It’s an interesting time in the NFL, because while many franchise quarterbacks are playing outstanding football, there simply aren’t that many quarterbacks signed to long-term deals right now. Also, there aren’t enough franchise quarterbacks to go around. That said, a handful of NFL franchise quarterbacks are on rookie contracts, and it could go either way for some of these guys.
The NFL Draft is on the way, and the good news when it comes to quarterbacks is that some exceptional ones will likely be up for grabs. USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye are both expected to declare, and chances are, they’ll get scooped up by the first two picks.
So, which NFL franchise quarterbacks are on rookie contracts? And, who is the best rookie quarterback so far this year?
NFL Franchise Quarterbacks on rookie contracts
Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud
There’s no argument that the Houston Texans’ C.J. Stroud is the best rookie quarterback in 2023. Is he the best rookie in the NFL right now? Probably. Will he win NFL Rookie of the Year for 2023? Probably. He’s having a monster of a season, and he’s trying his best to help the Texans.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence, the 2021 No. 1 pick, is playing some fantastic football this season. He’s eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and the Jaguars better snag him. He’s a great fit with the team, who are climbing up the AFC rankings.
Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young
Bryce Young, the No. 1 pick, has been playing well, but not great. Then again, the Panthers aren’t giving him much to work with. He has a bright future ahead, and if the team can build around him, they could really be competitive.
Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson
Anthony Richardson, a No. 4 pick, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, ending his 2023 season with the team back in October. Up until then, he was playing some great ball, so hopefully he’ll come back healed up and ready to win in 2024.
Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa
The Miami Dolphins are real contenders this season, and Tua Tagovailoa is a part of it. The fifth pick of the 2020 draft has stayed healthy this season, following his short 2022 season after suffering a concussion. Time will tell if he and the Dolphins come to terms on a contract extension.
San Francisco 49ers: Brock Purdy
This is an interesting one. Brock Purdy was the final pick of the 2022 draft, but he’s been in the spotlight this year. He ended up being a rookie started, following injuries to both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s played very well, and he’s helped make the 49ers one of the top teams in the NFC, next to the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions. Is he an elite quarterback? Not yet, but if the 49ers are smart, they’ll work with him and continue to develop his skillset.
Who will win NFL Rookie of the Year for 2023?
As mentioned above, this honor will likely go to C.J. Stroud. His stats are top notch this season. Even when you compare him to franchise quarterbacks, this rookie’s numbers stands up.