The Baltimore Ravens have one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL in Tyler Huntley. It’s hard to argue that notion given how Huntley has fared when given the opportunity over the last two seasons.
The former Utah star stepped in when Lamar Jackson was injured last year and certainly held his own. He’s returned and looked even better when on the field this preseason.
Given his impressive performances, Huntley’s name has popped up in trade rumors. The 24-year-old is set to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and could generate interest from other teams.
That said, it sure seems unlikely that the Ravens would trade Huntley unless a truly special offer came their way. That’s why this list isn’t going to be focused on teams that could trade for Huntley.
In fact, for the vast majority of the teams on this list, it just wouldn’t make sense to trade for Huntley for a variety of reasons. Some might be trying to develop young quarterbacks while others have more pressing needs to address.
Instead, we’re going to be looking at 10 NFL teams that Huntley could feasibly start for in this league. That doesn’t mean he’d be a guaranteed starter, but it does mean he would at least push for the starting job.
Let’s take a look at those teams.
10. Tyler Huntley could start for the New York Jets
The New York Jets wouldn’t have any real interest in trading for Tyler Huntley, but if Huntley was on their roster, there’s certainly a chance he could push for the starting job.
Zach Wilson may be forced to miss Week 1 against the Ravens next month, but when he’s healthy, the Jets will look to build around him and evaluate his future. But in a bubble, you could certainly argue that Huntley is the better quarterback right now.
The same might be true for longtime Ravens QB Joe Flacco who is the designated QB2. While Flacco is undoubtedly one of the better backups in the league as well, Huntley would give him a run for his money.
A three-way QB competition between Wilson, Flacco, and Huntley would be interesting in this hypothetical situation. And there’s certainly a non-zero chance that Huntley would emerge as the starter.
9. Tyler Huntley could start for the New York Giants
The Jets aren’t the only New York franchise that could use Huntley. Their crosstown rivals, the New York Giants, also have a hole at the quarterback position that could be filled by Huntley.
Daniel Jones enters the 2022 season as the starter with former Ravens draft pick Tyrod Taylor pushing for first-team reps behind him. The writing seems to be on the wall for Jones in New York, especially with Jones breathing down his neck.
However, neither is an exactly appealing starting option. Huntley would give the Giants a player with a bit more upside who could serve as a potential temporary upgrade and, if all goes according to plan, he could even be a guy they build around in the future.
Jones and Taylor aren’t long-term solutions. Huntley at least has the potential to be just that.
8. Tyler Huntley could start for the Chicago Bears
Let’s get another team that definitely wouldn’t consider trading for Huntley out of the way now. The Chicago Bears are Justin Fields’ team right now. There’s no chance they’d consider starting anyone else at the position.
That said, much like Wilson and the Jets, you could certainly make the argument that Huntley is the better quarterback at this stage. Fields struggled mightily in his rookie season (much like Wilson) and the Bears did him few favors this offseason.
Behind Fields is veteran Trevor Siemian and the well-traveled Nathan Peterman, neither of whom are exciting second-string options.
If Huntley was on the Bears and given a fair chance to win the starting job, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him beat out Fields.
7. Tyler Huntley could start for the San Francisco 49ers
Another entry and another team with a young quarterback who wouldn’t be replaced. The San Francisco 49ers have made it clear that they want to give Trey Lance every opportunity to prove that he’s the guy going forward this year.
As they should for a player they traded up to select third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. That means Jimmy Garoppolo is on his way out, and it also means they would never consider trading for Huntley.
But again, that’s not what this list is. If Huntley was in San Francisco and given an actual opportunity to compete with Lance (and even Garoppolo) for the starting job, it’s certainly plausible that he could win the competition.
Right now, I’d still argue that Garoppolo is the best of the three, but Huntley would absolutely be in the starting picture.
6. Tyler Huntley could start for the Pittsburgh Steelers
This is a trade that wouldn’t happen for a number of reasons, perhaps most notably because it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Ravens would send Huntley to a division rival.
That said, it’s interesting to imagine what Huntley could do if he was on the Steelers’ roster.
