Rams: Does Tom Brady’s retirement impact Matthew Stafford?
By Bret Stuter
Does Brady impact NFL free-agent quarterbacks?
Perhaps the bigger impact that Tom Brady’s retirement creates is the LA Rams’ strategy to fill the quarterback room this offseason. How so? Well, the lack of a quarterback who is such a known commodity as Tom Brady automatically shrinks the pool of quarterback talent available in the NFL Free Agent market, and yet it also elevates the demand somewhat. Here’s what I mean.
If an NFL team is in the market for a free-agent quarterback, the addition of Tom Brady is not the type of addition that needs to be hedged. But now, with the absence of Brady, a team may settle for a veteran quarterback like former-49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The problem is that Garoppolo is injury prone, which could compel the team to add an additional quarterback for good measure. That effect creates a higher-than-average demand on quarterback resources this off-season.
Typically, that would not impact the Rams, a team that has been content to rely on the durability of the starting quarterback, and use backup quarterbacks as offensive trainers to assist in onboarding new faces to training camp, and who can run opposing offenses to prepare the defense in weekly practices.
The LA Rams had an impromptu audition for a backup quarterback when the team claimed quarterback Baker Mayfield off the Carolina Panthers waiver wire. While we will remember his incredible Mayfield Miracle victory just hours after arriving with the team, and the incredible offensive output on Christmas Day over the visiting Denver Broncos, we cannot forget that he struggled at times too.
Is he good enough to reclaim a starting quarterback role in the NFL Free Agency market? Some are convinced that he can. I, on the other hand, do not believe that he is quite ‘there’ yet. He had a shot at starting for both the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers, and for various unrelated reasons, those opportunities never seemed to work out.
The market has shifted now, thanks to Tom Brady’s retirement. With one starting QB out of the talent pool, the demand for quarterbacks in this NFL Free Agency market may surpass the supply of talent. Should that happen, some NFL team is quite likely to give Baker Mayfield an opportunity to compete for a starting quarterback role on their team. That could directly impact the Rams plans for the position this offseason.
No, the Rams are not kicked back to square one. But the idea of the backup quarterback could be more of a mystery than originally thought. The reason? Tom Brady delayed his retirement for one more year.