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Where does Russell Wilson rank among the top 32 NFL QBs in a post-Tom Brady landscape?

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Tom Brady is retiring, or at least appears to be. Yesterday Adam Schefter at ESPN reported Brady is calling it a career – which was followed by a flurry of denials from Brady’s father, his agent and the Buccaneers. Most likely he has played his last game but wanted to break the news himself in some sort of pretentious social media presentation on Super Bowl Sunday to get attention. For now, we’ll assume Brady is done.

It seems like a good time to take stock of the rest of the quarterbacks around the league and where they rank in a post-Tom Brady landscape. Here are the top 32 QBs in the league, broken up into 10 distinct tiers.

The ninth circle of quarterback hell

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In Dante’s Inferno, the ninth circle of hell is a frozen lake where Satan resides. This level is reserved for traitors. When it comes to football, we’re talking about quarterbacks who actively hurt their teams through some combination of poor mechanics, bad decision making or a simple lack of skill. These are the worst of the worst and there are several backups around the NFL who would qualify as an upgrade for these teams.

32. Mason RudolphSteelers

31. Zach WilsonJets

30. Sam Darnold – Panthers

29. Daniel Jones – Giants

28. Taysom Hill – Saints

Jared Goff and friends

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Former Rams and current Lions starter Jared Goff is on an island all by himself. His game is best described as being that of a jugs machine – he can throw an accurate ball but has an almost total lack of pocket awareness and improvisational skills. The best thing you can say about Goff is that there are definitely worse quarterbacks out there.

27. Jared Goff – Lions

The erratic wild cards

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The QBs in this next tier have some arm talent and an instinct to chuck the ball deep whenever the opportunity presents itself – call it the Rex Grossman group. Every now and then they may have a spectacular, mistake-free game, but more often than not their gunslinger MO will result in turnovers and frustrating close losses.

26. Davis MillsTexans

25. Carson Wentz – Colts

24. Baker Mayfield – Browns

23. Ryan Fitzpatrick – WFT

The up-and-comers

Bob Self / USA TODAY NETWORK

There are several young quarterbacks around the NFL who have the potential to be something special but haven’t reached that level yet. Either they don’t have the proper supporting cast around them or they haven’t developed their skills quite enough. Everyone in this tier could be an accomplished starter at some point, or they might be a bust in the making. It’s simply too early to tell.

22. Tua Tagovailoa – Dolphins

21. Justin Fields – Bears

20. Jalen Hurts – Eagles

19. Trevor Lawrence – Jaguars

The kingdom of inconsistency

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Next we have a trio of quarterbacks who are all capable in their own ways, but struggle to deliver consistent results from dropback to dropback, week to week and year to year. The bottom line is you really never know what you’re going to get. It’s no accident that their futures are currently all up in the air.

18. Teddy Bridgewater – Broncos

17. Jimmy Garoppolo – 49ers

16. Jameis Winston – Saints

Game manager land

(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Now we come to the most boring bunch. These are established starters who can get you a win as long as things break their way. Carr, Cousins and Jones all rarely make mistakes or turnover-worthy plays. They just can’t be relied on to lead a comeback in the second half of a game. Teams with these QBs generally have a high floor but a low ceiling.

15. Derek Carr – Raiders

14. Kirk Cousins – Vikings

13. Mac Jones – Patriots

“Not great, not terrible”

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

These two QBs have had their moments in their careers – including a league MVP award for Ryan when Kyle Shanahan was calling the plays for Atlanta. While they are definitely above average compared to their competitors there’s nothing truly special or unique about their skillset.

12. Matt Ryan – Falcons

11. Ryan Tannehill – Titans

The gifted but flawed group

(AP Foto/John Froschauer, Archivo)

This group of quarterbacks include some of the most talented passers and athletes of this generation. However, there’s usually one flaw to their game that’s holding them back from being named among the best of the best. In most cases, their teams can live with the warts because the results are usually solid and occasionally incredible.

10. Lamar Jackson – Ravens

9. Kyler Murray – Cardinals

8. Matthew Stafford – Rams

7. Dak Prescott – Cowboys

6. Russell Wilson – Seahawks

The next big thing

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The next two quarterbacks on our list arguably have the brightest futures of any players in the sport. Both Burrow and Herbert can make throws very few QBs can and are already competing at a very high level despite having just two seasons of experience. With a little more dirt under their nails, they’ll join the elites soon enough.

5. Joe Burrow – Bengals

4. Justin Herbert – Chargers

The top of the mountain

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Now we come to the top of the mountain – reserved for all-time legends and the top QBs on the planet. This is where Tom Brady would have been placed before his sort-of-retirement. Rodgers may be unpleasant but he’s still a remarkable passer and will likely win his fourth MVP this year. However, both Allen and Mahomes can make plays even Rodgers can only dream of. Their combination of creativity, athleticism and sheer competitive grit make them the best in the game today, hands down.

3. Aaron Rodgers – Packers

2. Josh Allen – Bills

1. Patrick Mahomes – Chiefs

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