Skip to main content

4 best Gardner Minshew trade destinations this offseason

Gardner Minshew
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams are paring their rosters down to 53, and in some cases, organizations are realizing they’re not happy with their quarterback depth charts, and others are coming to the conclusion that they may have some spare parts. That may be the case in Philadelphia, where Gardner Minshew continues to look like a high-level backup bordering on the possibility of reaching starter status.

Originally selected in the sixth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, Minshew ended up making 12 starts as a rookie in which he led the team to a respectable 6-6 record.

Two years later, Minshew still has more wins than any other QB to make starts in Duval. The Jags have gone 4-29 since, including a 1-7 season with Minshew making eight more starts in 2020 before selecting Trevor Lawrence in the following draft.

Once Lawrence came in, despite a QB battle that likely wasn’t much of a true competition under Urban Meyer, the organization traded Minshew to the Eagles for the 198th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which is 20 spots later than where Minshew was originally selected at from being the 178th selection in 2019.

Now, Minshew is stuck as a backup to Jalen Hurts, who the team has fully committed to in 2022. Still, after several attempts by Minshew to overtake Hurts as the starter, head coach Nick Sirianni said “it’s not going to happen” in response to making a starting QB change from Hurts to Minshew. Don’t expect that to change any time soon, which makes Minshew expendable, for the right price.

Because of the reasons listed above, Gardner Minshew could be potentially available in trade, if a team presents an intriguing offer. Here are five of the best trade landing spots for Minshew in 2022.

Related: NFL QB Rankings: Baker Mayfield makes list after being named starter

Cincinnati Bengals add legit backup with Gardner Minshew

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
  • Philadelphia Eagles trade: Gardner Minshew
  • Cincinnati Bengals trade: 5th round pick

We know the Bengals have high aspirations in 2022, and after reaching the Super Bowl, why shouldn’t they? But we also remember when Burrow suffered his ACL tear, leaving the Bengals without their stud QB. No one wants to envision a scenario where Burrow misses an extended stretch, but it’s even more important for playoff teams to have a viable backup capable of holding down the fort until the starter returns.

  • Gardner Minshew career stats: 63.2%, 5,969 passing yards, 41 TD, 12 INT, 11 YPC

Right now, a case could be made that the Bengals don’t have a proven QB2. You don’t want to rely on Brandon Allen for six games or more. But Gardner Minshew throwing to Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd? That might do the trick.

Related: Predicting NFL playoff bracket and Super Bowl 2023 winner

Cleveland Browns add Minshew to the mix

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
  • Philadelphia Eagles trade: Gardner Minshew
  • Cleveland Browns trade: 5th round pick

Minshew’s competitive, he’s fiery, and he just might be a great team leader if given the chance. Well, the Browns are in need of a locker room leader for 3/4 of the season. Minshew might be the ideal fill-in starter while Deshaun Watson serves his 11-game suspension.

Everyone involved would have a clear understanding that this is Watson’s team, no matter how well Minshew does. If he bottoms out, they still have Jacoby Brissett, Josh Dobbs, and Josh Rosen to call on if need be.

But the Browns are aiming for the playoffs, and Brissett may not cut it with the current receiving corps on hand. Minshew might have just enough moxie to get it done, in his own way.

A year ago, Minshew appeared a sure bet to be traded when the Jaguars landed the No. 1 overall pick. Once the preseason rolled around, he was dealt, but now he’s blocked in Philly by Jalen Hurts.

The Browns could throw a lifeline Minshew’s way by giving him a new spotlight to work from, getting a chance to start up to 11 games. But first, he’d have to beat out Brissett. Minshew, the competitor that he is, he’d probably accept that challenge more so than finding a way to overcome Philly’s infatuation with Hurts.

Related: Why this seven-game stretch will define whether the Cleveland Browns can survive with Jacoby Brissett at QB

Minnesota Vikings choose Minshew’s mustache

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
  • Philadelphia Eagles trade: Gardner Minshew
  • Minnesota Vikings trade: 5th round pick

Kirk Cousins is clearly entrenched as the starting quarterback for the Vikings. But like many of the other teams on this list, they have their eyes on the playoffs. Cousins has proven to be quite durable, missing just three games since becoming a full-time starter in 2015. At some point, Cousins is bound to go down, it’s just what happens to quarterbacks.

The time to spring into action to replace a starter isn’t when an injury occurs, the best time to plan for the inevitable is now. Completing a trade now gives Minshew a chance to learn the system, ensuring he’s ready for action when the moment strikes.

Neither veteran Sean Mannion nor young gun Kellen Mond are equipped to carry the Vikings should Cousins miss any time. But Minshew is.

At some point, the Vikings need to re-evaluate their QB room, identifying whether their current players are long-term fits to be a backup, but they could have a short-term need as soon as this season. It’s possible Mond develops next year, but he’s not going to suddenly take a leap and be ready to start in Week 6 should an injury strike.

That’s what makes Minshew an ideal trade target for the Vikings. He’s under contract for the low price of $2.54 million in 2022, offering the franchise a very affordable backup QB option for this season. Such a trade wouldn’t lock them into Minshew going forward, allowing them to still give Mond every opportunity to steal the job in 2023.

In this case if Cousins got hurt, there would be much less concern. The Vikes could pivot to a 26-year-old who already has 22 career starts in the NFL. Minshew may not wow anyone with his arm strength or athletic ability, but he still offers more mobility than Cousins.

Related: 5 backup QB solutions for Minnesota Vikings after Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion’s pathetic preseason performances

Minshew mania moves to LA

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Philadelphia Eagles trade: Gardner Minshew
  • Los Angeles Rams trade: 6th round pick, 2024 5th round pick

We’ve already heard a bit about the cautionary tales of Matthew Stafford‘s elbow during training camp. The team continues to insist everything’s fine, but what if, they’re not?

This is their Super Bowl quarterback, they can’t really afford to mess around with his health. Yet, it’s not hard to understand why they may be so careful. If Stafford went down, their extremely talented roster falls entirely on the shoulders of John Wolford. That’s a nightmare waiting to happen.

Bryce Perkins looks like he could someday bring a new aspect to the table, with his dual-threat ability, but unless the offense is prepared to completely change their style, their ability to threaten defenses downfield may take a severe hit.

With Minshew the Rams could still run their normal offense, allowing Cooper Kupp to continue leaving defenders in the dust with his route-running excellence. If Stafford can’t be counted on, this team needs an experienced QB they can consistently rely on, and Minshew has shown, in stretches, he’s capable of doing just that. But he’s never been on a team as talented as the one they’ve built out in LA.