Pittsburgh had an open competition between Mitch Trubisky and rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett this summer. Trubisky is the favorite to start Week 1, but Pickett will likely receive an opportunity at some point.
But what if Huntley was a part of the equation? Could he beat out Trubisky and Pickett for the starting job in a fair and balanced QB competition? I’d argue he certainly would have a shot.
5. Tyler Huntley could start for the Jacksonville Jaguars
Once again, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t in the market for a quarterback. After using the first overall pick in last year’s draft on Trevor Lawrence, their focus is squarely on developing their young QB as opposed to searching for his replacement.
Lawrence was downright bad in his rookie season throwing one touchdown over an eight-game stretch in the middle of the year. The signs have been there this summer, though, that his sophomore season should be a lot more encouraging.
Either way, Lawrence is the guy in Jacksonville with C.J. Beathard serving as the primary backup. You drop Huntley in that QB room, though, and he might just be the best player there at this very moment.
Of course, the Jaguars hope that Lawrence shoots into the upper half of quarterbacks around the league this year, but for now, Huntley might just push him for a starting job if given the chance.
4. Tyler Huntley could start for the Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons have one of the weakest rosters on paper entering the 2022 season, and that extends to their quarterback room where former Tennessee Titans draft bust Marcus Mariota is set to start at QB.
Mariota is what he is at this stage of his career. He’s a below-average starter and high-end backup who offers limited upside. The real in that room comes from third-round rookie Desmond Ridder who has shown flashes this summer.
Still, it’s hard to argue that Huntley wouldn’t at least compete with Mariota for the starting role if he was in Atlanta. With the Falcons choosing to sit Ridder for the time being, Huntley at least offers more immediate and long-term upside than Mariota.
The presence of Ridder makes this trade unlikely, but the Falcons would be a better team with Huntley on their roster.
3. Tyler Huntley could start for the Houston Texans
Davis Mills quietly put together the best season of any rookie quarterback not named Mac Jones last year, but even he isn’t locked into a starting job for the foreseeable future.
While Mills exceeded expectations, the Texans don’t exactly appear to be committed to him as the future of the organization and likely wouldn’t hesitate if given an opportunity to replace him this offseason.
I’m not sure if Huntley would move the needle enough for the Texans, but he certainly could compete with Mills for the starting job.
With Kyle Allen and Jeff Driskel behind Mills on Houston’s QB depth chart, a Huntley/Mills quarterback competition would absolutely provide a level of intrigue.
2. Tyler Huntley could start for the Cleveland Browns
This one obviously comes with the caveat that Deshaun Watson will miss the first 11 games of the season. A healthy and non-suspended Watson is the top guy in Cleveland, but with Watson temporarily sidelined, the Browns are expected to turn to Jacoby Brissett.
Brissett has garnered a reputation for being one of the league’s best backup quarterbacks, but for anyone who watched him last year in Miami, they might push back against that notion.
Ignore the box score numbers, Brissett was bad last year. It’s certainly fair to suggest that Huntley is a better quarterback at this stage than anyone on the Browns’ roster.
Whether Brissett, Josh Dobbs, or Josh Rosen, Huntley would be the Browns’ temporary starting quarterback if he was on that roster. Don’t expect a trade to happen, though, for obvious reasons.
1. Tyler Huntley could start for the Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are one of the few teams on this list where a possible trade might actually make sense. There may not be a worse QB room in the NFL than the one the Seahawks currently have.
Broncos castoff Drew Lock and veteran backup Geno Smith are in competition for the starting job with Lock expected to begin the year under center. The only other quarterback under contract is former Colts fourth-round pick Jacob Eason.
Lock and Smith are not starting-caliber quarterbacks in this league, and in reality, there are a handful of backups who are significantly better than both of them. Huntley likely fits the bill.
If the Seahawks were to trade for Huntley, they would acquire a player who might not only be their QB1 in 2022 but someone who could potentially even serve as a long-term solution.
A trade here is still unlikely for a number of reasons, but it’s hard to argue that the Seahawks wouldn’t be a better team with Tyler Huntley in their QB room.