Setting up the NFL's QB battles: Who's leading, where rookies stand ESPN logo
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

More than one team is likely to have a new quarterback calling signals when the 2019 season begins.

The Miami Dolphinsmoved on from Ryan Tannehillandsigned Ryan Fitzpatrick but then traded for Josh Rosen.

And then there are the rookies. Will Ryan Finley, Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones, Drew Lock and Kyler Murray see significant time this season?

NFL Nation breaks down who will be starting where in September.

Ryan Finley, Cincinnati Bengals

Outlook for 2019: The Bengals drafted Finley in the fourth round. Finley was the only quarterback prospect they brought in for a pre-draft visit, despite rumors they might draft a QB in the first round. Could Finley succeed Andy Dalton? It's possible at some point, but not a given, just as AJ McCarron was never more than Dalton's backup. For now, expect Finley to sit behind Dalton and learn.

Chances he starts: No way

Most likely QB to lead team in 2019 snaps:Dalton. The Bengals have said repeatedly that Dalton is their guy, and for 2019, having another quarterback or two behind him shouldn't change that, barring another injury. The Bengals would like to see what Dalton can do with a healthy offense in addition to an offensive-minded coach, Zac Taylor. They clearly believe in Dalton, which is why they invested in the offensive line instead of drafting a quarterback in the higher rounds. -- Katherine Terrell

Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins

Outlook for 2019: Redskins coach Jay Gruden said they want to be patient with Haskins, gauging how he quickly he picks up the NFL game mentally while also cleaning up his footwork. With Case Keenum and Colt McCoy around, Redskins coaches don't feel the need to rush Haskins. But they acknowledge Haskins' upside -- and they work for an owner, Dan Snyder, who likes Haskins. Will that speed up the process? The only way Haskins sits long term is if the defense and run game, with a veteran quarterback in charge, have early success. Otherwise, start the clock.

Chances he starts: Absolutely

Most likely QB to lead team in 2019 snaps: Haskins. There will be internal pressure to start him at some point, and that will intensify with a poor start. The holdup will be a coaching staff that knows it must win now and feels that Haskins might take some time to develop. Unless Keenum plays well enough in a tough early stretch -- four of the first five games are versus Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago and New England -- it'll be tough for the organization to let Haskins sit. If Haskins plays early and develops well, it might even buy the staff another year. -- John Keim

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Outlook for 2019: The Giants drafted Jones with the No. 6 overall pick but still have Eli Manning on the roster. Manning is 38 years old and on the last year of his contract. He has been told he's the starter and it's his job to win games and keep the younger Jones on the sideline. This would allow the Giants to stick with their preferred Kansas City model, which they originally revealed at the NFL combine: have Jones sit and learn behind a veteran for a year (like the Chiefs did with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes) so he's ready to thrive in Year 2.

Chances he starts: No way

Most likely QB to lead team in 2019 snaps: Manning. Something crazy or unfortunate would need to happen between now and Week 1 in order for Manning to lose his spot as the starter. The Giants would have to stink up the joint early for Jones to take over before midseason. The likelihood is New York will stick with Manning until the team is mathematically eliminated (or close) from the postseason. We've already seen how hard it has been for the Giants to move on from Manning. He's a franchise legend. There are strong intimate feelings there. It won't happen until the outside noise is just too loud to ignore. -- Jordan Raanan

Drew Lock, Denver Broncos

Outlook for 2019:Joe Flacco is the starter.The Broncos made the trade for the 34-year-old with the idea he would run their offense, no matter what they did in the draft. And Flacco's arrival was the first clue the Broncos didn't really, no matter what's said now, have a first-round grade on any of the quarterbacks in the 2018 draft.Lock was the top quarterback on their draft board, and they didn't select him at No. 10, No. 20 or No. 41. After they selected center/guard Dalton Risner at 41, they traded up in the second round to take Lock at No. 42.

Chances he starts: Not likely

Most likely QB to lead team in 2019 snaps: It's Flacco if things go according to plan. He started nine games last season before an injury forced him to the sideline, and the Ravens decided to stick with then-rookie Lamar Jackson after Flacco was healthy.Flacco has dealt with knee, back and hip issues in recent years -- he tore an ACL in 2015 -- but he has also started 16 games in nine of his 11 seasons. The Broncos think he's ready to go physically and also believe the addition of offensive line coach Mike Munchak and signing of right tackle Ja'Wuan James in free agency -- along with the arrival of Risner in the draft -- should help give Flacco some comfort in the pocket. -- Jeff Legwold

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Outlook for 2019: The Cardinals drafted Murray first overall in this year's NFL draft, establishing him as the franchise's quarterback of the future. But there was some public disagreement between coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim about whether Murray would start Week 1. Kingsbury has waffled on the idea, not committing, whereas Keim was firm in his placement of Murray as the Cardinals' starter from Day 1. Behind Murray, as of now, is veteran Brett Hundley, who has nine starts, all in 2017, on his résumé. Behind Hundley is Charles Kanoff, a UDFA signing in 2018 who was close with Rosen. It's hard to believe Hundley will get the nod ahead of Murray unless Murray simply can't adapt to the NFL.

Chances he starts: Absolutely

Most likely QB to lead team in 2019 snaps: Murray. You don't take a quarterback No. 1 overall and pair him with the coach who has wanted him for years and not start him Week 1. If Murray is the guy for this organization, the Cardinals need to take their bumps and bruises with him and let him learn. Murray has played in spread offenses as long as he has been playing football and played in an Air Raid-style offense at Oklahoma. Grasping Kingsbury's scheme shouldn't be a problem. -- Josh Weinfuss

Josh Rosen, Miami Dolphins

Outlook for 2019: Rosen's arrival makes the Dolphins' quarterback situation more interesting. Miami has been in quarterback purgatory since Dan Marino retired 20 years ago, so there's no harm in taking every shot to find the answer. General manager Chris Grier did just that by taking a chance on Rosen -- the struggling, discarded Cardinals top-10 pick from a year ago -- for a very good price via a draft weekend trade. The Tannehill era is over, so expect an open QB competition in Miami for the first time in a long time between Rosen and veteran journeyman Fitzpatrick.

Chances he starts: Likely

Most likely QB to lead team in 2019 snaps: Rosen. Coach Brian Flores is adamant Rosen won't be handed the starting job, and Fitzpatrick does have a head start on Miami's playbook and in NFL experience. But the Dolphins have to see what they have in Rosen. This is essentially a one-year tryout for Rosen to prove to Grier, Flores & Co. he can be Miami's long-term answer. If he's not, Miami will be a strong contender to draft a quarterback high in the 2020 draft. Rosen didn't get a fair chance to show his worth in Arizona last season, and he's more talented and has a higher potential than the boom-or-bust Fitzpatrick. -- Cameron Wolfe

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