Earlier this week, we asked for your opinion on a question that ESPN had posed to NFL fans, "If you had a chance to replace your starting QB by spinning a QB Roulette Wheel of all 32 starting quarterbacks, would you spin it?".
While many would think that Dolphins fans would look to upgrade their fifth year quarterback with a career 29-35 record, the question was asked by Kevin Nogle on Friday, and a majority of Dolphins fans (79% of them!) voted that they wouldn't take the risk and that they would stay with Tannehill at QB.
So I decided to set up an experiment (a Phinsider exclusive experiment, ahem) to see what the NFL would look like if we turned the league upside down and let every team get a crack at the NFL Quarterback Roulette Wheel...
The rules are simple. Teams will be numbered in last years draft order, 1-32. One by one, each team will go down the list and I will choose whether that franchise wants to spin the wheel or not. For those that do choose to give it a spin, I will number all the quarterbacks and use a random number generator to select a new quarterback for the franchise. The kicker is, if another team has previously claimed your quarterback, you would need to spin the wheel to select a new quarterback for your franchise. This is the case only so that there are no duplicates and so that each team has a different 2016 starting quarterback under center.
I have a few thoughts I expected would happen before this experiment proceeded:
- All in all, I'd expect everything to even out. Just as many teams will get better as have gotten worse.
- The majority of teams won't choose to spin the wheel.
- The majority of the bottom half of the league will spin the wheel. Crappier records usually indicate sub-par QB play.
- The top teams are going to be screwed. By the time they are up near the bottom of the draft there is a good chance that their QB will be selected and they will typically end up with a worse quarterback on average.
- The Patriots will find a way to cheat somehow.
- The Dolphins, at pick 8, would probably spin the wheel.
- San Francisco - Kaepernick to Big Ben
- New York Jets - Fitz to Brady (THIS should be interesting!)
- Carolina - SOMEHOW Cam Newton was still available at pick #31 and they get to keep their 2015 MVP.
- Miami - Tannehill to Wilson
- Denver - Sanchez to Romo (they would have been winners either way for getting rid of Sanchez)
- Green Bay. They were likely going to take a hit any way by losing Rodgers but they ended up with Mark Sanchez. No team got screwed the way that Green Bay did in this experiment. Not even close. RIP Packers.
- Pittsburgh - Big Ben > RGIII. RGIII would be fun to watch in that offense, but that's still a major downgrade any way you slice it.
- Cincinnati - Dalton > Kaepernick. This is a downgrade, but who knows what Colin can do with a change of scenery. He HAS won more playoff games than Andy Dalton, so there's that.
- New England - Cutler could do some things with the best coach in football, but he's no Tom Brady.
- Houston - Osweiler > Fitzpatrick. So much for getting their young signal-caller to a big contract! Not a huge downgrade, but Houston can't be happy here.
- EVERYTHING WILL EVEN OUT - FALSE. While things for the most part appear even, I'd surprisingly say that somehow, more teams got better than got worse! 8 teams appeared to get better, while 7 were ranked worse. And despite the Green Bay Packers getting the worst luck in the entire experiment, the other "losers" didn't seem to suffer as bad luck as much as the "winners" had upgraded. Look at the 'losers' above if you don't believe me. While GB and PIT undoubtedly lost, Kaepernick may be able to salvage something on a good Bengals team and Cutler has atleast 5 more years than Brady and could develop nicely in New England. Even Houston is an unknown, considering we don't know if Osweiler will perform any better than Fitzpatrick will next year. On the other hand, the winners- San Francisco, New York, Denver and Miami got significantly better, while Carolina just got very lucky. This data shows me that so called "crappy quarterbacks" might not be all that bad on good playoff teams or with good coaches, when given a chance. Having a good team matters and can elevate or totally dismiss how we view a handful of young quarterbacks. Ryan Tannehill is a very good example of this being true. If a team like the Seahawks or Broncos had Ryan Tannehill would THEY spin the wheel?
- THE MAJORITY OF THE TEAMS WILL NOT SPIN THE WHEEL- TRUE. 14 teams chose to NOT spin the wheel at all. 11 teams had no choice. Only 7 teams decided to spin the wheel, and I think 5 got better, 1 got worse and 1 stayed about the same (Tannehill over Stafford in Detroit is essentially a wash). So the odds show that teams that decided to spin the wheel seemed to make the right decision.
- THE BOTTOM HALF OF THE LEAGUE WILL SPIN THE WHEEL - FALSE. Of the 16 bottom teams, only 7 spun the wheel and one of those teams (Oakland) had no choice. Alot of the worse teams have been rebuilding recently and have drafted a quarterback within the last few years. In fact, looking at the rankings, we see alot more 'middle of the pack' 8-8 teams would probably spin the wheel if given a chance.
- THE TOP TEAMS WILL BE SCREWED - TRUE. There was nothing I could do about this as this was the nature of the game. The Seahawks got lucky and replaced Russell Wilson with Aaron Rodgers (PS. the Seahawks would be pretty damn good in this scenario) and even the two Super Bowl teams lucked out (neither got worse). However, of the top 16 teams, 5 got worse, while only 4 seemed to get better. All in all though, that's still not even that bad and as skewed as I thought it would be!
- THE PATRIOTS WILL FIND A WAY TO CHEAT - UNDECIDED. It appears on the surface that this is not true, as swapping Brady for Cutler doesn't seem to be in their favor... but..... they have to be up to something here. I think in this scenario Cutler was secretly injected with Brady's DNA in an underground lair and programmed to not throw dumbass interceptions by Belicheck's top scientists. Yes, that has to be it. I'm onto you guys....
- As for the last hypothesis.... you tell me? Will the Dolphins spin the wheel? Look at the board up top again and think about it closely before answering the poll question below.