NFL: Buccaneers, Rams Super Bowl wins could change QB landscape

NFL QB Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
NFL QB Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Super Bowl wins by the Buccaneers and Rams could change the NFL quarterback landscape.

Through the first 54 NFL Super Bowls there was just one Super Bowl Champion who’s starting quarterback was in their first season with the franchise. The 2000 Baltimore Ravens had Trent Dilfer under center who started just eight games during the regular season and appeared in 11 total, splitting time with Tony Banks. (Nick Foles was technically a new addition in Philadelphia in 2017, but it was his second stint with the team.) Now, back-to-back Super Bowl Champion quarterbacks have been with their respective team for just one season.

Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford have been the last two quarterbacks to hoist the Lombardi trophy and both were acquired by their respective teams no more than 13 months prior. Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through free agency and the Los Angeles Rams made the leap to trade for Matthew Stafford. The success of these two teams could end up changing the way NFL teams approach the quarterback position.

In the past, quarterback has been the core of building a franchise. Teams like the 1986 New York Giants and 2006 Indianapolis Colts spent years building around their franchise quarterbacks. Phil Simms and Peyton Manning were the focal point of how to build the roster. However, the success of the Bucs and Rams could push teams around the NFL to reconsider this process.

Both Tampa Bay and Los Angeles built the team first and upgraded the quarterback position as the final piece, resulting in Super Bowl victories. Jameis Winston and Jared Goff were serviceable starters, both being within a game of .500 or better in their final season with the team, but the organizations viewed the position as needing an upgrade.

The rest of the roster was already set for these two teams. The weapons at wide receiver were available, pieces on the defense were in place. The only thing missing was a top tier quarterback to get them over the hump. That’s what Brady and Stafford provided.

Instead of building a team around a star quarterback, these organizations built a team for a star quarterback. There wasn’t the waiting game of seeing if the quarterback would perform well enough, there wasn’t the questions of if it was quarterback struggles or the roster around them. Brady and Stafford walked into champion-ready teams and won titles.

Going into an offseason that is sure to see movement from the quarterback position, this could entice more NFL teams to open their minds to making a drastic change at quarterback. Names like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have the opportunity to be on the move and the success of Brady and Stafford makes trading for them seem more appealing.

There’s teams like the Tennessee Titans who have made the playoffs but might not have the right quarterback to go the distance, much like the Rams a year ago. There’s teams like the Denver Broncos who have weapons on the outside and the assets to improve the defense without a quarterback in place, much like the Bucs a few years ago. Could they be reopening conversations after another first-year quarterback-organization tandem lifted the Lombardi?

This goes beyond this upcoming offseason as well. Patience in the NFL isn’t what it used to be. Coaches and quarterbacks alike are let go faster than before, so finding the right combination is a premium even more now than it used to be. So why aren’t teams making the jump to add top quarterback talent more often?

For starters, teams usually aren’t willing to part with top talent and if they do the price is high. The Rams simply stole Matthew Stafford. It cost them Jared Goff, two first round picks and a third round pick. That price will go up for other QBs based purely on the success of Stafford, not to mention others on the table are a bit more highly regarded.

If there are teams ready to make this leap, the price will be high. Stafford hadn’t won a playoff game before this season. The top names being rumored, Wilson and Rodgers, have both won Super Bowls. Rodgers is the defending back-to-back MVP. The price will be steep, but is there a price not worth paying if it means a championship?

The success of Brady and Stafford in their first season with their new franchises could be a fluke. It could be another 50+ seasons before we see this type of back-to-back success. However, it’s equally likely that teams will see this as an opportunity to try their hand at the same thing. If there’s an offseason to do it, it might be this year.