As we look ahead ever so slightly to the 2024 NFL offseason, I think one thing is abundantly clear: You have to include Joshua Dobbs on your list of 32 starting quarterbacks to open the 2024 season. With the way he has played dating back to late last season, Dobbs has increased his value seemingly more than just about anyone else in the NFL. He has gone from a journeyman practice squad QB option to a legitimate NFL starter.
Everyone seems to be waiting for the other shoe to drop with Joshua Dobbs. Everyone's waiting for the clock to strike midnight. We're all waiting for Laney Boggs to not win prom queen.
Okay, if you didn't get that last reference, just look it up.
At any rate, what I'm getting at is that everyone is waiting for Joshua Dobbs to come crashing back down to earth, but The Passtronaut appears to have no plans to re-enter orbit anytime soon.
Joshua Dobbs 2023 stats
- 63.5 percent completion rate
- 12 TD passes
- 6 INTs
- 389 rushing yards
- 6 rushing TDs
This type of success is more than sustainable and Dobbs has elevated his game to the point that he's anything but a liability as a passer. He's always had intriguing physical talent, and we saw late last season just how capable Dobbs is at picking up an offense quickly, making plays, keeping things on schedule, and he almost helped the Tennessee Titans make the playoffs.
After the 2023 preseason, Dobbs was traded by the Cleveland Browns (who could really use him now) to the Arizona Cardinals and was basically named their starter immediately. That move was scoffed at when it was made as a sign the Cardinals were tanking, and then Dobbs got out there and started running Drew Petzing's offense to near perfection. The Cardinals weren't winning many games, but Dobbs did lead them to a major upset over the Cowboys.
All of a sudden, the Minnesota Vikings lose Kirk Cousins, and swing a trade to get Dobbs in Minneapolis. He's effectively 2-1 as the Vikings' primary QB in the games that he's played, and Dobbs has a chance to lead Minnesota to the postseason.
And if that happens, I think he'll have a chance to potentially name his price on a 1-2 year deal in 2024 NFL free agency.
Injuries have certainly played a role, but Dobbs looks like he'd be an upgrade right now for about a third of the teams in the league. This guy has proven that he can go anywhere and make an impact on short notice. It's only a matter of time before NFL teams start wondering what he can do with an entire offseason to prepare, learn an offense, and get chemistry with his teammates.
He hasn't even gotten the chance yet to play with Justin Jefferson in Minnesota, and Jefferson could really help elevate Dobbs's value in free agency significantly.
In my opinion, no matter what happens the remainder of this season (barring injury, of course), Joshua Dobbs has every right to demand upwards of $15-20 million per year on a short-term contract. I don't think any team is going to commit to him on a significant long-term deal at this point, but he's played well enough this season to earn lower-tier starting QB money, and that's where that market is right now.
Jimmy Garoppolo's average salary is over $24 million. Geno Smith's average salary is $25 million. Ryan Tannehill's average salary is $29.5 million. Perhaps NFL teams will view Dobbs more in the "Taylor Heinicke" tier, which should still net him at least $8-12 million average annual value.
There's really no in-between when it comes to quarterbacks. If you're being viewed as a starter, your agent better get you over $20 million from your next potential team. Dobbs has made just over $5 million in his entire NFL career to this point. In the next five months, we might see him more than quadruple that in guaranteed money on his next contract.
The question becomes -- who's going to pay him?