The NFL hot seat is going to heat up for these five quarterbacks who’ll have to deliver in big ways for their respective teams in 2020.
If for no other reason than to quiet the criticisms he faced after Super Bowl LIV in which his fourth-quarter collapse seemed to define what was otherwise a pretty stellar 2019 campaign.
His first full year as a starter, by the way.
True, the Niners can get out from his five-year, $137.5 million contract with relative ease next season. But one would only speculate that happening if Garoppolo endures something of a season-long meltdown this upcoming year. So while the pressure of an NFL hot seat might be there for Jimmy G, it’s more to silence the doubters.
Not necessarily his employers.
Yet that context doesn’t apply to a number of other quarterbacks around the league who enter this upcoming season in danger of losing jobs, be they starting roles or on rosters.
Niner Noise explores five other non-Garoppolo quarterbacks who have to live up to expectations this season.
NFL Hot Seat No. 5: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
One could argue third-year quarterback Baker Mayfield has been the victim of exceptionally poor context, led by the Cleveland Browns’ ineptitude at head coach last season with now-fired head coach Freddie Kitchens.
Still, that doesn’t get around the fact Mayfield still boasts one of the more talented supporting casts at the offensive skill positions including wide receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. Despite those two names, Mayfield still tossed 22 touchdowns against 21 interceptions, posting a lowly 78.8 passer rating in the process.
Cleveland invested heavily in boosting the offense during the offseason, bringing aboard an offensive-minded head coach in former Minnesota Vikings coordinator Kevin Stefanski, then adding weapons like veteran tight end Austin Hooper and offensive tackles Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills to reinforce what was previously a questionable offensive line.
Should these additions fail to translate into better production from the No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield could find himself in serious jeopardy entering 2021.