For those of us in Memphis, and all-around believers of the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Paxton Lynch was, at one time, our knight in shining armor for showing the country what the AAC has to offer.
During his time in Denver, after being selected by the Broncos in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, he has shown signs of what us, and the rest of the country, saw in Lynch during his time in a Tigers uniform.
However, the Broncos fan base has shown that they do not believe Lynch as the franchise QB that John Elway considered him to be.
This stems from a few notable reasons.
First of all, Lynch has had a few injuries barring him from any serious game time.
Second, he has had a serious problem in reading the field and missing open receivers; instead he holds the ball too long, throws to covered receivers, or takes off with his deceivingly fast scrambling ability.
These are all simple and easy fixes over the course of an offseason, or a full season under the tutelage of a veteran quarterback.
The biggest problem Lynch has faced, in Denver, has been the astounding number of
quarterback and coaching changes. Not having a veteran quarterback to learn under, as the Broncos front office had planned, essentially killed Lynch’s chances of learning previously established lessons by a veteran quarterback.
To start off the number of teams that could potentially see Lynch in their near future, we’ll talk about the Broncos situation. With three quarterbacks on the roster vying for the permanent starting position, and most analysts suspecting the Broncos of picking up Sam Darnold with their first round draft pick this year, the idea of Lynch staying around to maybe get a starting position is rather low. Only time will tell.
Along with the low possibility that Lynch stays in Denver, another low likelihood is that he could end up with teams like Arizona, Los Angeles (Chargers), and Cleveland.
In Arizona, had Carson Palmer not retired, he could have studied for a year or so under Palmer and eventually taken over the starting position. That’s unlikely to happen now, especially with the head coaching change.
In Los Angeles, Phillip Rivers is getting older and is still a viable quarterback, but he is visibly starting to age, and Lynch could possibly stay on the sideline for a few years until the Chargers release Rivers, or he retires, and simultaneously learn under a quarterback that has been rather underrated for the last ten years.
Cleveland, well, it is where quarterbacks’ careers have gone to die, and I believe most free agent quarterbacks will avoid Cleveland like the plague.
The most likely places for Lynch to end up would be Buffalo, New York (Jets), or Jacksonville.
Buffalo has been struggling on and off with Tyrod Taylor this past season and Lynch would offer something promising for the Bills and their rising prowess.
The Jets had an alright season, led by Josh McCown, whom no one saw as a legitimate option at quarterback. Lynch could potentially be the answer to the many prayers of a young quarterback that really and truly just needs more snaps in games running an offense.
Jacksonville has had quarterback woes since I began watching football, fifteen or so years ago. Blake Bortles has shown glimpses of what he could be, but, for the most part, only fills the role of a pro quarterback instead of actually fulfilling the role of a pro quarterback. Lynch could very well be the missing link the Jaguars need to have an outstanding team that doesn’t have to solely rely on their run game and defense.
With Lynch most likely ending up on the free agency market this year, only time will tell if he gets a shot at a starting job, or is put under the tutelage of a veteran quarterback.
As for this Memphis Tigers fan, I certainly believe and hope that he is given the opportunity to show the rest of the country what all of us here in the Tigers hometown know to be true – Paxton Lynch can play ball.