The Jacksonville Jaguars own the most coveted prize for the worst teams in the league: the first overall pick in the upcoming draft. With that pick, it’s nearly a lock that they’ll select superstar QB prospect Trevor Lawrence from Clemson. That would mean Gardner Minshew will be looking for a new home in 2021 and beyond. Where will Minshew land?
Before we get into the potential landing spots, it’s important to understand why a team would want to trade for Gardner. For one, Minshew is both young and cheap. He was drafted in 2019, meaning he’ll be on his rookie contract for two more seasons. His cap hit in 2021 will be $897,721 and $1,012,721 in 2022. Both are extremely cheap numbers for a young quarterback.
Minshew also has the ability to be a quality starter. In 21 games (19 starts), Minshew threw for 5,126 yards, 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, completing 62.2% of his passes. Minshew performed good enough considering he was playing for a pretty bad Jaguars team. Despite Minshew’s stats getting worse from 2019 to 2020, he was more efficient in his second season. Gardner Minshew deserves another chance to start with a better team around him. With more experience and development, Minshew could be a low-risk, high-reward move for a team.
The QB trade market has some interesting names. It would cost an amazing trade package to acquire Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson. It would even cost more for a team to trade for Sam Darnold or Jimmy Garoppolo. It shouldn’t cost teams too much to trade for Gardner Minshew. No more than a mid-round pick.
New England Patriots
The #1 destination for Minshew is the New England Patriots. It makes sense for both sides. Although the Patriots re-signed Cam Newton, they could still be in the market for a quarterback. For Minshew, he would be joining the greatest coach in history, and could sit and learn in 2021. The seemingly new and improved Patriots have some intriguing weapons to help Minshew in the future if they were to trade for him. After a 7-9 season, the Patriots are looking to climb back onto their throne, and Gardner Minshew could be the young quarterback that they’re looking for.
The Broncos are in an interesting position. They have Drew Lock, but have still been heavily involved in the QB market. Many feel that not only is Lock not the franchise quarterback, but that he is holding the team back from playoff contention. There seems to be no doubt that the Broncos can find an upgrade. Trading for Gardner Minshew would create an interesting QB competition. Minshew definitely has a chance to win the starting job and lead the Broncos as they compete for a playoff spot.
Gardner Minshew staying with the Jaguars is an interesting scenario to think about. When the Jaguars draft Trevor Lawrence, he will instantly become the starter, however, the front office could decide to keep Minshew as a quality backup. What makes this scenario unrealistic is the recent signing of CJ Beathard. Bethard will most likely serve as a backup, but Minshew is both younger and better. I would certainly trust Minshew leading the offense more than Beathard if something were to happen to Trevor Lawrence.
We aren’t quite sure what Gardner Minshew has to offer, but it would make sense for any of those teams to find out. Acquiring Minshew would be a low risk move for any team, but it could result in someone finding their QB of the future.