate competition feels like a no-brainer. Minshew certainly fits the bill. Before that injury torpedoed his season, the Mustache was averaging 287.8 passing yards per game with 10 TDs to 4 INTs. Removing the game Lock left with an injury, and he averaged 242.8 passing yards per outing with 16 TDs to 15 INTs through 12 contests. Minshew was the considerably more productive player of the two despite playing with a significantly less talented supporting cast. If Denver made this a real competition, it wouldn't be the least bit shocking to see Minshew win the job.
1. Washington Football Team
If you thought the Taylor Heinicke game was fun, the Washington Football Team trading for Minshew would be like the Heinicke experience on steroids. This fit just makes sense on pretty much every level. Minshew's tough, hard-nosed style would mesh perfectly with the culture Ron Rivera is creating around young studs like Chase Young, Montez Sweat and Terry McLaurin. In fact, Minshew brings a lot of the same things to the table that a healthy Alex Smith would. Both are hyper-accurate passers who don't throw many interceptions and can really threaten defenses with their legs. To put it simply, Minshew would inject some life into an offense that sorely needs it, just as Heinicke did. With the Mississippi Mustache at the helm, Washington would have a real shot at back-to-back NFC East crowns.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.