Originally Posted by Ambulance Chaser
Yes, nothing is guaranteed and teams occasionally get lucky with their QB picks. But the numbers don't lie: The vast majority of starting NFL QBs were high first-round draft picks. Why play QB lottery in the hopes of getting a franchise QB when you already have one on your roster? Put it another way, is there any
QB in this year's draft you would rather have than Cutler?
I do agree that a high first round talent is more likely to have long-term success in the league than a player taken later in the draft and that there is a correlation but I'm not sure I'd agree that the vast majority of starting QBs are high first-round picks.
The question IMO w/r/t Cutler is would you rather have (i) Cutler or (ii) someone else plus a lot of extra money to spend on other players. I'd look at the opportunity cost of each million that you're spending. Cutler is probably getting in the ballpark of $18 million per year. You could sign McCown or another journeyman backup to a 1 year $2 million or less deal, get a rookie QB in the second round for $3 million a year and let him sit on the bench for a year to mature before being thrown into the fray and still have $13 million a year to spend upgrading other parts of your roster.
I firmly believe that unless a QB is truly at the elite level, and a vast majority of teams will not have an elite QB at a particular point in time, you are better off saving the salary differential and taking a QB that is not quite as good than paying close to elite money for a guy who is at best above average. You can get a decent game manager who protects the ball for $10 million or keep an elite QB for $20 million+ if you're lucky enough to have one. Paying in the $17 million to $20 million range for someone who isn't elite is crazy IMO.