3 NFL teams that could surprisingly need a new quarterback in 2025

Which NFL teams might be shopping for QB help in 2025?
NFL 2024
NFL 2024 / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

You just never know in the NFL when the need for a new quarterback is going to creep up on you. Maybe a first-round pick doesn't work out like you planned. Maybe a free agent acquisition turns out to be a bust. Maybe you traded for the wrong guy.

We see these types of situations happen every offseason where NFL teams are forced to pivot away from what may have previously been a long-term plan and start a new one. Which NFL teams in 2024 might surprisingly discover a desperate quarterback need in the 2025 offseason?

Let's take a look at a handful of names.

1. Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson

Call me a skeptic, call me a hater, call me whatever you want. I don't understand why fans and analysts are still buying that the 2024 version of Deshaun Watson can somehow magically return to being the 2019 version. How many other quarterbacks in the league are still being judged by the way they played four or five years ago? It's pretty staggering.

The Browns have gotten a whopping 12 appearances in two years out of Deshaun Watson. He has thrown 14 touchdown passes compared to nine interceptions in those games and has a QBR hovering around 41. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's not what the Browns have paid $230 million for.

If Watson has another season of struggles -- whether it's off-field stuff, injuries, inconsistent play, or a combination of those things -- they could be a "surprise" team on the quarterback market next offseason. And I'm not talking about the Jameis Winston types.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Baker Mayfield

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield to a three-year, $100 million contract worth $50 million in guarantees after his comeback year in 2023. It was a well-deserved contract for Mayfield and it was great to see him bounce back with a much more stable situation than he had in Cleveland or Carolina.

The Bucs have built Mayfield's contract in such a way that it can be a one-year deal worth $30 million with roughly $33 million in dead money after this season. They have an "out". And that "out" is built in because there's a chance that Mayfield regresses this coming season, and the Bucs would need to be prepared in that case to go after someone else at the quarterback position.

Mayfield hasn't done enough in his NFL career this point to show consistency year over year. Part of that is the fault of the teams he has been with, but he's a bit unpredictable as a player and the Bucs have to be prepared for that.

3. Los Angeles Rams: Matthew Stafford

It's hard to say the Los Angeles Rams could be a "surprise" team needing a quarterback next offseason because there are obviously plenty of people out there who have been speculating about Matthew Stafford's future for some time. But I think the Rams could surprisingly be one of the most aggressive teams on the quarterback market next year.

Their roster is ready for a long-term quarterback solution, and if Stafford proves this year that he's no longer up to the task, the Rams would likely say thanks for the memories and send him on his way. I think we'll see GM Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay be ultra-aggressive in pursuing a replacement for the 36-year-old Stafford, who will turn 37 next offseason and has already been rumored to be considering retirement.